"You want a light bulb that's as close to the incandescent; it has warm color, this LED happens to be a lot like that," Janeway said.
Consumer Reports also put a variety of <a href="http://www.r-led.com">LED bulbs</a> through tests in its labs. These bulbs are very expensive -- anywhere from $17 dollars for a table lamp bulb to more than $60 for a floodlight.
"Even with an LED's high cost, you can still save $100 or more over its life compared to a standard incandescent," Consumer Reports' Bob Markovich said.
And LEDs last longer. Incandescents only last 1,000-2,000 hours.
"LEDs have some distinct advantages over CFLs, they reach full brightness instantly and some are also better at dimming," Markovich said.
But not all LEDs are good at distributing light. A Sylvania 60-watt ultra LED shines most of its light up towards the ceiling. It doesn't give a person much light to read under.
LEDs are far better for table or floor lamps, like a $40 Philips ambient. It's the equivalent of a 60-watt incandescent bulb and claims to last almost 23 years.
And for outdoor floodlights, the EcoSmart Par 38 costs $45 and promises to last even longer.
If you replace an incandescent bulb with an LED, it will take four to ten years before you recoup the costs and start saving.
CFLs cost much less and will save you money much sooner. Consumer Reports' latest tests show they have improved.
CFLs have not been the light bulb of choice for many people because they say they don't give off enough light and they can be difficult to dispose of.
But Consumer Reports' latest tests of more than 26 of the newest CFLs found they have improved.
"Some of the ones we tested this year use about 60-75 percent less mercury than ones we tested just three years ago," Consumer Reports' Celia Kuperszmid Lehrman said.
And testers found today's CFLs do a good job mimicking the light of incandescent bulbs.
But it is important to shop carefully.
"You want to check for the Energy Star logo, that means that the bulb has met strict standards for energy efficiency and durability, but also standards for color and brightness," Kuperszmid Lehrman said.
And to get light that's like an incandescent's, check the label to make sure it has a color temperature of about 2,700 K or Kelvin.
"More Kelvins doesn't necessarily mean a brighter bulb; a bulb with 4,000 or more Kelvin is actually going to have a bluer light, not necessarily a brighter light and that may not be what you're looking for," Kuperszmid Lehrman said.
For table lamps, Consumer Reports says a good choice is the 60-watt equivalent EcoSmart bulbs from Home Depot. They cost $6 for a four pack and their light is like a traditional incandescent.
Consumer Reports says CFLs should always be recycled because even the new ones contain some mercury. Several stores now accept them, including Home Depot, IKEA, Lowe's and some Ace Hardware stores.
Consumer Reports is published by Consumers Union. Both Consumer Reports and Consumers Union are not-for-profit organizations that accept no advertising. Neither has any commercial relationship with any advertiser or sponsor on this site.