The New York Times is reporting on an actual lifetime cost comparison between 3 different types of light bulbs: incandescent, LED, and CFL (Compact FLourescent) done by Osram, a German lighting manufacturer.
As it turns out, LED and CFL bulbs use approximately 20% of the energy of an incandescent to generate the same amount of light.
If you're wondering how much the higher initial cost of LED/CFL bulbs affects the calculations, it works out that it's pretty much the same for all 3 types: manufacturing and distribution represents about 2% of the lifetime energy cost. That means that the higher initial cost of LED/CFL bulbs will be paid for by how long they'll last.
While I personally think that the various efforts to outlaw incandescents by 2014 is just another example of Congress getting too full of itself, it does make a fair amount of sense to convert to LED/CFL lighting -- particularly when you consider how many lights there are in peoples homes.