Do Energy Efficient Lightbulbs Make a Difference on Your Power Bill?

cfl lightbulb

Whether it's to save the environment or to save your wallet, you might have considered making the switch to energy efficient light bulbs. Compared to traditional bulbs, they boast much lower levels of energy consumption and claim to save you money on your power bill. While this sounds like a winning situation, the high cost of these new bulbs can be a deterrent for upgrading every light fixture in the home. Before deciding if energy efficient bulbs are right for you, it is important to learn more about how they work.

How are energy efficient bulbs different?

The most popular energy efficient bulbs are compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs), and light emitting diodes (LEDs). Both last much longer than a traditional incandescent light bulb and also use much less energy to produce a light that is just as bright.

CFLs are similar to the large fluorescent tubes you see in warehouses or garages. CFLs typically run on a quarter or a third of the energy used by a traditional bulb, meaning that you can cut your energy bill in half if you replace only 25 percent of the lights in your home. Additionally, they last up to 10,000 hours compared to the 750 hour lifespan of an incandescent.

LEDs work by using a semiconductor as its light source and are currently the most efficient bulbs on the market. They also use a quarter of the energy of traditional bulbs and last up to 25 times longer.

Why are they more expensive?

The only daunting part about these newer bulbs is the price tag. The average incandescent bulb costs only $1, while prices for CFLs and LEDs can range up to $8. That can add up quickly, especially if you want to do a total lighting makeover. So why is the cost so extreme? It's because of the increased lifespan of the bulbs. Since they last so much longer, you are paying a higher price for them. Additionally, the manufacturing process is complicated and involves hand labor, rare materials, and expensive components.

Which are the best long term investment?

In the end, the choice should already seem clear - LEDs and CFLs blow standard light bulbs out of the water. For example, if you buy an incandescent light bulb that lasts 1,200 hours and costs $1, a CFL that costs $2 and lasts 8,000 hours, and an LED that lasts 25,000 hours and costs $8, you will quickly see a difference in your bill. The LED bulb might last up to 23 years and will only cost $38 to operate. The CFL will require 3 bulbs during that period and will cost $48 to operate. Using traditional bulbs, you will have to buy 21 new bulbs and spend over $201 in operational costs.

Get help with your lighting needs

If you're ready to upgrade your home and save money today, contact David Gray Electrical Services. We'll help you find the right energy efficient bulbs for your space so you start seeing decreases on your monthly power bill right away.

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