Are LED Bulbs More Expensive?


People ask me all the time, “Are LED lights more expensive than other types of light bulbs?” The answer is almost always “No”, but to figure out how much you will save by using LED bulbs, you have to know the wattage and hour ratings of both types.

For example, a 23 watt fluorescent BR40 bulb is rated at 8,000 hours. A comparable 12.5 watt LED BR40 bulb is rated at 25,000 hours. So, while the 23 watt BR40 bulb is around $9.00 and the LED bulb is around $15.00, you are getting three times the life out of the LED bulb so you would have to buy three of the fluorescent bulbs to get the same life as the LED. The fluorescent now costs you $27.00 to get 25,000 hours of use.

electric meter2In addition, the LED bulb uses about 1/2 of the wattage that the fluorescent bulb uses so if you are using the bulb say, four hours per day, seven days per week, the LED bulb would cost around $3.29 annually to run (based on $.18 cents per kilowatt) in electricity cost. The fluorescent bulb would cost around $6.04 annually. So that’s another $2.75 per year that you would save by using the LED bulb. Over a 5-year rated life of the LED bulb, you would save $13.25 just on energy usage over the fluorescent AND you would have to replace the fluorescent bulb three times during that period. And that’s just for one socket. If you have them all over your house, you could get huge savings with LED bulbs.

lampost and ladderThere are other factors to consider like labor costs if you have to hire someone to change the bulbs, or your gas and time to go get light bulbs for your house and change them.  Overall, LED bulbs are far more cost effective and not that much more in initial cost. You will end up saving a lot in the long run.

That’s just one example and you can use the same logic and formulas to calculate costs and savings for any types of bulbs. For more detailed information on how to calculate the cost and savings of light bulbs, and also regional kilowatt costs, please visit my Energy Savings Calculator page.

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