Guide to Buying Light Bulbs

By February 17, 2015Energy Savings, Home Interior
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There is a wide range of light bulbs available at your typical hardware store. Knowing which kind to get can be a difficult decision and can cost you beyond what you pay at the store. Energy efficient bulbs are widely available and come in many colors and light levels. The initial cost might be higher than a traditional incandescent but they cost less to operate and last a lot longer than incandescent bulbs. Below we will compare the different types of bulbs.

Incandescent

Wattage: 60 Watt
Annual Energy Cost*: $4.80
Bulb Life: 1,000 hours

Halogen

Wattage: 43 Watt (equivalent to 60 watt incandescent)
Annual Energy Cost*: $3.50
Energy Savings: ~25% (compared to 60 watt incandescent)
Bulb Life: 1,000-3,000 hours

Compact Fluorescent (CFL)

Wattage: 15 Watt (equivalent to 60 watt incandescent)
Annual Energy Cost*: $1.20
Energy Savings: ~75% (compared to 60 watt incandescent)
Bulb Life: 10,000 hours

Light Emitting Diode (LED)

Wattage: 12 Watt (equivalent to 60 watt incandescent)
Annual Energy Cost*: $1.00
Energy Savings: ~80% (compared to 60 watt incandescent)
Bulb Life: 25,000 hours

*Based on 2 hours per day of usage with an electricity rate of 11 cents per kilowatt-hour, in US dollars.
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Dining Room with GE reveal® lighting

The future is with LEDs

According to Time.com, “LED bulbs are already the go-to technology for illuminating cell phones, tablets and TVs.” Because the price of an LED bulb has dropped dramatically in the past few years (to around $10 per bulb or less), it will pay for itself within the first year and can last for up to 20 years. Unlike CFLs, LEDs are instant on lights and are not affected by being turned on and off repeatedly. LEDs will also turn on in much colder temperatures than CFLs and therefore can be used in certain outdoor fixtures. They can work in temperatures as low as 20 degrees and possibly lower.

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