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Saving Energy and Money with Better Light Bulbs

December 26, 2012

What are the costs and benefits of newer light bulbs-CFL's and LED's- versus traditional incandescent bulbs? How much energy do they save? How much do they save on your electric bills? What's the cost? David Bergman of the US Green Building Council answers these questions in the Council's Green Home Guide.

LEDs have much greater upfront costs, according to Bergman. Incandescents are 99 cents each; CFLS are $8-per- fourpack; while LEDs cost $30-$40 each. Yet, he states, LEDs are the most cost-effective choice because they last 30-40 times longer than an incandescent, and 4-5 times longer than a CFL.

LEDs consume less electricity for the same amount of light and so save you there, too: 2400 kilowatt-hours over their lifetime for 60-watt incandescent bulbs; 600kWh for CFL's; and 300kWh for LED's. Based on 10 cents per kilowatt-hour this equates to $280 for incandescents; $76 for CFLs, and $60 for LEDs.

He analyses costs per year as well. If you use a light for three hours per day that would be 1100 hours per year. A year's costs, including both the cost of the bulbs and electricity, using incandescents would be $7, for CFLs $2, and for LEDs $1.50.

The bottom line for David Bergman in this article is that, if you're willing to make the upfront investment in LEDs, they are the most financially and environmentally attractive.

Article provided courtesy of USGBC