Cheaper than ever before, LED light bulbs are surging in popularity in American households. Not only do they save money on energy, but they also last far longer than traditional and CFL bulbs. Is it time for you to switch to LEDs?
Incandescent Versus LED Versus CFL
The old-fashioned incandescent light bulb historically has been the most popular choice — not only for the low price but also for the soft white light. Both LED and incandescent bulbs both turn on immediately without flickering. Compact fluorescent lights (CFLs) need warm-up time and can flicker. (CFLs also contain a small amount of mercury.) Light-emitting diodes (LEDs) last from 20,000 to 50,000 hours, about five times longer than incandescent bulbs.
How Long Does One Bulb Last?
For comparison’s sake, let’s look at how many bulbs you’d need for 25,000 hours of light. One 60W incandescent might last 1,200 hours, meaning you’d need 21 bulbs to last 25,000 hours. One LED light bulb will use 10W, give off light comparable to a traditional 60W bulb, but will last at least 25,000 hours and maybe longer. Keep reading for a little math on how much you’d spend in purchasing one incandescent versus just one LED.
How Much Do LED Light Bulbs Cost?
The prices on LEDs continue to drop, making them an extremely affordable option. Once costing as much as $50 to $100 each, the price has dropped below $5 each — and can be found for under $2 each when purchased in bulk. An incandescent bulb costs 50 cents to $1, while a CFL costs $1 to $2. In the above scenario where you’d need 21 incandescent bulbs to equal the life of one LED, you’d spend $10 to $20 for incandescents and just $2 to $5 for an LED bulb.
Environment and Sustainability
Even with light bulbs on, it’s possible to lower your energy usage with dimmers. In addition, turning off lights when you leave a room will reduce your bills. And consider motion sensors or timers to keep exterior lights on only when needed.
Cree, a leading manufacturer of LED bulbs, backs its bulbs with a warranty. On the Cree website, select the bulb to see the warranty policy for replacement or refund within ten years of purchase.
Tips for Switching
Still, seem like too much to switch all at once? Consider changing out light bulbs in the five rooms you use the most. Typically the kitchen, bedroom, bathroom, exterior porch, and living room lights see the most use. Use the lowest wattage that will provide enough lighting. Ensure your LED light bulbs carry the EnergyStar label, indicating independent testing and certification.