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LED Light Bulb Cost Savings Over Incandescent

January 24, 2017, by Ken Jorgustin

LED lights / LED light bulbs will save you a significant amount of money on your electric bill because they use just a fraction of the energy compared to traditional / regular old ‘incandescent’ light bulbs.

More and more people are switching out their old light bulbs with LED lights as the prices have come way down. If you would like to know the electricity cost comparison between LED bulbs and regular bulbs, read on…


The Most Common Regular Old Light Bulb

The most common wattage incandescent light bulb (the ‘tungsten’ filament variety) is 60 watts.
Apart from the young ‘LED generation’, us ‘old timers’ have a pretty good idea how much light is put out by a 60 watt light bulb. But we need to understand a new term, ‘lumens’.


LED bulbs rated in Lumens rather than Watts

Today’s LED light bulbs are rated in Lumens (rather than watts) because lumens actually quantify the brightness of the bulb (whereas ‘watts’ just represents the energy consumption – not the light output).

For example, the amount of light (brightness) that’s equivalent to the old 60 watt light bulb is 800 lumens. So when looking for a LED bulb to replace your old 60 watt bulb, look for 800 lumens on the package.


Lumens versus Watts Light Bulb Comparison

According to as well as common practices out there with bulb manufacturers, here are the following equivalents:

Replace a 25 watt incandescent bulb with a 250 lumen LED bulb.
Replace a 40 watt incandescent bulb with a 450 lumen LED bulb.
Replace a 60 watt incandescent bulb with a 800 lumen LED bulb.
Replace a 75 watt incandescent bulb with a 1100 lumen LED bulb.
Replace a 100 watt incandescent bulb with a 1600 lumen LED bulb.

Note: By far, the least expensive LED bulb is the 800 lumen because of its popularity and subsequent mass production cost benefits.

Note: To get a similar light appearance to that of an incandescent bulb (warm ‘color’), look for the following number on the LED bulb package: ‘2700 K’.

Note: Some LED bulbs are dimmable (noted on the label) while others are not, so check your needs.


Electricity Cost Savings Of LED Light Bulbs

Note: For the sake of cost comparison I am going to use a cost of 20-cents per kilowatt hour, which is probably fairly realistic if you include all of the ‘fees’ that are added with your typical electric usage on your bill.

The energy consumption of LED light bulbs is remarkably less than incandescent bulbs. For example, a 60 watt incandescent light bulb consumes 60 watts of energy. The equivalent 800 lumen LED bulb will only consume about 8 watts! That’s just 13 percent, or a 87 percent energy savings! Wow…that’s a lot of saved money on your electric utility bill, especially if you convert your whole house.

The number of light bulbs that are typically turned on in a home will vary widely depending on the size of home, the number of people living at home, and simply how many lights that are typically on during the evening, early morning, or even all night long (outdoor lights, etc..). This makes it difficult to come up with ‘a number’ for cost savings, however we can throw out a few examples:

If a home has ten 60 watt bulbs on for 6 hours a day, it will cost ~ 21 dollars a month.
If that same home converts to LED bulbs, the monthly electricity cost will reduce to about 3 dollars, a savings of 18 dollars a month, or 216 dollars a year.

60 (watts) x 6 (hours) x 10 (bulbs) / 1000 (kwh) x 0.2 (cost per kwh) x 30 (days) = $21.60

8 (watts) x 6 (hours) x 10 (bulbs) / 1000 (kwh) x 0.2 (cost per kwh) x 30 (days) = $2.88

$21.60 – $2.88 = $18.72 (savings per month)

It is likely quite common for a typical home to have turned on, on average, more than 10 light bulbs during the evening or night (or early morning). So as you can see, the cost savings potential is quite high if you convert to LED light bulbs.

Note: If you are considering a solar power alternative energy source for your home, converting to LED bulbs is almost ‘a must’. I finished converting my home with all LED bulbs last year, and it has made a very big difference in energy consumption.

Note: If you have been the type to conservatively keep most of your lights off during the evening, you will not feel so ‘guilty’ keeping more lights turned on after you convert to LED bulbs – given the incredible energy ratio of about 9 LED bulbs to 1 regular old light bulb…

Tip: For ‘EMP’ preparedness, keep some of your old incandescent bulbs, just in case…

The least expensive LED bulbs that I have found (so far),
Philips 60 Watt Equivalent LED Light Bulb (non-dimmable)

The best dimmable LED bulbs that will not ‘buzz’,
Cree 60 Watt Equivalent LED Light Bulb (dimmable)

LED bulb designed for enclosed fixtures (where heat builds up),
Cree 60W Equivalent LED Light Bulb, 4Flow Filament Design (dimmable)

Replace your night light bulbs with LED,
Night Light LED Bulb 0.5 Watt (5W Equivalent)

Related Article:
The Best LED Flood Light For Outdoor Motion Light