Cheap Light Vs Convenient Light: Finding A Balance Between Bulbs

It can be hard to let go of an old and reliable technology that's been around most of your life. When it's time to start replacing burnt out light bulbs next it might be in your best interest to overcome that hesitance and pick up a different type of bulb. As comfortable as you might be with buying cheaper incandescent bulbs there's some solid math that favors an alternative choice.

Cost Per Bulb

Many of the arguments in favor of incandescent bulbs boil down to the price of each bulb, and this might seem like a solid bit of logic on its face. Each individual bulb averages around $1.25, which is downright affordable, but that's only half the story. Comparing total cost of each bulb over the course of its life shows another story, one in which an incandescent bulb requires more than 4 times the electrical power needed by a comparable compact fluorescent light bulb (CFL).

In the end, using the cost of each individual bulb to decide on which type to buy presents a false choice. You might pay more for a dozen CFL bulbs, but each one will use a quarter of the power and last nearly ten times longer, meaning fewer replacements. While the actual cost to operate a light depends on the price you pay for electricity, you'd still need at least eight incandescent bulbs to equal the life span of one CFL.

Energy Savings

Depending on how often and how long you use an individual light source your savings per bulb will vary. The US Department of Energy suggests that each 100 watt bulb replaced with a CFL will save about $6 per year, assuming it's used just 2 hours a day at 11 cents per kilowatt hour, but higher energy costs and longer use periods will drive that up. Of course, lighting only makes up about 10% of the average home's energy cost, so individual assessment is important.

While even modern incandescent bulbs are intended to be more energy efficient they're still far more power hungry than CFL or LED bulbs. It might seem like a needless expense, but take a look at your most recent electric bill. If just ten percent of that accounts for your total lighting cost then it starts to make sense that you ought to pay less each month for the privilege.

Most homeowners pay only passing attention to the cost of turning on a lamp, but when put in terms of a single bulb's lifetime cost it seems silly to pay more for the same function. As comfortable as you might be with incandescent bulbs it makes more sense to replace them than to keep using them out of habit.

For more information, talk to a company like Pacific Lamp Wholesale Inc.