If you’re in to technology at all, you’ve probably heard of “LED” light bulbs. You may have heard claims such as “they’re brighter.. they last way longer.. they use way less power..” While these are all true, LED bulbs are expensive. Do they live up to the hype?
LEDs Are Expensive
I’ll admit it, LEDs are still very expensive. If you search “LED light bulb” on Amazon, you are guaranteed to choke. Just 4 Philips LED bulbs will run you around $35. That’s insane, considering you can get a 24 pack of incandescent bulbs for just under $30. With that being said, I decided to take a risk and try some “budget” LEDs. I found a listing that offered 6 LEDs for just under $20, and they had good reviews too! I couldn’t resist, I hit the order button. Upon arrival, I popped them in to my ceiling fan’s light sockets, and I have to say, I’m impressed. These are bright, and the color temperature is exactly what I was looking for. They run pretty cool too, compared to incandescent bulbs.
But $20 For 6 Bulbs Is Still Expensive
While the average incandescent bulb is around $1.20, my budget bulbs I found are around $3.33. It’s over double the price! The benefit? These bulbs last way longer, and are more energy efficient. According to the packaging on these bulbs, they have an estimated energy cost of $1.08 per year (and last 18.3 years based on 3 hours per day, and a $0.11 kWh energy cost). $1.08 times 18.3 years means these bulbs will cost approximately $19.76 per bulb to run for 20,000 hours. Tack on the cost of the bulb itself, and that’s a cost of $23.09 per 20,000 hour bulb. Let’s go over to the incandescent bulb. These have an estimated energy cost per year of $7.23, or $6.60 for the bulb’s 1,000 hour lifespan (they last 0.91 years based on 3 hours per day, and a $0.11 kWh energy cost). In order for us to get the same 20,000 hours out of our bulb, we must assume that we need 20 of these bulbs, thus $1.20 times 20 is $24, plus $6.60 times 20 is $132, for a grand total cost of $156 per 20,000 hour (of) bulb(s). Wow! So am I really saying that the LED bulb costs $23.09 total, and to get the same type of performance out of an incandescent bulb, it would be $156?? Yes. Yes I am. If you think about it, LED bulbs use roughly 1/6th of the power that an incandescent bulb uses. If you take $19.76 and multiply it by 6, that comes out to $118 for the cost of energy, Add in the $24 bulb cost, and you’re at $142. With that being said, you can see that the estimates are pretty accurate. Of course, these are just
estimated costs, so actual results may vary. Based on these results, LED bulbs are absolutely worth the price.
But Wait, There’s More!
Not sold on LED lights yet? There’s one more significant use for them: installing them in those hard to reach places. If you have a 2-story (or even 1-story for that matter) house with flood lights on the exterior, you probably have had to change them at least once. It’s not fun, especially for a 2 story house. You gotta bust out the ladder and climb up to the top of your house — not a fun task! By installing an LED light, you could go roughly 20 times longer before having to replace the light again!
So in conclusion, despite their up front cost, LED bulbs just make sense. Many people ignore these bulbs, saying “they can’t really live up to the hype.” I was one of those people for a long time, but I finally started transitioning to LED bulbs, and I have to say, they really are worth it. The best thing you can do is try a few. I wouldn’t recommend going crazy to replace all of your incandescent bulbs right now, but next time a bulb goes out, try popping in an LED! You might be surprised at the benefits!