Lighting (Part 7 Home Energy)

Incandescent, CFL’s, or LED’s are the predominant lighting choices available to most homeowners. Below are the pros and cons of the three choices.


Incandescent bulbs- Dim well, they are cheap, and most people like the quality of the light. However, they are not efficient, as they emit waste heat, and they do not last long.


Compact Fluorescent- Are affordable, and efficient, they use 20% of the electricity of an incandescent. However they have mercury inside them which is toxic if broken. Also, some people do not like the quality of the light, and they do not dim well, even those labeled as dimmable.


LED- Are extremely long-lasting, using only 1/3 the electricity of a CFL, but they are very expensive. Some people feel the light is too dim. I personally prefer LED's.

LED Bulbs

If you want to determine the energy savings you can obtain by replacing a bulb in your home, it is a fairly simple equation. For example if you had a 90 watt incandescent light bulb that you used approximately 12 hours per day as a dusk to dawn fixture, and you wanted to find out how much electricity you would save by switching to a CFL, here is the formula.


Incandescent- 90 Watts x 12hrs per day x 365 days per year= 394,200 Watts / 1000= 394.2 KWH

CFL replace- 23 Watts x 12hrs per day x 365 days per year= 100,740 Watts/ 1000= 100.7 KWH

Energy saving= 293.5 KWH per year

Electricity @ .15 per KWH = $44.03 saving per year minus the cost of the bulb


ROI CFL’s- AVG 96%

(Depending on how many hours per day the light is used)

ROI LED’s- AVG 16%

(Depending on how many hours per day the light is used)

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