Light Bulb Buying Guide

Lighting accounts for about 10 percent of the total energy use in the average American home and on average  cost $100—$150 per year in electricity.

Incandescent: Incandescent bulbs are the most common and popular bulbs used by consumers. Mostly because of how inexpensive  they are and the warm complementary light it produces.

How it Works: An electric light which produces light with a filament wire heated to a high temperature by an electric current passing through it, until it glows.

Cost: Around 50 cents

Fun Facts: They last between 700 to 1,000 hours.

Traditional incandescent bulbs lose around 90% of their energy as heat rather than light.


CFL: Compact Fluorescent lightCFLs need a just a little bit more energy when they are first turned on, but once the electricity starts moving, use about 75% less energy than incandescent bulbs.

How it Works: In a CFL, an electric current is driven through a tube containing argon and a small amount of mercury vapor. This generates invisible ultraviolet light that excites a fluorescent coating  on the inside of the tube, which then emits visible light

Cost: Around $3.50

Fun Facts: They last on average 8000 Hours.

You can maximize the lifetime savings and effectiveness of your CFLs by keeping them on for 15 minutes or more at a time.


LED: Light-Emitting Diode or LEDs emit light in a specific direction, where a an incandescent or fluorescent bulb emits light and heat in all directions.

How it Works: LEDs are small light sources that become illuminated by the movement of electrons through a semiconductor material.

Cost: Around $13

Fun Facts: Last around 2500 hours

LED lighting, when designed well, can be more efficient, durable, versatile and longer lasting than incandescent and fluorescent lighting.


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