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Saving Money with Lower Wattage Energy Saving Light Bulbs

Saving Money with Lower Wattage, Energy Saving Light Bulbs 

Saving money with lower wattage light bulbs….what does that really mean?  Lots of folks out there throw out all kinds of numbers stating that you can save money by purchasing lower wattage and more efficient light bulbs but don’t really explain themselves.  I will outline three factors to consider when you are looking to save money with your light bulb purchases.

Energy Savings:
The most common types of light bulbs available are incandescent, halogen and compact fluorescent light bulbs.  Halogen is more efficient than incandescent and compact fluorescent light bulbs are more efficient than both.  What does this mean?  I’m referring to wattages and average rated life of the light bulbs.  A 65 watt incandescent light bulb is equivalent to a 50 watt halogen light bulb or a 16 watt compact fluorescent light bulb.  In our example laid out, the incandescent light bulb has an average rated life of 2000 hours, the halogen 3000 and the compact fluorescent light bulb lasts 7000 hours.  Because of the life of the bulbs and the lower wattage, a halogen has a lower energy cost of approximately $7.30 per bulb over incandescent and a compact fluorescent light bulb has a lower energy cost per bulb of approximately $55.67 over incandescent light bulbs.  This is just the energy savings you will have on your electric bill.  And that’s per bulb over the life of the bulb!  See how for yourself.   

Cost of Light Bulbs:
To be thorough we need to factor in the cost of the light bulbs.  Higher efficient light bulbs do have a higher cost per bulb but when you look at the average rated life of each, the difference isn’t as much as you think.  Again, using our same examples above, if an individual 65 watt incandescent flood light bulb (used for recessed or track lighting) has a price tag of $2.69, a halogen has a price of $7.30 and a compact fluorescent light bulb has a price of $13.43.  But you can’t just look at straight up costs, you must look at the average rated life of each of them.  If you consider this, let’s look at what the cost of the light bulbs would be if we want one to last 7000 hours.  Three and a half incandescent light bulbs would cost $9.42, two and a third halogen light bulbs would be $16.79 against one compact fluorescent that would only cost $13.43.  Therefore, the bulb cost of a compact fluorescent doesn’t seem to be out of line, does it?

Time and Labor:
The last factor to consider is labor and transportation costs.  With incandescents you’ll have to go to the store and purchase 1 ½ more times than a halogen and 3 ½ more times than a compact fluorescent light bulb.  This equates to your time and fuel and then don’t forget the time to physically replace them all especially if they are in hard to reach areas.  You may be doing this yourself at home but in an office, warehouse or retail space you are paying for someone else to install them.  This presents an additional cost to you!   

When you look at your options rationally, it’s hard not to see that buying compact fluorescent light bulbs is truly the best way to save.  Look for higher efficient light bulbs that have lower wattages and a longer average rated life.  I’m happy to save money, how about you?

-written by Holly H. Eddins

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