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The Real Cost of a Light Bulb

Lighting 101

There are two costs to a consumer with every light bulb:
1. The price you pay for the bulb at the store
2. The price you pay for its use (electric bill)


Over the life of a bulb, the cost of energy for its use can be many times greater than its original price. Often LEDs and other energy efficient bulbs are more expensive upfront, but end up paying for themselves over the long run.

Energy Use

A light bulb’s wattage tells us how much energy the bulb uses, but more energy efficient light bulb like LEDs and other low energy bulbs list their ‘wattage equivalent.’ This wattage equivalent tells you how bright the bulb is compared to an incandescent of the same wattage. So, a 60-watt equivalent LED light bulb may only use 10 watts and be much more energy efficient than a 60-watt incandescent.

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