I was at Lowes this last weekend and as I moseyed down the aisle, I noticed that they had LED light bulbs on sale. 50% off to be exact. They are currently selling a 40-watt equivalent bulb for $9.99 – on sale until May 9th.
Let me step back and say that I have avoided the CFLs as they have emerged the last few years. I really don’t like flourescent light and all the CFLs I have tried just make the room feel a bit like a warehouse. Add to that the dangerous chemicals contained within them and I have just decided to avoid them.
A bulb that lasts
Getting back to the $10 LED bulb. At first glance that could seem like a ridiculous price to pay for a light bulb. But if you consider the fact that this light bulb is rated for 25,000 hours – which is 23 years if you use it an average of 3 hours a day – this may not be a bad price. Comparing it against the cheap incandescent bulbs, you can get more rated hours from buying 20 bulbs that will last 1500 hours each for $10, but who likes to change light bulbs that often? I would prefer to change them every other decade – how about you?
This is where the LED really shines. They estimate (based on 3 hrs/day) that it will cost $0.90 each YEAR to operate this LED bulb. At the same KWH rate, a 40 watt Incandescent would cost about $4.80/yr.
If you add this up over the 23 year lifespan of the LED bulb, it looks pretty compelling. The LED bulb would cost $20.70 to operate while the incandescent bulb would cost $110.40 over the same 23 year period.
If we look at total cost…
|40 Watt Equivalent LED Bulb||16 Incandescent Bulbs|
|Purchase Cost||$9.99||approx $8.00|
|Cost to Operate (23 yrs)||$20.70||$110.40|
|Total Lifetime Cost||$30.69||approx $118.40|
In the picture below the LED light is on left and the 40 Watt Incandescent is on the right.
While the picture doesn’t really portray this very well, the LED bulb actually brightened the room slightly more than the Incandescent.
Running the numbers it looks like LED bulbs are finally starting to become a good purchase (just a couple years ago they were going for more than $100/bulb). But even if the cost savings wasn’t good enough, just not having to change the bulbs for 2 decades would be pretty nice.
If you shop for LED bulbs you will quickly realize that it is difficult to find a 40-watt equivalent LED bulb for $10, so if you are interested you might want to jump on this one from Lowes while it is still on sale.