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Guide to Energy-Efficient Light Bulbs

By NOPEC on November 1, 2021

When you have the right lighting, it doesn’t just affect the look and feel of a room, it affects your wallet too. By replacing just five lights in your home with energy-efficient LED light fixtures, you can save up to $75 each year. That price isn’t even taking into consideration that your new LED bulbs will last 25 times longer than traditional incandescent lighting.

With so many new emerging technologies and lighting options coming out, it can be hard to narrow down which light bulb is right for you and your space. When you take the time to learn the advantages and disadvantages of various lighting products like LEDs and incandescent bulbs, you can start making educated decisions that will save you money.

What makes a bulb energy efficient? What are kilowatt hours? How long do LED lights last? We answer all of these questions and more in our guide to understanding energy-efficient lighting.

What makes a light bulb energy efficient?

To find out the energy consumption of a bulb, you will need to know its cost per kilowatt hour (KWh). KWh is the unit of measurement a utility company uses to determine energy usage. To find a light bulb’s KWh, multiply the power rating (watts) by the amount of time (hours) you use the light and divide by 1000.

Suppose a 100-watt incandescent bulb was left on for a full year. That light would use 876 kWh of energy. That amount of energy would cost around $131.40 in electricity costs. Over the same amount of time, a 16-watt LED light would emit the same amount of light, but it would only use 140 kWh of energy. This would cost right around $21 for the year, which equates to over $100 in utility bill savings.

LED bulbs utilize advanced energy-efficient technology to produce the same amount of light as incandescent bulbs but use about 25%-80% less energy to do so. When you also factor in that a LED light typically lasts 25,000 hours compared to a standard incandescent light which only lasts 1,000 hours, it becomes more obvious which option is more efficient and economical.

How do LED Lights Work?

When compared to a traditional incandescent light bulb, LEDs are more efficient, versatile, and last longer. Not many people are able to explain how LED lights work though, or what it is that make them more efficient.

LED, which stands for light emitting diode, works by passing an electrical current through a microchip. The microchip illuminates tiny light sources—the light emitting diodes—and this results in visible light. Incandescent bulbs, on the other hand, use heat to produce the same effect.

For an incandescent bulb to create light, it must heat a metal filament until it becomes “white” hot or glowing. This method, though functional, uses significantly more energy than the LED method. In fact, only 5% of the energy used by these bulbs goes to light production. The rest of the energy used by incandescent lights goes to the production of heat. LED lights produce little to no heat, resulting in considerably less energy waste.

How to switch to LED Lights

At about $5 per bulb, an LED light costs quite a bit more than a standard incandescent light. When you factor in energy savings though, switching over to LED lights is well worth the initial price tag.

By replacing just one old bulb with an energy-efficient LED light, you will reduce the amount of energy used by that bulb by 70 to 90%. That reduction in energy use equates to $30 to $80 in utility bills over the course of that bulb’s lifespan.

If you are ready to make the switch to LED bulbs, check out Energy Star. You can search their database to find the right product for you. You can also check out NOPEC’s Light Bulb Buying Guide, where we break down everything you need to know to make the switch to more energy-efficient lighting.


NOPEC Light Bulb Buying Guide 

Tags: Energy Efficiency, Lighting, Energy Tips
Categories: Energy Efficiency

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