💡 3 prices of a light bulb

Every energy using device we have has 3 price tags: first cost, cost to operate and time to replacement.

Why it matters: We have been conditioned to focus on first cost without thinking enough about total cost.

🖼️ The big picture: On a 6 bulb chandelier, total cost for incandescent bulbs is 7x higher than LEDs.

  • $331.50 for incandescent vs. $46.98 for LED 😱

🧮 By the numbers: Start with the first cost.

  • The incandescent bulb is $2.05/bulb.
  • The LED bulb is $3.33.

👉 First cost for incandescent is cheaper, BUT … the LED uses 90% LESS electricity (cost to operate)

  • And lasts 5x as long! (time to replacement)

If you want see the math, scroll down.

✅ For your Smart Homeowner list

  • Start focusing on total cost for your energy using items.
  • Find the watt rating for the device and multiply that times the number of hours of use for a year. Divide that number by 1000 to get your annual kWhs.
  • The kWhs x your electricity rate = annual cost. (Ex. 300kWh x 12 cents = $36/year)



P.S. For the numbers lovers … here are my calculations:

25W Equivalent LED Chandelier Bulbs

2.5 Watt

15,000 hours

200 Lumens


37.5 kWh over its lifetime ($4.50)

Bulb + electricity = $7.83

6 bulb chandelier = $46.98

25W Incandescent Chandelier Bulbs

25 Watt

3000 hours

150 Lumens (only 75% of the LED’s brightness)


75 kWh over its lifetime ($9)

Bulb + electricity = $11.05

5 incandescent bulbs in the time of 1 LED = $55.25

6 bulb chandelier = $331.50

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