How Energy-Efficient Light Bulbs Compare with Traditional Incandescents

Energy-efficient light bulbs are available today and could save you about $50 per year in energy costs when you replace 15 traditional incandescent bulbs in your home.

Energy-efficient light bulbs are available today and could save you about $50 per year in energy costs when you replace 15 traditional incandescent bulbs in your home.

Compared to traditional incandescents, energy-efficient lightbulbs such as energy-saving incandescents, compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs), and light emitting diodes (LEDs) have the following advantages:

  • Typically use about 25%-80% less energy, saving you money
  • Can last 3-25 times longer.

Today’s energy-efficient bulbs are available in the wide range of colors and light levels you’ve come to expect. While the initial price of energy-efficient bulbs is typically higher than traditional incandescents, newer bulbs cost less to operate, saving you money over the life of the bulb. Many of the newer bulbs last significantly longer than traditional bulbs, so you won’t need to replace them as often.

The table below compares a 60 watt (W) traditional incandescent with energy efficient bulbs that provide similar light levels.

Comparisons between Traditional Incandescent and Energy-Efficient Lightbulbs

60W Traditional Incandescent 43W
Energy-Saving Incandescent
15W CFL 12W LED
Energy $ Saved (%) ~25% ~75% ~75-80%
Annual Energy Cost* $4.80 $3.50 $1.20 $1.00
Bulb Life 1000 hours 1000 to 3000 hours 10,000 hours 25,000 hours

*Based on 2 hrs/day of usage, an electricity rate of 11 cents per kilowatt-hour, shown in U.S. dollars.