Light bulbs might seem relatively basic, but there has actually been a lot of innovation in the field lately. When it’s time to replace your light bulbs, you’ll have many types of bulbs to choose from now. Classic incandescent bulbs remain a favorite, but new LED bulbs are becoming increasingly popular. To figure out which option is right for your home, you need to consider several factors.

Cost

Of course, cost is one of the main deciding factors for many homeowners. There are a lot of things that affect light bulb cost, including size and number of bulbs per package. In general, though, incandescent bulbs are almost always cheaper than LED bulbs. The average incandescent bulb costs around a dollar. Meanwhile, a comparable LED bulb is about $8 on average.

This might seem like incandescent bulbs are far cheaper. However, it is also important to consider the bulb’s cost over its entire lifespan. Incandescent bulbs need to be changed more often and require more energy to run. When you take these extra costs into account, the price of incandescent bulbs goes way up. Over a 23-year period of average use, it would cost $200 to use an incandescent bulb in a 60-watt fixture. Meanwhile, it only takes $38 to keep the same fixture running with an LED bulb.

Ultimately, if you are interested in saving money, LED bulbs are definitely the way to go. As long as you have the budget for a slightly higher upfront cost, you end up saving a lot of money over the years. It usually takes around $300 to replace all the bulbs in your house with LEDs. However, you do not have to do it all at once if you do not have the funds. Just switching to LED bulbs as your incandescent bulbs burn out will eventually result in impressive savings.

Energy Usage

As you can see, one of the big reasons LEDs end up being so affordable is due to their energy usage. An LED bulb uses about 75% less energy than an incandescent bulb of a similar brightness. When you compare two bulbs of the same brightness, an incandescent bulb requires 60 watts while the LED just needs 10. Over 25,000 hours, an LED uses just 212 kWh of electricity. During the same timespan, an incandescent bulb would use a whopping 1500 kWh.

To understand the difference in energy usage, you need to take a look at the way the bulbs work. Incandescent bulbs work by sending an electrical current through a filament until it glows. Meanwhile, LED bulbs use a light-emitting diode to produce light. This is essentially a small semiconductor that automatically glows when electricity is applied. It needs far less energy to run while still being extremely bright.

The reduced energy usage of LED bulbs is a big draw for homeowners. Each year, you can save about $100 on your electric bill. In addition to saving money, the reduced energy usage is eco-friendly. LED bulbs require less power to be processed, so they are more sustainable. If you want your home to be as environmentally friendly as possible, LED bulbs are definitely the way to go.

Appearance

If you are planning on placing the bulbs in a visible location, appearance might be a deciding factor as well. Incandescent bulb appearances are fairly standard. LED bulbs come in all sorts of shapes and sizes. Manufacturers do make options in the traditional light bulb shape if you prefer something traditional. However, you can also find some more unusual designs. If you want a very discreet bulb, extremely small LEDs may be a great choice. This versatile light source can also be designed to mimic the look of Edison bulbs and other vintage styles.

There are also some differences in the appearance of the light itself. Incandescent bulbs do a great job of providing crisp, clear white light that tends to reflect beautifully off of skin. LED bulbs have a reputation for providing an overly blue light that makes people look sickly. However, the reality is that there are all sorts of colors of LED available. Some are bluer than incandescent bulbs, but there are also ones with pink, yellow, orange, and other warm tints. If you care about the appearance of your light, just read the product description carefully before buying a bulb and select one with your preferred color.

The final component in a light bulb’s appearance is the direction of the light. Any incandescent bulb disperses light evenly, making sure the entire space around it gets the same amount of light. LED bulbs are a little different because the light-emitting diodes inside emit light in a flat 180-degree range. This means that a basic LED bulb will just focus light in a specific direction. This is helpful for a task lamp but it can look a little odd in a chandelier or other ceiling fixture. However, the majority of modern LED bulbs are made with diodes in multiple spots. This helps even out the lighting and provides an omnidirectional look similar to incandescent bulbs.

Lifespan

A light bulb’s lifespan could vary a little depending on how often you turn it on and what type of bulb it is. However, LED bulbs are always longer lasting than incandescent bulbs. The average lifespan of a basic incandescent bulb is 1,200 hours of use. An LED’s lifespan is a lot longer, with the typical bulb lasting about 25,000 hours. This would be almost three years of continuous use, but of course, most fixtures are not left on nonstop. With typical use, an LED bulb only needs to be changed every 10 to 20 years. LED bulbs last longer because they keep working until the diodes inside break down. Meanwhile, incandescent bulbs use a filament that burns out fairly quickly.

There are several perks of this lengthier lifespan. First of all, you are not having to pay for replacements all the time. Since bulbs rarely burn out, you can end up never needing to replace bulbs the entire time you live in your home. It also saves on a lot of hassle. You do not have to constantly make trips to the hardware store and stock up on light bulbs. LED bulbs are especially good for hard-to-reach fixtures since you are not constantly having to lug around ladders to change the bulbs. All this added convenience is another perk of using LED bulbs in your home.

Have any other questions about the best light bulbs for your home? Christian Brothers Air Conditioning, Plumbing & Electrical is here to help. Our team of highly trained electricians can help you get your ideal light fixtures. We also assist Phoenix residents with other sorts of installations, repairs, and maintenance. The technicians on our team are trained to work on a variety of plumbing, electric, heating, and cooling systems. To schedule your next appointment with us, call us now.