With the phase-out of traditional incandescent bulbs, the focus is shifting to compact fluorescents and LEDs.
CFLs have been around for a few years, and they're getting pretty cheap. But they have their drawbacks, including warm-up time, proper disposal and not being dimmable.
LEDs have technology and innovation on their side. I'm convinced that LED bulbs are going to be next big thing in consumer lighting.
Here's the cost breakdown for one 60-watt bulb:
With three hours of use per day, Cree 800-lumen LED bulbs ($10 from Home Depot) should last more than 22 years, and cost only $1.14 per year to operate.
Doing the math, one LED bulb will cost about $35 to buy and operate for 22 years.
Compare that with a 60-watt incandescent bulb ($2.60 from Amazon) that costs $7.23 per year to keep lit. It has a lifespan of just under 11 months.
Doing the math for electricity plus the cost of replacing 24 bulbs, using an incandescent in the same lamp will cost $221 over those same 22 years.
That's a $186 savings per bulb.
How many bulbs do you have in your house?
I can count 30 bulbs in my house, and that doesn't include flood lights outside. I bet most of you have at least that many bulbs.
Dropping $300 or more on LED bulbs isn't high up on anyone's list of fun things to do, but the quicker you start changing out your bulbs, the faster your savings will begin.