Consumer Technology cfl eld incandescent

Published on May 25th, 2012 | by Zachary Shahan


Cost of Lighting Infographic (Guess Who Wins)

May 25th, 2012 by  

Sister site sustainablog shared what looks like a great little “True Cost of Lighting” infographic yesterday. I would have done a few things a little differently if I created it, but I still think it’s worth a big share, so here’s a repost from sustainablog:

What’s the Real Cost of Your Lighting Choices? [Infographic] (via sustainablog)

Gotten into an argument about lighting recently? Since the passage of the 2007 energy bill, it’s become an increasingly ideological issue: that law set efficiency standards which current 100 watt incandescent bulbs couldn’t meet. There phase-out has been put on hold by Congress, but it’s coming…

–> Also recommended for you: Energy-efficient Lighting Market in Europe to 2020 – LEDs Emerge as Key Growth Sector due to Price Discounting and Phosphor Shortages Restricting CFL Production

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About the Author

is tryin' to help society help itself (and other species) one letter at a time. He spends most of his time here on CleanTechnica as its director and chief editor. Otherwise, he's probably enthusiastically fulfilling his duties as the director/editor of EV Obsession, Gas2, Solar Love, Planetsave, or Bikocity; or as president of Important Media. Zach is recognized globally as a solar energy, electric car, energy storage, and wind energy expert. If you would like him to speak at a related conference or event, connect with him via social media:, .

  • Dcard88

    Just checked HD price. 75w Incan – $1.25, 16w CFL – $2, 13w LED $25
    all are ~ 800 lumens.
    LED last 25K hours, CFL last 6K hours, Incan last .75K hours.

    at 5 hours per day, CFL pays for itself in 10 months, LED in 8 years —-

    NOT COUNTING electricity usage savings !!!!!

    In CA we pay around 20 cents / kW (or more) which suggest $.20 per day and/or $70 per year for the incandescent elec hog.

    Any argument against replacing incandescent bulbs is ludicrous.

  • Vince

    That diagram is a joke. Its a nice advertisement to sell expensive bulbs. At $22 I would spend over $625 to put these in my ceiling cans. If I spend $6 on a CFL, I would spend $120. Now say I had to replace the CLF 3 times over the next 30 years. At $8 in energy savings using the LEDs, it would take me 33 YEARS TO BREAK EVEN ON COST against the CFL.

    I work in an industry (hi-tech) where companies don’t buy new technology unless it returns on its investment in 3 years or less, and many want to see it breakeven in 12 months. If the rest of the country ran by the metrics in the diagram, commerce would slow to a crawl.

    • Bob_Wallace

      I wouldn’t suggest you put CFLs in ceiling cans. The trapped heat seems to significantly shorten their life.

      Aside from that, I sort of agree. LEDs still priced significantly higher than CFLs. If you’re picking a bulb for a place where it will be allowed to “breath” you’re ahead, financially, with CFLs. I’m sticking with CFSs for now. When I can purchase a LED for a lot better price I’ll start to shift.

      As for the diagram. The joke is on you. There’s enough information to allow one to pick between incandescents, CFLs, and LEDs.

  • Jim

    There seems to be this myth of ultra expensive LED. I picked up a full set of warm white LEDs from Loewe’s for about $11 a bulb. That was about 9 months ago, and they’re still running and the price has since dropped to about $8.

    Phillips’ $50 bulb is not the only LED on the market.

  • jb

    Philips is spelled with 1 L

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