The dollar cost of using Edison Light bulbs

The dollar cost of using Edison Light bulbs has largely been smothered by all the talk of efficiencies and greenhouse emissions. Hysteria seems to abound when it comes to the humble light globe. What we need to focus on is just how much one of these old style bulbs will cost to run. According to “Lighting is responsible for 10% of the average family’s electricity bills but in some homes this can be much higher. You could be wasting hundreds of dollars a year just lighting your home.” Wow 10%, so changing one  40Watt globe for an 11Watt globe will save about two fifths of FA.

Given that most people have some form of existing lighting, a better way to look at this problem is by cost comparison.

According to Your Home, a Victorian Government run website there is no such thing as a 40W incandescent bulb. Comparisons are based on an old 75Watt standard bulb. So we have added the 40 W and 60 W variety. We are also thinking about introducing a 15 Watt Edison Vintage globe very soon and this would be even more interesting.

Whilst efficiency plays a big role overall in terms of total energy use, it is not always the defining solution. In terms that people can understand we will attempt to lay the facts out as we see them.

By and large energy use is what makes carbon dioxide, if you use more electricity,  more greenhouse gas is created and released into the atmosphere. So the most interesting figure is how much energy is used per bulb. In essence how much does it cost by comparison with other lighting. We don’t need to worry about how bright a bulb is unless we have to add more light. Do we need more light or just better light? For that matter how much does it cost to run that beer fridge in the garage?

Now we are not suggesting you replace all your high efficiency lighting with old fashioned tungsten bulbs. In fact LED lighting looks to be the best bet for overall efficiency albeit at a high initial cost. What we suggest is that you think about the actual cost of eating a meal under a warm bare bulb for an hour each night or sit watching TV with just one lamp on. Use light efficiently, turn off main room lighting when it is not needed. Where you might like a candle lit dinner, try a bare Edison bulb. In our main office we have 10 X 10 Watt LED downlights and whilst they are not pretty, they are on all day and so high efficiency is the aim.

(Update 2016)Now that we have a range of decorative warm filament LED’s it is feasible to do away with vintage filament altogether. There are problems associated with auatomated control systems and low output in smaller bulbs, but by and large they provide a reasonable solution. They do cost around 3 times that of a vintage equivalent but the good news is that they are designed to last 10 times longer. The true value of these LED’s is there overall cost of use. The replacement cost of blown bulbs over time should now be far less. Along with this saving they use way less energy and also produce less heat, making a saving for some in air-conditioning cost.

So in conclusion there seems to be far worse energy consumption problems than the odd light bulb. Just a hint, get rid of that beer fridge in the garage and buy your Crown Lager six at a time from the bottle shop…

Light Globe Power Consumption

Per Year 1 x 15 W
1 x 40 W
Edison Tungsten incandescent
1 x 60 W
Edison Tungsten incandescent
1 x 75 W
5 x 11 W
CFL Downlights
4 x 35 W
IRC halogen Downlights
4 x 50 W
halogen Downlights
4 x 9 W
LED Downlights
1X Old Beer Fridge
Lifetime hours10,0003,000-6,0003,000-6,0001,000 15,000 5 ,0002 ,500up to 70,00010 Years
Purchase cost $10$15-$25$15-$85$1$100$60$40$143Not Much
Running cost Per Year $3.30$8.80$12.20$16.40$12.00$35.00$56.09$7.92$200
gas emissions over 10 Years
219 kg584 kg876 kg1,095 kg803 kg 2 ,336 kg3 ,796 kg525 kg13,000 kg
Color SpectrumIncomplete SpectrumContinuous 2000 KContinuous 2000 KContinuous 2400 KIncomplete SpectrumIncomplete SpectrumContinuous 3400 KIncomplete SpectrumAmber

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