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How much does your light bulb really cost?

How much does your light bulb really cost?

Written by Chris Driscoll on . Posted in , .

Before buying your next light bulb, know the true cost

Since the dawn of human history we, as a species, have been searching for the most effective and efficient way to push the darkness back.  There are a number of very interesting articles outlining the historical “cost” of lighting our habitats, houses, communes, and cities over the centuries.  Here’s a link to one:

The take-away from all the research is humanity now benefits from the lowest cost for artificial light in its short history.  It still costs us, though, and probably not in the way you think.

Breakdown of Total Cost of Operating a Light Bulb

By far the most expensive part of owning and operating artificial light today is electricity.  Up to 77% of the cost to keep the lights on is spent on the power supplied by your local utility.  It may also surprise you to learn the next most expensive part is the labor to install and change lights.  Around 11% of your cost to flip the switch is time and money spent on labor.  Here’s a breakdown of your total cost to own a lamp:

  1. Electricity for the lamp – 77%
  2. Labor – 11%
  3. Electricity for HVAC to offset heat generated – 8%
  4. Raw cost of the lamp, bulb, LED – 3%
  5. Recycling of burned out lamps – 1%

What does this all mean?  It’s better to spend more money on the highest quality and most energy efficient lamp up front.  Buying cheap usually means higher energy use, short life (higher labor costs), more heat (higher HVAC costs), and the need to spend another 3% sooner to replace an inferior product.

In 1971 our founder, Jim Driscoll, installed the first “energy saving” fluorescent lamp in the state of Wisconsin.  It was 3 times the price of the regular lamp.  However, it paid for itself in energy savings within 3 years and kept burning for another 2 years.  47 years later PKK Lighting is still helping customers save time and money by providing the best commercial lighting solutions.

When you are shopping for light bulbs for sale for your commercial light fixture and need a recommendation, contact PKK Lighting and we’ll be happy to assist you.