Whether lighting for a home or business, the cost of lighting is always a factor. Here are a few things to know about the cost of different lighting types.
What contributes to the cost?
When most people think of the cost, they are referring to the price of the lamp or fixture when they buy it at the store. While that is an important aspect of cost, the matter of how well the lamp or fixture performs during the life of the product is even more important because it isn’t a one-time fee. The matter of cost in terms of energy consumed to achieve the level of performance promised by the solution is the true cost of lighting you need to consider.
Factors of Cost
When looking at the cost of different lighting types, you need to consider a few factors.
Wattage: The wattage is how much energy is being consumed during operation to create the illumination. Wattages will vary between different light sources, but the goal is to find one that is lower rather than higher proved it gives the lumen output you required for the space. For example, a bulb using 60 watts while offering a lower lumen output is the very definition inefficient. The goal is always to find the lowest wattage because it will mean less energy and therefore lower costs to the consumer.
Lumen output: This factor is important to the cost of lighting because it is essentially how much illumination you get for the wattages of energy being consumed. You should never assume that the higher the wattage the higher the lumen output. While it may be true in some cases, it is also a sign of inefficiency in converted energy to lumens. It is important to note that most lamps are capable of creating the same lumen output and the only difference between the type is how many watts are needed to achieve that same result. For example, a compact fluorescent and LED are both capable of creating 2800 lumens, but the LED will do it with lower wattage.
Average rated life: The average rated life is the timeframe you can expect a lighting solution to perform at full capacity before being diminished to 70% or less of its original capacity. This is important to consider in the costs because if you choose an option with a shorter average rated life you will end up replacing lamps more frequently which adds up over time.
Are certain lights better than others for cost-effectiveness?
You can think of lighting cost-effectiveness as a hierarchy. The least effective lights in terms of cost will occur the bottom of the hierarchy.
- Offers the best return on cost.
- Average Watts: 5-8W
- Average Rated Life: 50,000 hours
Compact Fluorescent (Good)
- Offers a less ideal return on cost than LED but is still more cost-effective than incandescent.
- Average Watts: 13-15W
- Average Rated Life: 8,000 hours
- Offers the least ideal return on cost over LED and compact fluorescent. It is mostly chosen for its attractive warmth.
- Average Watts: 60W
- Average Rated Life: 1,200 hours