What's the Real Cost of Your Lighting Choices? [Infographic]

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: if not by government regulation, than by the industry itself moving towards more efficient lighting technologies.

But what are the real differences between incandescents, CFLs, and LEDs? Are the latter two really cheaper in the long run? Lamps.com just released an infographic that provides all of the facts you’ll need to compare the full costs of your lighting choices. Take a look at it below (or go here for a larger version):

True Cost of Lighting – An infographic by the team at Lamps.com – top providers of LED Lights


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  1. There’s something strange with this infographic. It appears there has been a mix up between the Enduraled bulb line by Philips and the L prize winner. They are different bulbs with different efficiencies and prices. The L prize bulb currently costs around $50 at the cheapest. The bulb displayed here looks like the regular enduraled which is nowhere near as efficient, and much cheaper at $22 — which is what the infographic displays here. I could be wrong. Maybe I’m reading the chart incorrectly.

    • Cameron
      Thanks for pointing out the wrong bulb displayed, we corrected the info-graphic. As far as the bulbs price, it is based on L prize winner criteria. In order to qualify for the competition, the bulb must be sold for $22 or less in its first year on the market. I believe current market demand has it priced higher, but from our research the bulb will be priced more efficiently in the long term.

      • Hi Chris,

        Could you give me a link to the requirement that states that the bulb must be sold for $22 or less in its first year? I am only able to find technical requirements on the L-prize page. I find numerous mentions of the expectation of it being subsidized down to $22, but no mentions of it happening, or anyone stating that it will happen. The only somewhat official mention of the $22 price occurs in the pdf of the competition requirements linked in the huffpo article @


        However, just after the table which does give the $22 figure, it sadly states that
        “The target prices above are provided as a rough guide only. Manufacturers are strongly encouraged to offer products at prices that will prove cost effective and attractive to buyers, and therefore more successful in the market” (pg 8). It is not a firm requirement, and I have not been able to find a utility or government entity who will incentivize the bulb down to that price as the competition had hoped.

        The only reason I am nit picky about this is that I desperately wish the bulb were cheaper. However, even at the price point of $50, i still plan on buying several of these bulbs. I cannot, however, do as I planned and give them out as gifts. If you can find me some information stating when the price of the bulb will drop (either required by competition, or whether by subsidy, or simply through manufacturing efficiency) I would be very delighted.

        In the mean time, it seems a little misleading to give a price which currently does not exist and not ever required to exist. While it will certainly drop to that price or less in time, there is no known schedule for it, and consumers will be disappointed if they look for it. I know I am.

        Again, I hope I’m wrong. I want to find this bulb, and find it cheaply.

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