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How Much Electricity Do LED Light Bulbs Use & What's the Cost to Run Them?

LEDs (Light-emitting diodes) are the most energy-efficient and advanced lighting technology on the market today. Not only do they require much less electricity to run than incandescent bulbs, but they also can last up to 50x longer. As a result, the cost of running an individual lightbulb is quite low.

That being said, you'll need more than one lightbulb to light your home, and altogether those lightbulbs can start to rack up some costs. On average, lighting accounts for roughly 10% of a household's annual energy consumption. So how much exactly does it cost to light your home? Check out our LED cost calculator below to get an estimate.

LED bulb energy cost calculator

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Terminology explained

Energy language can be confusing. Below, we break down what you need to know to use our calculator.

What are watts?

Watts measure the rate at which electricity moves through an appliance. When it comes to LEDs, more watts means more electricity which typically means larger bulbs and brighter lights.

To calculate watts for a LED light, you'll want to multiply the current (measured in amps) by the voltage (measured in volts). The best way to get an accurate read on amps and volts is to look at the packaging of your lightbulb. From there, you can calculate kilowatts by multiplying amps and volts and dividing by 1000.

Kilowatts = (Amps x Volts) / 1000

What are lumens?

Another important light term to know is Lumens. Lumens measure the brightness of a light. More lumens means brighter lights. Typically, more lumens also mean more watts, though lumens and watts technically have no direct relationship. So while it might be useful to know the lumens of your LED in order to get a sense of how bright it will be in comparison to other bulbs, you don't need to measure lumens in order to calculate the power it takes to run your bulb.

What is the average cost of electricity?

According to US Energy Information Administration, the average cost of electricity in the U.S. is 13 cents/kWh. However, this number can vary depending on your electricity supplier. Today, people in some states have the power to shop for their electricity and find cheaper rates.

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What is the average energy consumption and cost of different types of LEDs?

LED bulb
Brightness (in Lumens)
Watts
Cost / hr*
Avg. Cost / month*
400 – 5006 – 7W0.085¢$0.20
650 – 8507 – 10W0.115¢$0.26
1000 – 140012 – 13W0.16¢$0.39
1450 - 1700+14 – 20W0.22¢$0.53
2700+25 – 28W0.34¢$0.82
*assuming that the electricity rate is 13¢ per KWH and the bulb is on for 8 hours per day
CFL bulb
Brightness (in Lumens)
Watts
Cost / hr*
Avg. Cost / month*
400 – 5008 – 12W0.13¢$0.31
650 – 85013 – 18W0.2¢$0.48
1000 – 140018 – 22W0.26¢$0.6
1450 - 1700+23 – 30W0.34¢$0.82
2700+30 – 55W0.55¢$1.33
*assuming that the electricity rate is 13¢ per KWH and the bulb is on for 8 hours per day
Incandescent bulb
Brightness (in Lumens)
Watts
Cost / hr*
Avg. Cost / month*
400 – 50040W0.5¢$1.25
650 – 85060W0.78¢$1.87
1000 – 140075W0.97¢$2.34
1450 - 1700+100W1.3¢$3.12
2700+150W1.95¢$4.68
*assuming that the electricity rate is 13¢ per KWH and the bulb is on for 8 hours per day

How to save on your lighting costs?

  • 1.

    Switch out your old lightbulbs for energy-efficient bulbs

    LED lights are much more efficient than other lighting options, like CFLs and incandescent bulbs. According to energy.gov, the average household saves about $225 in energy costs per year by using LED lighting.
  • 2.

    Take advantage of natural light

    What's more efficient than LEDs? The sun, of course. It's brighter and more energy-efficient than any lighting technology you'll find on the market. Not to mention, exposure to sunlight is thought to improve your mental health. So make sure to open up those shades so you can soak in those rays. Your energy bill will thank you.
  • 3.

    Design your home to be light-efficient

    Not all rooms need bright lighting. Think strategically about which rooms you need big, bright lights for (kitchen, dining room, living room) and which rooms you only need desk lights and small lamps for (bedrooms, home offices).
  • 4.

    Install dimmers

    Dimmers are surprisingly cheap and easy to install. And in addition to being great for mood-setting, dimmers can also help you save on your lighting costs. It's estimated that dimming your lights to 75% of their brightness can save you up to 20% on your lighting costs.
  • 5.

    Choose Perch Energy

    At Perch, we're on a mission to make cleaner energy more accessible, more affordable, and more equitable for all. Whether you rent an apartment, own a home, or run a business, Perch offers multiple ways to save money on your electricity bills, or even help the planet, too.
    • For guaranteed savings on your annual electricity cost, join a community solar project in your area. Perch will help match you to a local solar farm—you'll support the operations of that farm so that it can generate and contribute as much clean, solar energy to the overall grid. You don't directly receive electricity from the solar power you're supporting, but thanks to government incentives, you'll get credits toward your own utility bill. Essentially, you're being rewarded with discounts on your own electricity because you're enabling solar generation and development in your state.
    • With Perch, you can take your fossil-fuel-fighting, money-saving ways even further when you also switch your home or business' electricity plan to cleaner energy. If you're on your utility's default basic service rate, it's a "mixed" energy plan (generated partly by fossil fuels, partly by renewable resources). But Perch can switch you to a low-cost cleaner energy plan—outside of what your utility is offering—that's backed 100% by clean, renewable resources like solar and wind. We'll find you a price that's lower than the market rate for similar options in your area. You don't have to do anything differently, but you'll feel great knowing that your personal electricity usage is now contributing to a healthier planet, and you've reduced your everyday carbon footprint.
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