An incandescent light bulb, also called incandescent lamp or incandescent light globe, emits light by heating up a filament wire until it glows.
Producing light by heating a filament it is not efficient so 95% of the power consumed by an incandescent lamp it is converted into heat. This means that only a 5% of the supplied electricity it is converted into light.
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This type of bulb is rather inefficient and this means that the incandescent light bulb electricity usage is higher when compared to CFL or LED light bulbs.
Under the same conditions, and when compared to a LED light bulb:
> A CFL light bulb will use around 75% more electricity
> An incandescent bulb will use around 625% more electricity.
For a better perspective, the table below shows the power consumption of equivalent light bulbs as well as their brightness in lumens.
Additionally, this other table also provides valuable information:
> Light bulb energy efficiency: How efficient the light bulb is
> Light bulb lifespan: An approximation on how many hours will the bulb last before having to change it
> Light bulb electricity yearly cost: An approximation on the yearly electricity cost.
The calculator below can be used to estimate the power and cost consumption of an incandescent light bulbs over time.
You just need to adjust the values in the PARAMETERS section to your requirements and the calculator will automatically display the RESULTS section.
For example, if you have 8 CFL light bulbs at home that:
> Have a power rating of 7 Watts (W)
> Are switched on 6 hours a day and 320 days per year
> You are paying 0,217 euro (or dollars or pounds) per every kWh you consume
You will be paying around 23 euro (or dollars, or pounds, or…) per year in electricity costs to power up those 8 CFL light bulbs.
If you don’t know how much you are paying per kWh, you should be able to find the cost per kWh on your electricity contract or in one of the electricity bills.
Alternatively, if don’t have access to your contract or your electricity bills, this website does show the electricity cost per country.
A few other examples from our ‘Electricity usage and electricity cost calculators‘ page that may be of your interest:
Apart from choosing the most efficient light bulb for your need, here there is some advice that can help you with reducing your lighting bill:
1.- If possible, use transparent shades or fittings.
This is because the dark lampshade can absorb some of the light that a light bulb emits.
2.- Clean your shades and fittings
Dust accumulation will prevent an efficient light distribution.
3.- Choose the right color
‘Soft white’ or ‘warm white’ light bulbs provide a homey glow that is best for general household lighting
‘Cool white’ or ‘pure white’ are ideal for office spaces, reading areas or any area that requires clear vision.
If you have a office space and install the incorrect lighting, you may try to compensate by installing additional lighting like desk lamps. And this approach will become an electricity waste.
4.- Do not keep the light switched on unnecessarily
Well, this is the most common piece of advice but it does really count.
Below, on the next section, you will find a calculator that should give you some insights on the importance of electricity conservation.
Even small savings may have a big impact when it comes to reducing our carbon footprint and conserving our natural resources.
An incandescent light bulb has a filament that it is quite easy to identify. Just have a look to the picture of an incandescent bulb in Wikipedia.
The filament it is the thickness of a human hair and gets bright when the bulb it is switched on. The presence of this filament makes the incandescent bulbs quite easy to identify.
Not everybody it is familiar with terms like Watts, Kilowatts or Kilowatt hours so if you would learn more about them, have a look to this YouTube video that we have prepared about this topic.
Or you can have a look to this electricity measurement units calculators to get a better understanding of:
> What is a Watt (W) and how to transform Watts into Kilowatts
> What is a Kilowatt (kW) and how to transform Kilowatts into Kilowatts hour
> What is a Kilowatt hour (kWh) and how to transform Kilowatts hours to other units
> What are Power (P), Voltage (V) and Current (I)
Energy conservation can be defined as the decision and the act of using less energy
Energy conservation both benefit you and the environment
The act of saving and conserving electricity does benefit you because you will be paying less on your energy bills.
And it also does benefit the environment because conserving electricity prevents any unnecessary waste of natural resources.
Now, at individual level it may not look worth to try to save a few watts here or there.
Still, every little counts and if hundreds or thousands of us do save a little every time, it will make an important contribution towards conserving our natural resources.
If we could reduce the home lighting electricity usage, even a very small amount, it would make a big impact on preserving our natural resources.
For example, if 9000 households would manage to save as little as 10 Watts per day (0,01 kWh) on home lighting electricity usage, that would add to 32850 Kilowatt hour (kWh) saved per year.
9000 households x 0,01 kWh per day x 365 days per year
32,850 kWh saved per year
That is a considerable amount of electricity, but let’s add additional perspectives for clarity:
> Assuming an average cost of 0,18 euro (or dollars, or pounds, or any other currency) per kWh, we would collectively be saving nearly 6000 euro per year.
> To produce 32,850 kWh of electricity it is necessary to use around 17 metric tons of coal or 56 barrels of residual fuel oil.
In any case it is clear that small energy savings do really count when looking into the bigger picture.
If you are looking for ideas to save electricity at home, have a look to this YouTube video were we show some useful tips to reduce the electricity usage at home and decrease the electricity bill.
Buying an energy effcient appliance or device is going to save electricity, water and decrease your energy and water bills, but at what prize?
Find out if you have paid a reasonable prize for that efficient device or appliance.
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