led lights

Myth Busting: Why LED Lights Aren’t More Expensive

You want your business to be earth-friendly. But, you don’t want to run it to the ground with costly green-initiatives, like LED lights.

Light-emitting diodes, or LEDs, get a bad wrap for being “expensive.” Today, we’ll compare them against another earth-friendly option to show you that LEDs quite cost-effective.

Don’t let the fear of a price tag keep you from the many benefits of LED lights.

Let’s get into it!


The myths of expensive LEDs started back when they were new on the scene and, well, expensive. At one point, bulbs did go for around $20.

Now that they’re in more popular demand, LED light bulbs go for around $8 or less per bulb. Some places even offer them for $5 or even less with a rebate.

How does that compare? The incandescent bulbs of the last century are only about $1 per bulb.

With the surge for environmental friendliness, however, more businesses are using compact fluorescent lights (CFLs). A CFL bulb is about $2 per bulb.

By pure price, the myth continues. LEDs are “expensive” at $8 compared to CFL’s $2.

But let’s take a look at how their life spans and efficiency compare to debunk this.


LED lights balance their price with a long lifespan. One LED light bulb can last between 25,000 to 50,000 hours of use–that’s up to 25 years of use.

The old incandescents, for comparison, only lasted 1,200 hours. CFLs last for 8,000 hours or 10 years of use.

To cover 25,000 hours, you would need 21 incandescent bulbs. At $1 per bulb, that’s $21.

You would need four CFL bulbs for that time. At $2 per bulb, that’s $8.

You would only need one LED bulb to cover 25,000 hours, and it could keep going. Let’s keep it at the “high-end” of the price range and say it’s $8 for that one bulb.

After considering their life spans, LEDs now cost about the same as a CFL.


LEDs take the lead when it comes to efficiency. LED bulbs use 75% less energy than an incandescent bulb.

CFLs use 35% less energy than an incandescent bulb. For efficiency’s sake, you shouldn’t be using incandescent bulbs anymore, so we’ll take them out of the running.

To be fair, we’ll compare the cost to run bulbs that put out 800 lumens, about the brightness of the typical 60W incandescent bulb.

A CFL bulb costs $1.75 to run annually. An LED bulb costs $1.34 annually.

Over 20 years, a CFL bulb would cost $34.80 in energy. An LED bulb would cost $26.80.

One CFL bulb, however, wouldn’t last 20 years. With the cost of two bulbs, the 20-year CFL cost is $38.80.

The 20-year LED cost is only $34.80. If we scale this example to 100 one-bulb light fixtures over 20 years, the savings are more obvious.

Over 20 years, the CFL cost is $3,680 with bulbs. The LED cost with bulbs is $3,480.

As the scale increases, so do the savings.

Maintenance Costs

Bulbs don’t replace themselves. You have to hire people to do it.

With CFL bulbs, you’re hiring people at least every 10 years to replace every bulb in your business.

With LED lights, you can go over 20 years without hiring someone to replace your lights. That means even more savings over the years.

Myth Debunked

Yes, if you look at simple price tags only, LED lights are more expensive. Once you consider the big picture, though, LEDs are the less expensive option over their life.

If you have any more questions about LEDs or want to replace your business’s lights with LEDs, contact us. We’re happy to help!