Anyone wanting to cut their electricity bill without lowering their quality of life should do a light bulb efficiency comparison. Simply changing the type of light bulb you use in your house can lower your energy usage significantly. Newer kinds of light bulbs can deliver the same amount of light as the older ones while leaving a much lighter carbon footprint.

Light bulb efficiency is measured in the units of lumens, or light, a bulb puts out per Watt of electricity it uses. By dividing the number of lumens by the number of Watts, you can do your own light bulb efficiency comparison.

Incandescent Light Bulbs

Any light bulb efficiency comparison will reveal that incandescent light bulbs are the least efficient on the market. They typically deliver 10 to 17 lumens per Watt.

Defenders of the incandescent bulb argue that it is cheaper to buy in the first place. Also, new energy- efficiency standards imposed on light bulbs by the federal government have made the incandescent bulb attractive to some as a symbol of freedom. They fear that the incandescent bulb will never be able to deliver the lumens per Watt required, so it will be taken off the market reducing the public's choices.

The bulb's critics point out that while other types of bulbs are more expensive, their ability to deliver lumens at a lower cost makes them cheaper in the long run. Also the incandescent bulb has a much shorter lifespan, lasting only 750 to 1,000 hours before needing to be replaced.

LED Light Bulbs

LED light bulbs can deliver over three times the efficiency of an incandescent light bulb depending on the style, they produce 20 to 60 lumens per Watt. They also produce much less heat, up to 90% less. This also gives the LED light a longer life. Some can burn up to 50,000 hours. These bulbs are close in form to regular incandescent light and can replace them in most standard fixtures.

A seven-Watt LED light bulb can deliver 520 lumens, over 70 lumens per Watt. Compare this to a 60- Watt incandescent bulb that deliver 661 lumens. An accurate light bulb efficiency comparison will also look at the way the light is directed. The incandescent bulb directs only 337 lumens outward toward the space that is to be lighted.

An LED light, however, directs 437 of its 520 lumens out into the room. Having a seven-Watt bulb that projects 25% more light than a 60-Watt bulb makes great economic sense until you look at the initial purchase price. An LED bulb will have to burn a long time before the buyer can recoup his $50 investment in each bulb.

CFL Lighting

Compact florescent light bulbs will come out on top of most light bulb efficiency comparison tests. They deliver 40 to 70 lumens per Watt and have a much lower initial purchase price than LED lights. They have a life span of 15,000 hours.

CFL light bulbs tend to lose some of their lumen output as they age. However, an older bulb will still deliver about 80% of its original lumens leaving it still much more efficient that an incandescent bulb..

Which is Best?

Each of the three light bulbs compared above have merits and drawbacks. The incandescent light certainly wins as the cheapest of the bulbs on the market. However energy efficiency comparison of light bulbs shows the CFL as producing the most lumens per Watt and the LED as having the longest lifespan

The CFLs seem to be the most efficient and best financial decision. They can save a customer up to $40 over their lifetime compared to the incandescent bulb.