Cost and Life Span of Common Light Bulbs
Lighting expert Randall Whitehead gives a quick rundown of bulb life expectancies.
Do you have a quick cost comparison of bulb replacement and life spans that I can use with customers?
Cost-wise, a standard household bulb (such as a 60A19IF) retails for around 85 cents, a standard reflector bulb (such as a 50R20) costs around $5.50 and an MR16 (such as the GE Precise brand) will run around $8. Replacement-wise, if you left the lights on 8 hours a day for 7 days a week, the household bulb would need to be replaced every 13 days, the standard reflector bulb would need to be replaced every 35 days and the MR16 would need to be replaced every 107 days. Of course, if I left the lights on in our house 8 hours a day every day of the week, I would be shot.
Randall Whitehead lighting designer
Randall Whitehead, IALD

Randall Whitehead, IALD, is a professional lighting designer and author. His books include "Residential Lighting, A Practical Guide." Whitehead has worked on projects worldwide, appeared on the Discovery Channel, HGTV and CNN, and he is regular guest on Martha Stewart Living Radio. Visit his website for more information on books, upcoming seminars and the latest lighting trends.

Leave A Comment

  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Allowed HTML tags: <a> <em> <strong> <cite> <code> <ul> <ol> <li> <dl> <dt> <dd>

More information about formatting options

By submitting this form, you accept the Mollom privacy policy.

Lastest from ask randall

I think that it's an aesthetic call, not hard science. Crystal-type chandeliers can hang lower, since you can see through them. The more modern drum-... read full story
You didn’t tell me what type of bulb you were using. I’m going to guess incandescent or halogen, since fluorescents or LEDs will not cause fading.... read full story
The quick formula is to add together the length and width of your room. The total of those two numbers is the suggested diameter of your chandelier... read full story
There are kits available made by two companies I know of that can transform a recessed downlight into a pendant light. Hopefully there is one... read full story


Wednesday, Dec. 2, 2-3 p.m. EST Sponsored by Emerson and Kuzco Lighting. Register for this free CEU webinar by clicking here. Webinar Overview:Learning units:AIA/CES LU (HSW... read full story
Sponsored by Bock Lighting, CSL, Fanimation, Pure Lighting/Edge Lighting and USA LED Lighting Solutions.   Wednesday, June 10, 2-3 p.m. EDT This free CEU webinar has... read full story
Sponsored by Emerson, Ferguson and Pure Lighting/Edge Lighting. This free CEU webinar has already taken place, but you can watch the archived presentation on-demand by... read full story

RL Tweets!