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Cost to burn a light bulb for one hour

July 28th, 2008 | Posted in Frugality, Savings

Electricity is a great invention, but we have to pay to use it every month. Right now everybody is trying to find ways to save a dollar and your electricity bill is a great way to start. Obviously your largest expense for your electricity is your electric heat and cool pump if you have one, but what about the small electricity items? How much does it really cost to use a 100 watt light bulb?

It might sound like a dumb question but many people burn outside lights all night and some keep lights on inside the house all night too. Is it going to break your budget to burn these lights or is it not worth worrying about? Guess it depends on how frugal you want to be, let’s do the math.

I just checked the rates of our electricity company and during off peak hours or night time hours they charge 3.759 cents per KWH. If you have one 100 watt light bulb burning it uses 0.1 kWh per hour (100/1000). Therefore about 0.00759 cents per hour ($0.03759*0.1) so less then a penny per hour. If you leave the light on all night for 10 hours it will cost you about $0.07 per night or $2.10 per month for every light you leave burning. Doesn’t sound like much but it can add up especially if you leave them on during the day or during peak hours. Peak hours cost 0.0769 cents per kWh so about double the night time hours. Lesson here is turn those lights off before you leave the house, otherwise you’ll be buring valuable money.


  1. 1
    Jamie // October 6th, 2008 at 8:59 pm

    I’m sure there are many things like turning off lights to save electricity that would add up to a significant amount of savings each month. Truning off the lights is something simple that can save you a lot of money! Great advice!!!

  2. 2
    danno // October 25th, 2008 at 9:05 pm

    Switching to CF bulbs can cut that expense way down but it takes longer to get a return on your investment as they are 3-10 times more expensive as an incandescent bulb. Also, many CF’s have a yellow cast to them so try different brands to get the light you want. We replaced our 60W vanity lights with 100W equivalent CF’s that burn 23W and are very bright white. Also, if you’re going to leave a porch light on all night ( and most likely all day if you forget to turn it off) then a CF is a good idea. Also, living in FL & TX as I have I know that bulbs give off heat and that in August burning those heat sources does affect your electric bill believe me – switching to CF’s helps there to. Is it ideal? NO. Is it better? It seems so.

  3. 3
    Nosam // December 13th, 2008 at 12:54 am

    If that light left burning inside the house while I’m away, or the outside lights left on all night as I sleep keep intruders away, they are worth the extra dollars I pay each month.

  4. 4
    admin // December 15th, 2008 at 9:09 am

    Thanks for the comments danno and Nosam. Those are both very informative comments. I guess I never really thought about the intruders.

    How about looking at it from in insurance point of view? Insurance is something that you may never need, yet millions of us spend money on it each month just in case. That light you leave on is like an insurance policy. You keep paying for something that you might not really use. It might help keep away intruders, but you may get the same result with the lights off. Good points by all!

  5. 5
    Susan // May 26th, 2009 at 10:00 pm

    I think it’s worth a couple of extra dollars per month for me. For some reason having the light on at night gives me a sense of security that people won’t be prowling around the house at night while I sleep. So if I have to pay a penny an hour per light bulb to sleep better at night, I think it’s well worth it!

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