How many Tennesseans does it take to change a lightbulb?

21 November 2018

Wait...that's not right.

How many lightbulbs does it take a Tennessean to light their home for a year?...that's it!

So how many lightbulbs does it take? Well that depends on what kind of lightbulb they're using.

LED lights can last as long as 50,000 hours. That means you could leave your light on continuously for almost 6 years.

Now, I'm certainly not advising you to do that; after all, I'm the efficiency guy. And my assumption is you wouldn't do that. So that means that a single LED light could last for much longer. Let's say that light is on even 12 hours a day...suddenly you aren't changing the bulb for over a decade!

So, besides not having to go to the store & buy replacement lights, not having to climb up on the stepladder and change the lights, and really just overall ease of use, are LEDs really a superior lighting option?

Are LED lights the best?


Oh, is that not a satisfactory response for a blog post? Ok, well then let's look at why.

Why are LED lights the best?

  • LED lights last longer
    • LED: up to 50,000 hours
    • CFL: up to 10,000 hours
    • Incandescent: up to 2,000 hours
  • LEDs use less energy
    • LEDs use 2/3 the energy that a CFL would, and 1/6 the energy of an incandescent bulb according to The Simple Dollar
  • LEDs don't have hazardous materials inside
    • CFLs work by putting electric current through argon & mercury filled tubes. Mercury is extremely dangerous, so a broken bulb is not a great thing, and disposing of CFLs is a pain
    • with LEDs you don't have to worry about anything toxic or cancer-causing

If you want to mess around and see how much you could save by switching to LEDs, here is a cool little calculator. The bottom line is that I could change every light in my house from incandescent to LED and in less than two months it would have paid for itself. Now I'm saving money for the rest of the decade.

The bottom line on LED lights

The total cost of ownership is lower and the lighting quality is better.

You will use less energy, buy less bulbs (and change less bulbs), don't have to worry about disposing of hazardous materials and, here's the kicker, the lighting is better.

LEDs will turn on right away (fluorescents can take a second to get going), are dimmable (most of the time), can be customized with coloring, with warmth & brightness & there are awesome LED lights that automatically air seal when you install them.


C'mon guys, you know I couldn't go a whole post without at least mentioning air sealing.

So do yourself a favor, and next time you're buying lights...go LED.