How to save $11,484.00

November 5, 2014 · 2 comments

Would you like to save $11,484.00 over the next 22 years?

That’s the promise promoted by the manufacturers of some LED light bulbs I recently purchased for my home at the local Fargo Costco warehouse store.


I had never heard of LED light bulbs until a few years ago, when my then managing partner, Dave Hultin, built a new home that featured many extreme energy-saving techniques (like poured concrete walls instead of conventional wood framing). Dave also told me he was installing LED light bulbs throughout his home. He said they would last for decades and use about 10% of the energy required for incandescent bulbs. I was intrigued by the idea, but at the time, I thought the coolish blue white light the LED bulbs emitted, along with the high cost, made the LED bulbs too prohibitive for me.

Well, as we all know, new technologies sometimes change quickly with the passage of time.

A few days ago, I was shopping at Costco, and a young lady asked me if I’d be interested in trying one of the new LED light bulbs Costco was adding to their product line. She got my attention when she said, “This one bulb will save you $222.00 of electricity.” Well, to make a long story short, I studied the bulbs, carefully compared them to the regular light bulbs in their display, and decided to give it a try.


I bought 36 of the LED bulbs at a whopping cost of $407.76. However, the savings promised from using the 36 bulbs totaled $11,484.00 over the next 22 years. In my case, I personally am so tired of high utility bills and changing light bulbs all the time that I thought it might be worth a try. So I purchased enough bulbs to replace all the bulbs currently being used in the finished basement of my home.

I installed the new bulbs, and here is my first impression:

  • They are about 10-15% brighter that the incandescent bulbs they replaced. The extra light was nice.
  • The old, cool-blue light is gone. The new bulbs gave off a warm light and were natural and skin-tone friendly. They’re easy to read under, too.
  • Interestingly enough, the LED bulbs aren’t hot to touch. They give off virtually no heat, which could help with additional air-conditioning costs.
  • Really? I’m not going to have to replace these for over 20 years? Since I hate changing light bulbs, that seems like a miracle to me. Heck, I’d be happy if they last ten years!

The only downside is that there is a very slight micro nanosecond “pause” before the bulbs come on after you flip the light switch, and they also stay lit for about half a second after you shut them off. All in all, that’s not a big factor for me.

My family totally likes the new lighting. It’s brighter and pleasing to the eye. We liked them so much, in fact, that I went back the next day and bought LED replacement bulbs for almost every fixture and lamp in my home.

I wonder if these might be a smart investment for your printing firm, too? Are any of you using them? I think LED lighting is an idea whose time has come.

It will be interesting to see how much we notice a difference on future utility bills, but at this point, I’m very happy to have made the switch. Thanks for the idea, Dave!

My name is Mike Stevens, and I am a printer.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

David Scott April 10, 2015 at 10:56 am

I have replaced a few incandescents with LED equivalents both at home and work. Some in places where the bulb is difficult to get to. One was a worklamp on a piece of equipment. Not having the incandescent heat up the fixture is nice, when I go to adjust the flexible lamp to the workspace. I am interested in tackling some of the fluourescent fixtures, as they seem to be constantly going out (and sometimes it’s the ballast).

Mike Stevens April 13, 2015 at 11:31 am

You know, it’s expensive to convert – but I do think it’s worth the effort. For me, I grew weary of changing light bulbs all the time. Now, I’ve gone 3-4 months without a burned-out bulb… whoopee!

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