T8 LED vs A19 LED - a lumen-for-lumen cost comparison


If you're installing lights in a garage, storage room, or other place where the look of the physical fixture is unimportant and you just want good quality light, read on.  Today we decided to compare the cost of operating two T8 LED tubes with the cost of operating enough A19 bulbs to provide the same brightness.

5.5 Luminus A19 bulbs, total 4400 lumens (Costco)$12.38
Basic light fixtures ($1.99 box + $1.79 lampholder, Lowe's)$20.79
Initial cost$33.17
1.5 replacements$18.56
5.5*8W for 50,000 hours at $0.11/kWh$242.00
Usage cost$260.56
Total$293.73
2 Luminus T8 LED tubes, total 4400 lumens (Costco)$26.99
Basic troffer (includes ballast, Home Depot)$54.98
Initial cost$81.97
36W for 50,000 hours at $0.11/kWh$198.00
Usage cost$198.00
Total$279.97
Upfront savings of using inexpensive A19 bulbs$48.81
Long-term (50,000 hours) savings of using T8 tubes$13.76

Notes:

We expect the cost of a 4-tube fixture to be less than double the cost of a 2-bulb fixture.  However, we were not able to find power consumption figures for this configuration.

This comparison assumes the cost of new components.  If low cost is more important than asthetics, it should be trivial to find an old T12 fixture for cheap, remove its ballast, and replace with an electronic T8 one, for less than the cost of a new troffer and ballast.

This does not consider the cost of labour to replace the A19 bulbs 1.5 times.
 

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