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How Many Watts Does a Lamp Use? Does It Use a Lot of Power?

A group of hanging lights with shallow depth of field

We all know that heaters and air conditioners are the biggest power suck, but you should be aware of how much power your lights use too. The bulb in a lamp will determine how much power it uses, with LED bulbs being the most energy-efficient. They only use 10–18 watts of power, while classic incandescent bulbs use between 60–120 watts.

To see how much that adds up to in dollars spent on your power bill, we’ll have to do some math. We’ll use an average of 10 watts for LED bulbs and 60 watts as an average for incandescent bulbs, but your power usage will depend on your bulb’s wattage. We’ll also estimate energy prices with the national average of $0.12 per kWh.

10-Watt LED Bulb Cost by Time Used (4 hours a day):
  • Per hour: $0.0012
  • Per day: $0.0048
  • Per month: $0.15
  • Per year: $1.75

That’s pretty cheap for one light! Now let’s compare that with an incandescent bulb.

60-Watt Incandescent Bulb Cost by Time Used (4 hours a day):
  • Per hour: $0.0072
  • Per day: $0.0288
  • Per month: $0.88
  • Per year: $10.51

Going by these quick estimates, you can see that a 10-watt LED bulb is nearly 10 times cheaper over the course of a year than a 60-watt incandescent bulb. It’s time to throw out all those old incandescent bulbs!

light bulb divider

How Much Do Lamps Use Compared to Other Items in the House?

Lights don’t use a lot of power compared to other appliances in the house, like air conditioners, heaters, stoves, and so on. Let’s do a quick comparison of what it costs to run some common household appliances versus a regular lamp with an LED bulb.

LED light bulb
Image Credit: Karol Olson, Pixabay
Lamps vs. Other Appliances – Cost to Run for a Year:
  • LED Bulb Lamp: $1.75 (4 hours a day)
  • Central Air Conditioner: $613.27 (4 hours per day)
  • Refrigerators: $189.24 (24/7)
  • Space Heater: $262.83 (4 hours per day)
  • Electric Stovetop Burner: $131.41 (2 hours per day)
  • Clothes Washer: $21.90 (1 hour per day)
  • Clothes Dryer: $131.41 (2 hours per day)

As you can see by these estimates, your light bulbs aren’t costing you very much money in the long run at all. However, switching to LED bulbs can help save a few bucks over the span of a year.

How to Save Power

Nobody likes exorbitant power bills, so why don’t we check out some useful ways you can save a few bucks on your power bill? Over time, it will add up to more than you’re probably expecting.

Power Saving Tips:
  • Switch from old-school incandescent bulbs to energy-efficient LED bulbs in the whole house for a few dozen bucks in savings per year.
  • Consider replacing old appliances with new EnergyStar-rated appliances. They should have stickers stating how much they cost to run!
  • If you have an electric stove, consider switching to a gas-powered cooktop.
  • As we have all been told by our parents, turn off lights when you’re not in the room.
  • Completely shut down computers when you’re not using them. Even sleep mode still uses a small amount of power.

light bulb divider


Lamps don’t use much power in the long run compared to other power-hog appliances in the house, but you can save a fair chunk of change by replacing inefficient incandescent bulbs with energy-efficient LED bulbs.

Featured Image Credit: Oliver Huitson, Shutterstock

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