An illuminated LED bulb hanging lowest in a row of all-incandescent bulbs, with multiple dollar signs superimposed above the image

Your best bet for home lighting is the LED bulb. They come in a variety of options for every application. Although they may be expensive upfront, LED bulbs stand out for their energy efficiency, saving you money on utility bills.

This guide explores LED energy-saving bulb options for household applications. You’ll learn about the prices and how to select the right bulbs for your needs.

How Much Do Energy-Saving Bulbs Cost?

The cost of energy-saving bulbs ranges between $1 and $10. Ultimately, the price depends on the bulb type. The most popular household LED light bulb types are A19, BR30, PAR38, and candelabra. 

Prices of the Most Common Energy-Saving Bulbs

With a broad array of options, you can spend as little or as much as you want on energy-saving bulbs. In addition to the cost, you should consider your lighting needs and fixture type when selecting bulbs.

The average American home saves about $225 a year on electricity bills by using LED bulbs.

Now that you’re enticed, let’s look at the most common energy-saving bulbs, their cost, and where you can buy them.

A-Series Light Bulbs

These are the standard light bulbs in homes. Also called A-style bulbs, these have a traditional pear-shaped appearance.

A incandescent e26 bulb leaning against an LED light bulb on a blue tabletop.

A-series bulbs have broad applications across the home, including:

  • Ceiling lights
  • Floor lamps
  • Table lamps

Type A bulbs are available in several varieties based on their diameter. You can tell the bulb’s diameter in inches by dividing the code number by eight. The diameter tells you the bulb’s base size.

The A-series bulb varieties include:

  • A15 – the most petite bulbs in the A-series. They have a diameter of 1.9 inches (48 mm). A15 bulbs are commonly used in ceiling fans and appliances such as refrigerators.
  • A19 – the most widely used A-series bulbs. They’re the standard light bulbs in most households. A19 bulbs have a diameter of 2.4 inches (61 mm).
  • A21 – the favored replacement for A19 bulbs in areas that require stronger lights. These bulbs have a diameter of 2.6 inches (66 mm).
  • A23 – with a diameter of 2.9 inches (74 mm), A23 bulbs are the largest in the A-series. They are ideal for lighting up spaces that require stronger light.

A-type bulbs typically come in the standard-medium screw base, which can fit into most household lighting fixtures. The standard screw base can be labeled E26 or E27.

A single A-type LED bulb can cost as little as $1. However, this product is typically sold in packs of at least two bulbs for around $7 per unit. 

BR-Series Light Bulbs

The BR abbreviation in this energy-saving bulb series stands for “bulged reflector.” This group of bulbs belongs to the flood light bulbs family. BR bulbs can deliver a broad beam of light up to 120 degrees.

Homeowners can use these bulbs indoors or outdoors in places that need extra brightness, such as hallways. BR bulbs come in various sizes, where the code number indicates the bulb diameter. 

A row of energy-saving bulbs displaying the various BR Light Bulbs
Courtesy of HomElectrical

These are the common BR bulb size options:

  • BR20 – this bulb has a diameter of 2.5 inches (64 mm). It can work well for lower ceiling lighting.
  • BR30 – this bulb comes in a 3.8-inch (97 mm) diameter. It can spread focused light across a wider area and at a higher height than its BR20 counterpart.
  • BR40 – this bulb has a diameter of five inches (127 mm). As a result, it will spread light from a higher height and more extensive area than the BR20 and BR30 options.

The BR30 bulb prices start at about $3 apiece. The dimmable bulb variety typically carries a higher price tag. 

R-Series Light Bulbs

Another member of the flood light bulb family, R-series bulbs, are also called reflector bulbs. They deliver more focused light beams, making them ideal for lighting specific areas or surfaces.

As a result, R-series bulbs are a popular flood lighting option in many homes—many households use these bulbs in recessed light fixtures.

A homeowner screwing a LED can light into a fixture

R-series bulbs are available in various diameter options, including:

  • R20 – a diameter of 2.5 inches (64 mm)
  • R30 – a diameter of 3.8 inches (97 mm)
  • R40 – comes in a 5-inch (127) diameter

The bulb’s diameter size influences the breadth of the light beam.

An R-type bulb costs about $4, with the dimmable variety having a higher price.

PAR-Series Light Bulbs

This energy-saving bulb group also belongs to the flood light bulb family, alongside BR-series and R-series bulbs. PAR bulbs are shaped like parabolas and are mostly applied to outdoor lighting.

Because they deliver substantial and concentrated light, PAR bulbs can work well for lighting damp places.

These are the common PAR bulb options based on diameter size:

  • PAR16 – comes in a two-inch (51 mm) diameter
  • PAR20 – has a diameter of 2.5 inches (64 mm)
  • PAR30 – this bulb’s diameter is 3.8 (97 mm)
  • PAR36 – comes in a 4.5-inch (114 mm) diameter
  • PAR38: – with a diameter of 4.8 inches (122 mm), this is one of the more commonly used varieties of PAR bulbs for outdoor floodlights.

You can expect to spend about $10 on each PAR38 bulb at Walmart. Dimmable bulbs usually cost more to purchase.

C-Series Light Bulbs

These energy-saving bulbs are also called candle bulbs or candelabra bulbs. They’re shaped like a candle flame and are commonly used in chandeliers, pendants, and wall sconces lighting fixtures. Candelabras are a popular choice for decorative lighting.

an LED candelabra bulb sitting on a table with a black background

A pack of two candelabra bulbs costs about $14 at Target. Expect to pay a higher starting price for the dimmable variety.

G-Series Light Bulbs

Also called globe lights, these energy-saving bulbs feature a G-shaped styling. Like candelabras, G-series bulbs are also standard for decorative lighting. These energy-saving bulbs deliver broad beams of light, and serve indoor and outdoor lighting applications.

They are available in various options, and the most common type is the G30 variety. The G30 bulb is popular for bathroom vanities, playrooms, and home office lighting. This bulb also works well for pendant lighting.

G30 bulbs costs about $10 apiece on Wayfair, with the dimmable bulbs typically having a higher starting price tag. The product is usually sold in packs.

Do LED Lights Need a Special Dimmer Switch? 

LED light bulbs often need a special dimmer switch because you can’t control them correctly on the standard dimmer. You should also check that the LED bulb is dimmable if you have problems with the dimmer mechanism.

LED bulbs are a favorite lighting solution for many homeowners because of their excellent energy efficiency. As a result, these bulbs pay for their high upfront purchase cost over time by lowering your utility bills.

Installing a dimmer switch for your energy-saving bulbs has several benefits, such as:

  • Lower cost and environmental impact – you get more control over your utility bills and carbon footprint.
  • More flexibility – with a smart dimmer switch, you can adjust your LED bulb’s light quality to regulate brightness and energy consumption. Moreover, a dimmer can extend the lifespan of your bulbs, saving you replacement costs.
  • Longer lifespan – LED bulbs have average lifespans in the range of 10-22 years. With a smart dimmer switch, you can squeeze even more years out of these energy-saving bulbs.

Consider selecting dimmable LED bulbs and installing a smart dimmer switch to gain more control over your lighting expenses and your home’s carbon emissions.

Final Thoughts

LED energy-saving bulbs are available for every lighting taste and budget. While some bulbs, like the A19, are suitable for general lighting applications, some, like the BR38 bulbs, are ideal for specific lighting purposes.

Lighting needs, fixture type, and product cost all influence light bulb selections.

You can take your energy-saving efforts a notch higher with a smart dimmer switch. Controlling light brightness can save you on power bills, extend your bulb’s life, and reduce your carbon footprint.

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