How often do your lights burn out? How much should you have on hand?

If you are a homeowner, then you have most certainly changed out a light bulb. There are many light bulb types on the market today, all having a varying lifespan. If you find that you are changing light bulbs often, you may want to consider using a different light bulb type. Below is a simple guide the average life span of light bulb types and how many you should have on hand for quality lighting in the home.

Average Rated Life

When it comes to light bulbs, the term Average Rated Life, or ARL, stands for the amount of time it takes for half the light bulbs in a batch that is tested to fail. An example of this is to consider 50 light bulbs that are tested. These light bulbs have an ARL of 500 as half the light bulbs failed by that time frame. While the ARL is considered during the testing phase of bulbs, it is important to note that in home use, turning the bulbs on and off will result in a reduction of the ARL. Fluorescent, compact fluorescent and HID bulbs are affected more than LED, halogen and incandescent bulbs when it comes to turning on and off and AFL ratings.

Average Rated Life for Bulb Types

Incandescent bulbs 750 to 2,000 hours
Halogen bulbs 2,000 to 4,000 hours
Compact fluorescent screw-in 8,000 to 10,000 hours
Compact fluorescent plug-in 10,000 to 20,000 hours
HID bulbs 10,000 to 24,000 hours
Fluorescent bulbs 24,000 to 36,000 hours
LED bulbs 40,000 to 50,000 hours

For the most part, an LED bulb will last the longest and is the most energy efficient option when it comes to lighting the home. However, it is also important to consider other factors. The ARL testing phase does not consider other factors such as a hot area, like a bulb used in the oven fan or a cold area such as a bulb used outdoors. You must also consider if a bulb is exposed to water, vibration or other abnormal situations.

No matter what type of bulb you use, you should have some on hand to be able to replace bulbs when one goes out. If you live near a retail store, it is best to have just a few bulbs on hand based on size and type you use. This way, you can easily replace a bulb and then replenish your stock at the nearby store. If you live in a rural area, it is best to have two or more replacement bulbs for every light in the home. You do not want to be stuck in the dark for an extended period of time. By having a nice-size stockpile, you will be able to replace any light bulb in the home without having to take a long trip into town for supplies.

Take inventory of the lighting in your home and determine what type of bulbs you need including type and size. Keep a list of what you use and what you need so that you can replace bulbs as needed.