How Long do Incandescent Bulbs Last – Simple Answer [2023]

How long do incandescent bulbs last? That’s the question we’re asking ourselves if we plan to buy one of the incandescent bulbs or compare them with other types of bulbs.

We all want our light bulbs to last as long as possible, but we need to know what their lifespan depends on, and what the different types of light bulbs are.

As we all know, there are different types of light bulbs: LED, CFL (fluorescent), and incandescent. Despite the fact that LED and CFL are becoming more popular, incandescent bulbs are still used intensively because they provide quality light without flickering.

Let’s get into it and answer the main question right away.

How long do incandescent bulbs last?

Incandescent bulbs are supposed to last around 1,000 hours but many bulbs fail to reach that mark in normal use.

They last approximately 3 to 5 months. That being said, the answer to the question of how long incandescent bulbs last isn’t straightforward as it seems at first.

If you’re having problems with your bulbs burning out too quickly, you may be looking for a new source of lighting. Incandescent bulbs certainly consume the most energy and mostly generate heat and light along the way.

The same goes for halogen bulbs. Sometimes they last even shorter.

There are many other reasons why incandescent bulbs can stop working.

Do incandescent bulbs burn out?

Incandescent bulbs can burn out, but most often they just stop working.

They get hot due to an electric current passing through them. The heat is caused by the resistance that the filament in the bulb creates. This resistance is caused by a wire filament that heats up in the lightbulb.

Eventually, the filament breaks, and the bulb stops producing light. The heat generated by the bulb is also responsible for the glowing yellowish tint. 

If incandescent bulbs burn out, that can happen for a variety of reasons:

  1. The filament inside of the incandescent bulb wore off
  2. Incompatible voltage 
  3. Bulbs wattage is higher than the fixture allows
  4. It’s loosened or tightened up
  5. Incompatibility with the dimmer
  6. Turning it on and off too often

There are a lot more reasons, but these are the most common ones.

Do LEDs last longer than incandescent?

Yes, LED bulbs can last even 35-50 times longer than incandescent. 

While an ordinary incandescent bulb can last a maximum of 1000 hours of operation (as we’ve already started), regular LEDs can last up to 35,000 – 50,000 hours of operation. Fascinating, isn’t it? And with all that, they use a lot less energy. 

However, incandescent lighting is still used in many areas. Another reason for the LEDs is that their light quality is superior and they don’t generate that much heat at all. Also, there are far fewer operational and maintenance costs with LED lights.

There are also dimmable incandescent bulbs that will definitely last longer if their light intensity is dimmed from time to time.

After answering the question on how long do incandescent bulbs last, we had to answer this one too!

Why are incandescent bulbs bad?

Incandescent bulbs are really bad because they waste so much electricity compared to LED or CFL bulbs.

The use of incandescent bulbs is declining because of their low efficiency and high electricity usage. LEDs are becoming a popular choice because they are efficient and have longer life spans than their incandescent counterparts.

Some people know how to fool themselves and buy incandescent light bulbs because they are cheaper, but in the end, they pay the difference when they get their electricity bill.


That’s all there is to it. You learned everything about the subject of how long do incandescent bulbs last and even got a little insight into the differences between LEDs and incandescent bulbs (which is a totally different topic).

Regardless of incandescent bulbs’ outdatedness, and CFLs and LEDs being used more and more, incandescent bulbs have had and still play an essential role in the world of lighting.

If you have any questions about the lifespan of incandescent bulbs, let us know in the comments below.

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