If you’re constantly looking for ways to save money on your bills, one solution is to switch to LED lights. If you haven’t already done this, what are you waiting for? LEDs are much brighter than halogen bulbs and they’re also better for the environment, as well as your bank account.
About LED Lights
LEDs are also known as Light Emitting Diodes. They have been recognised for their energy saving properties for a while but it’s only really in the last year or so that LED bulbs have become widely available. Most average LED bulbs have a lifespan of around 30,000 hours, but some of the more advanced bulbs can last up to 50,000 hours. LEDs are also very versatile – you can buy the bulbs in a range of colours, control them with remotes to change colours and attach them to dimmer switches to choose the level of lighting that you require. The bulbs are perfect for every room and are available in many different styles such as overhead pendant lights, undercabinet lights and recessed decking lights. You can now buy LEDs from your local supermarket or specialist retail outlets.
The Initial Cost
Thanks to LEDs becoming more widely available, the price is reducing. At the moment, you can expect to pay about £3 for a 4W GU10 bulb. In terms of brightness, this is comparable to a 40W halogen bulb. Whilst this may seem expensive initially, the savings that you make on your electricity bills will be worth it. If you don’t want to pay a lot upfront, try replacing your current bulbs with LEDs each time one breaks. As LEDs have a longer lifespan, it’s unlikely you’ll need to pay for replacement bulbs. LEDs are unfortunately more expensive than halogen bulbs as the chip inside costs money to make and the manufacturers pass this on to the customer. If you wish to dim your LED bulbs, you’ll also need to invest in LED-compatible switches, as your bulbs will not work with your current switches (they will flicker and buzz!).
How Much Could I Save?
When you have replaced all the bulbs in your home with LEDs, it is estimated that your annual lighting cost could drop from over £200 to less than £50. This is based on a calculation from the Energy Savings Trust on a calculation of using the lights for two hours a day. If you own a business and you’re thinking about switching to LEDs, you might be eligible for tax benefits from HMRC. If you’re mathematically savvy, you can use a calculation to work out the cost savings of LED bulbs.
You’ll need the following information:
- The wattage of your usual bulbs and spotlights.
- The average length of time that each bulb is in use per day.
- The current electricity rate per kilowatt hour in your area. In the UK, this is around £0.19p per hour.
- The cost of replacing each bulb with an LED equivalent.
You can then use this formula to work it out:
Current Cost per Month = (Current wattage / 1,000) x usage in hours p/day x cost p/kWh x 30 days
New Cost per Month = (New wattage / 1,000) x usage in hours p/day x cost p/kWh x 30 days
Monthly Saving = Current cost per month – new cost per month
Payback Period (Months) = Total cost of replacement bulbs / monthly saving
If you base your calculation on the electricity rate of £0.19 per KwH, an LED bulb would cost £19 over the course of its lifetime. To compare, an incandescent bulb would cost around £152 for the same period.
Traditional incandescent bulbs have been banned in the EU and halogens will be phased out from September 2018. This will result in increased efficiency and more competitive pricing from LED retailers.
Have you made the switch to LED lights?