The cost of electricity rarely, if ever, goes down. Currently in the UK, although it depends on your supplier, the cost is high. They rose by 7% last year and with an economic down-turn, talk of a double-dip recession, and in many jobs, no annual increase in pay, there’s a lot less money to go around. You may be looking at ways to reduce costs, including power bills. A really good long-term investment to reduce your electricity bills is to switch to LED lighting.
Before we look at the savings, what are the non-financial benefits and drawbacks of LED bulbs? Well, because they have virtually no moving parts, they do not generate heat and so can be used safely around the home where you want to keep the temperature low (such as spot lightings onto furniture, artwork or fabrics). That also means that they last much longer than any other type of bulb. They are very robust, unlike incandescent bulbs where one shake or dropping and the filament is broken and they are useless. It also means that you after you have installed your LED lights you won’t be getting up the ladder every few weeks to replace them. Many will last for a quarter of a century before the light produces noticeably reduces! Finally on the plus side, LEDs contain no harmful chemicals (Compact Fluorescent Light bulbs contain mercury which is toxic and difficult to dispose of. LEDs also give the maximum lighting effect the split second they are switched on, unlike some CFLs that take a minute to warm up to maximum light. And if you’re into mood lighting, LEDs are great for that coming in a range of colours and effects… after all, they’ve been used as Christmas tree lights for many years now!
The only downside to LED bulbs is that the initial cost to buy one is higher than the other types of bulbs. But this is where we come on to simple economics. Yes, the cost of LED bulbs is a few times higher than that of other bulbs. But they last many, many times as long. So you won’t be buying a replacement anytime soon. The other real clincher in the economic arguments is that LEDs use up to 80% less energy than other bulbs. That means your lighting bills will be up to 80% less. Depending on how many lights you have in your home and how often they are used, you can break even after only 12 months!
There are various sites that will do the calculations for you, but as an example, using a 7W LED bulb for four hours a day would typically save you £8.97 a year, or up to £224 by the time you need to replace the bulb in 25 years’ time. The Panasonic LED website has a savings calculator that can use to see how much you can save and how quickly.
Finally, technology is improving in this area all the time. LED bulbs are now dimmable and can fit almost any light socket and be a substitute for old-fashioned bulbs in almost every area of your home. As more and more manufacturers realise LEDs are the future now, then they are competing with each other to bring you the longest lasting and best LEDs- and the prices are coming down.
There’s never been a better time to get LED’ed and start saving money on your electricity bills!