We compare alternatives
How Much Do LED Lights Really Save?
by Nikita Nain
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LEDs are perhaps one of the most ingenious creations of man, as these tiny light transmitting bulbs can save about $675 million in annual energy costs. The cost of LED bulbs has fallen by approximately 85% since they were first introduced in 2008, which makes this lighting choice more affordable. But how much can you save in your home? Let's consider ways to use LEDs and then do some comparisons.
Replace Incandescent Lighting With LEDs - LED bulbs are approximately six to seven times more efficient than traditional light transmitting sources, such as incandescent bulbs.
Invest in Energy Star Products - Durability isn't an issue with LED bulbs, as these tiny diodes last approximately 25 times more than incandescent lights. This is especially true in the case of Energy Star qualified bulbs. Since LEDs do not contain mercury, they are not sensitive to cold temperatures and they do not heat as quickly. The direct implication of using LEDs is that once you buy a LED bulb, you do not have to worry about changing it for nearly one to two years.
Shop According to Lumens - Light Emitting Diodes are brighter than traditional light, which helps you get more light in the room with a lower wattage bulb. Light is measured in lumens. Energy usage is measured in watts. Therefore, you want to buy lumens, not watts. A four-watt LED bulb produces 450 lumens. It takes a 40 watt incandescent bulb to produce the same light.
Replace Recessed Down Lights - Kitchens, hallways, and bathrooms often use recessed down lights. Using LEDs instead of incandescent bulbs can decrease energy usage by approximately 75%. Since majority of the LED products available these days exceed the minimum of 42 lumens/wattage requirement for Energy Star products, these lights are more efficient than even compact fluorescent lights.
LED Holiday Lights - LED holiday lights offer three benefits to those who are willing to try them. LED holiday lights are safer as they burn cooler than incandescent lights, and they are sturdier, which makes them resistant to breakage. Since they use less electricity, they're also less likely to overload a circuit. As a general rule, a building that follows the standard codes can withstand 25 led lights in one wall socket plug. Compatible models of both regular LED bulbs and holiday light strips can be used with dimmers.
Now, let's compare. The average incandescent bulb will last for a little over 1,000 hours. A compact fluorescent will last for 8,000 hours. An LED will last for approximately 25,000 hours. So when you're comparing the cost of bulbs, remember that you'll need 25 incandescent or three CFLs in place of one LED.
The cost of electricity used per 25,000 hours of light at the rate of $0.12 kWh is $180 for incandescent bulbs, $42 for CFL bulbs, and $30 for LED bulbs.
Calculator: Home Budget Calculator
The estimated cost of running incandescent C-9 holiday lights to light a six-foot tree for 12 hours a day for a total of 40 days is $10. If you choose LED C-9 lights to light a similar tree for a similar duration, then the average is $0.27. The cost of purchasing and operating incandescent C-9 lights for ten seasons is $122.99. The estimated cost of buying and operating C-9 LED lights for 10 seasons is $17.99.
The cost of purchasing incandescent mini holiday lights and operating them for 10 seasons is $55.62. The cost of purchasing and operating mini LED lights for 10 seasons is $33.29.
Take the Next Step:
- Check sale prices for LED light bulbs at Amazon.com.
- Visit the TDS library for more on energy efficiency.
- Don't miss these 7 common energy-saving practices that don't save energy.
- Join those who 'live better...for less' - Subscribe to The Dollar Stretcher newsletter, a weekly look at how to stretch both your day and your dollar! Subscribers get a copy of our ebook Little Luxuries: 130 Ways to Live Better...For Less for FREE!
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