When installing LED lighting to replace another type of bulb you need to take into account more than just the initial cost. There are other factors to consider including the amount of electricity saved compared to other bulbs as well as the durability of the replacements you are putting in. This can often make it difficult to assess the overall benefits particularly if you are changing all the bulbs in your office or home.
For instance, if you are replacing incandescent bulbs the savings will be much more pronounced than if you are swapping LED for halogen bulbs. Having said that, there are still some great savings to be made even if you have CFLs or other energy friendly bulbs. In the end, whatever the reason for choosing LED bulbs, you will more likely than not be able to achieve a decent return on investment, if not immediately, then over their expected lifetime.
Find out more about types of LED light bulb.
Initial Cost of LED Bulbs
A 6 watt LED bulb compares to a 60 watt incandescent light (or if you are more up to date, a 14 watt fluorescent bulb), so it’s a good start for a comparison. An old style light bulb is around £1 to £2 depending on where you buy one, which is pretty cheap, but has a couple of simple health warnings attached.
First of all, an incandescent light bulb will only last about 1,200 hours before it needs to be replaced. If you compare this to the average lifetime of an LED bulb of 60,000 hours you begin to see the savings you can make. You would need around 50 incandescent bulbs to last this long.
Secondly, a 60 watt incandescent bulb is going to use a whole lot more electricity. Over 60,000 hours one 60 watt lightbulb is will set you back around £700 whilst a 6 watt LED bulb will cost in the region of £80-90. So, whilst an LED bulb will cost you about £15 to £20, the initial outlay is by far outweighed by the savings over time.
If you want to compare LED to CFL, then the savings are not as great but they are big enough to be worth while. A comparable CFL bulb costs around £3 and lasts about 10,000 hours. Over its lifetime it will use in the region of £180 of electricity, still considerably more than the LED bulb on its own.
There are, of course, different types of LED light but you should expect to pay between £10 and £20 whilst a tube may well set you back anything between £20 and £50. If you are looking to install a larger number of bulbs for your business or home then replacing perhaps 30 or more it can cost you in excess of £400. It sounds like a significant investment, although you can access the Green Deal to help with financing, but the savings on electricity and the longevity of bulbs more than compensates for that initial cost.
Over 60,000 hours, 30 incandescent bulbs, with the amount of electricity used and replacements required, will cost you over £23,000 whilst the comparable LED bulbs will cost just £2,600. Even the comparison with CFL bulbs is quite good with the cost over the lifetime of LED bulbs providing a saving of £3,000 or more.
There are numerous examples and case studies online for businesses that have swapped to LED lighting and, across the board, the results are the same – significant and long term savings are made on electricity bills. There is also a real reduction in carbon emissions that is highly attractive to businesses who are trying to improve their green credentials.
London based Istoria LED gives the example of MP4 hair salon which changed from their normal lighting to LED when their electricity tariff was put up by their energy company. The savings over a year were quite pronounced:
- Their annual energy usage went down from 17,622 kWh to 1,868 kWh.
- Their carbon emissions were cut from 9.59 tonnes down to 1.02 tonnes.
- Their costs were reduced from £2,114 a year to just £224.
The Lightbulb Company worked with the flagship Co-Op Store in central London and boasts about reducing their lighting costs by as much as 35%. The replacement LED bulbs were not only for traditional lighting but for areas such as refrigeration units and replacements for fluorescent bulbs.
For domestic premises the savings are comparable although it may take slightly longer to achieve a return on investment, primarily because lights are used less than in a commercial environment. The truth is that, across the board, installing LED lights is a win-win situation for both businesses and homes because of the increased efficiency of the bulbs and their low wattage in comparison to even the most eco-friendly CFL bulbs on the market.
Find out more about manufacturers and suppliers of LED lighting.