Whilst LED lighting has taken off in a big way with businesses across the UK, particularly since the manufacture of more efficient and stronger bulbs in recent years, on the domestic market we still haven’t quite convinced ourselves to take the plunge. The truth is that LED lighting could help homes reduce their electricity costs and cut down CO2 emissions and has some big benefits for those who want more money in their pockets rather than in the bank accounts of our big energy companies.
The Benefits of LED Lighting for Homes
- LED lighting is simple to install. As you might expect it doesn’t need any specialist technical skill unless you are going to rewire your entire house. Basically, if you can put in a light bulb you pretty much have everything covered.
- The only time additional work may be needed is with tube LEDs that replace fluorescent tubes and which may need new attachments or a little rewiring.
- They may be more expensive than normal bulbs, but LED lamps use less electricity and can cut down those household bills significantly. The savings on energy bills far outweigh the initial cost of £15 to £20 for a bulb.
- LED light bulbs last much longer than their counterparts. An incandescent bulb lasts around 1,200 hours and a CFL about 10,000. A LED bulb should keep the light coming for 60,000 hours.
- They provide more than enough light nowadays – in the past bulbs were low emitters of light and therefore not suitable for homes.
- The cost of changing all the bulbs in a house can stretch to a couple of hundred pounds or more which might seem a large amount of money to many households in one go. You can, however, take advantage of the Green Deal, basically a loan which is paid back through savings on your electricity bill. Alternatively, you can change one bulb at a time to spread the cost yourself.
- The bulbs are safer in that they don’t produce the heat that fluorescent or incandescent bulbs do and don’t break as easily. They don’t contain toxic products such as mercury which CFLs do.
Find out more about the benefits of LED lighting here.
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While there are plenty of case studies for commercial properties that have swapped to LED lighting, there are few for domestic properties. Having said that, it is probably easier to work out the cost benefits from having LEDs installed at home than in an office or shop. Suppliers and manufacturers will boast of savings up to 90% when LED bulbs replace old fashioned incandescent bulbs but there are also significant differences between CFL bulbs and LED.
The savings that can be made by switching to LED will depend on a number of factors, not least that households tend to use less lighting than offices or commercial premises. It’s estimated that 7% of our energy bills are taken up with lighting compared to 40% in a place such as a shop or restaurant. For most house owners though, it is difficult to make an accurate assessment of the full savings on energy bills without some professional input.
Find out more about the costs and savings for LED lighting.
Dimmer Switches and Tubes
There are a couple of areas where you might need a little more than just fixing a bulb into a socket. If you use a dimmer switch you will have to get a new one for your LED bulb as they operate at a much lower wattage. LED tubes in a large number of instances will fit into the existing casing that your fluorescent uses. If you have an older fitting you may well need to change it and have it rewired to fit a new LED tube.
The Future of LED in our Homes
We will no doubt find that many more homes will begin to install LED lighting over the next few years as awareness about it and the cost savings available become more widely known. Home owners have the benefit that they can elect to change all the bulbs in one go or do it gradually over time, replacing bulbs that have broken with new LED ones.
Finding the Right Bulbs
There are a number of brands for LED lighting on the market nowadays and you can opt to buy them from your local hardware store or from a specialist supplier. If you want to review the lighting in your home and perhaps do everything in one go, it might be a good idea to contact a local installer to survey your property and give you an idea of how much in savings you can make and the best bulbs to choose.
You can search our installer’s database for someone in your area here.
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