LED lights are the latest technology in energy efficient lighting. LED stands for ‘Light Emitting Diode’, a semiconductor device that converts electricity into light.
LED lights are super energy efficient, using approximately 85% less energy than halogen or incandescent lighting – meaning significant savings on your power bills. An LED globe can reach a lifespan of up to 50,000 hours, which is more than 10x the lifespan of an equivalent Halogen globe. So not only will you have to change fewer bulbs, there will be lower replacement costs and less waste.
LEDs are available in a full range of colours (most Christmas lights use LED technology) however when lighting your home, the main colours to be aware of are:
- Warm white
- Cool white
- Day light
So, what makes a light feel warm or cool? A lower colour temperature produces a warmer, more relaxing light. A higher colour temperature emits a cooler, more energised light. You can see examples of what these different colour temperatures look like here.
Thinking of making the switch?
If you’re thinking of making the switch to LED lighting, you’re probably keen to see the cost benefits. You’ll easily see these cost-savings on your energy bill when it decreases after you install your LED lights, however if you want to see how much you actual energy usage will decrease after switching to LEDs, you will need to understand how kilowatt hours work.
The kilowatt hour rate
A kilowatt hour (kWh) is the term used to describe one unit of energy that is equal to 1000-watt hours.
Most energy providers bill their customers based on the number of kilowatt hours used each month. This number is then multiplied by a rate, usually cents per kWh, to determine the monthly energy bill.
How to calculate your potential cost savings by switching to LED lighting
In order to calculate your potential cost saving, you will need to know:
- the wattages of the bulbs you have
- the wattages of the new bulbs you’ll be using, and
- your cost per kWh. You can usually find this on the second page of your electricity bill. This cost will vary between providers and the type of metering you have. For the example below we will use $0.30/kwh.
Use this equation to compare the cost of running different bulbs:
Bulb Wattage x Hours Used Per Day / 1000 x Cost Per kWh = Cost
For example, if we compare a 50W halogen light with a 10W LED.
50W Halogen: 50W x 8 hours = 400/1000 = .4 x $0.30 kWh = $0.12 to run one halogen light for 8 hours for one day.
10W LED: 10W x 8 hours = 80/1000 = .08 x $0.30 kWh = $0.024 to run one halogen light for 8 hours for one day.
Those numbers are small and don’t convey the true cost of using lights. When calculating your total costs, be sure to multiply those final numbers by the number of bulbs you are using in your house and then by the number of days that are in your electric billing cycle or 365 days to see the yearly saving.
Annual Halogen costs:
Using 10x 50W bulbs for 30 days, the cost is $0.12 x 10 x 30 = $36.00 per month.
Annual costs are $36.00 x 12 = $432.00.
Annual LED costs:
Using 10x 10W LEDs for 30 days is $0.024 x 10 x 30 = $7.20 per month.
Annual costs are $7.20 x12 = $86.40
Want to know more? Speak to your electrician about switching to LED lighting.