Falling prices for LEDs (light-emitting diodes) have made them a much better buy now than when they first came out. Although I was originally impressed by their brightness and coolness, the price tag was just too much for me to get past. Even though I could see the sensible course of longer life and very few replacements, paying twenty dollars or more for a light bulb didn’t seem right to me.
However, times have changed, and falling prices for LEDs can generate savings that you shouldn’t let get away. Along with lower sale prices, you can also benefit from utility company rebates and coupons if you shop around for the best deal.
Another side benefit is that LEDs do not generate heat like conventional bulbs. For example, if you have 10 can light in your kitchen using conventional bulbs, they generate a lot of heat that your air conditioner has to replace with coolness. If you had 10 LED bulbs there instead, the amount of heat generated would be almost none, so they would cause no extra work for your air conditioner.
This chart compares four common options for bulbs. The “lumens” column indicates the level of brightness, and the data under the bulb names indicates the power usage. The “rated life” is how long they are expected to give light before burning out.
You can see that the LEDs burn approximately 20 times as long as a conventional bulb. So — whenever the price of an LED bulb is less than or equal to 20 times the price of a conventional bulb, you have savings on the initial cost. Currently, many 1600 lumens LED bulbs are selling for approximately $12-$14, and you can find coupons and rebates that cut that cost by several dollars more. Shopping for 1600 lumen conventional bulbs shows me they are selling for approximately $2-$3. Since LEDs are only approximately 6 times the cost of conventional bulbs, they are a good bargain. On top of the cost savings, you also will gain from the reduction of 4/5ths of the power consumption, so that bargain will continue to grow bigger month after month.
For those who won’t be able to replace all their household bulbs at once, try just replacing your most-used bulbs at the rate of 2-3 a month and it won’t be long until you make a big difference in your home. I have replaced several of the ones that we leave most of the time, and I feel much better about not running up the electric bill that way.
For long term usage in commercial applications, like warehouses, commercial offices, churches, or parking lots, the savings potential is even better. At Frye Electric, we have the equipment and the personnel to make commercial lighting changes quickly for you.
If you have any questions about different types of lighting, or for replacement of complete fixtures, please contact us. Frye Electric has been a trusted local business since 1975, and we’d like to take care of all your electrical needs.
For other thoughts on this topic, see this article from the Pittsburg Tribune.