One of the easiest ways to save money in your home is by switching to LED lights. Yes, it’s that simple, and you could save a small fortune on your electricity bills per year. LEDs are better looking, more efficient, good for the planet and great for your wallet – if you haven’t already switched to them, here’s everything that you need to know about how they can save you money.
What are LED Lights?
The term LED stands for Light Emitting Diodes. They are relatively new to the mass market, but their energy-saving properties have been known for some time. LED bulbs have a lifespan of up to 30,000 hours on average, with some of the higher quality bulbs going up to 50,000 hours. They are incredibly versatile – you can combine LEDs with dimmer switches to create soft mood lighting or opt for bright task lighting in areas such as the kitchen and the study. Previously, LEDs were expensive to purchase due to the lack of availability, but now many mainstream retailers, as well as specialist LED lighting stores stock plenty of different types of bulbs.
How Much Do They Cost?
With LEDs now available widely, the initial cost of the bulbs is reducing. You can expect to pay approximately £3 for a 4W GU10 bulb – the brightness of this is comparable to a 40W halogen bulb. Whilst you may believe it is more expensive to place LEDs in your home, the savings come from your energy bills and the fact that they hardly ever need to be replaced. The reason why LEDs are more expensive is due to the chip inside – it costs money to make, so this cost is passed on to the customer.
How Much Could I Save?
Your annual lighting cost could go from over £200 to less than £50 by replacing all of the bulbs in your home and using them for around 2 hours a day (the average estimate by the Energy Savings Trust). The best way to use LED bulbs to make a saving is to replace your halogen bulbs with an LED alternative each time the halogen ones break. This way you can spread the initial cost whilst still taking advantage of the savings. If you own a business and you’re thinking of making the switch to LED bulbs, you might be eligible to take advantage of tax savings from HMRC.
To calculate the cost savings of LED bulbs, you will need to know the following information:
- The wattage of your usual bulbs and spotlights.
- The average length of time that each bulb is in use per day.
- The current electricity rate per kilowatt hour in your area. In the UK, this is around 14.71 pence.
- The cost of replacing each bulb with an LED equivalent.
You can then use the following calculations:
Current Cost per Month = (Current wattage / 1,000) x usage in hours p/day x cost p/kWh x 30 days
New Cost per Month = (New wattage / 1,000) x usage in hours p/day x cost p/kWh x 30 days
Monthly Saving = Current cost per month – new cost per month
Payback Period (Months) = Total cost of replacement bulbs / monthly saving
How to Choose the Right LED Lights for Your Home
Now that you know all the benefits of LED bulbs for your home, you need to think about which type of lights will work for you. In the kitchen, undercabinet LED lights are very popular as they don’t cast shadows and they allow you to prep and cook food easily. In the dining room, you could opt for pendant lights as these make a stunning statement – just use a dimmer switch to control the level of lighting. You can even add LED lights to your stairs – this is known as plinth lighting.
Would you switch to LED lights to save money?