LED light bulbs
The 2nd area to address after efficient
water heating is lighting. With the prices of high quality LED’s having fallen significantly
in the last years, reducing your electricity bills through replacing
inefficient old lighting technology is a must-do, with attractive financial
returns on the investment.
As an overview:
- Incandescent light bulbs are very inefficient with the majority
of the electricity being wasted as heat and should be avoided.
- Halogen bulbs are types of incandescent lamps and do not save
any energy over incandescent bulbs. These should be replaced where
- CFL lighting can save up to 70% of the electricity used in an
incandescent bulb and enjoy a much longer life.
- LED lighting can save up to 90% of the energy in an
incandescent bulb for the same lumens output. They also enjoy a very long
life of up to 15,000 hours.
Before investing in LED lighting
technology, consumers need to be aware of some of the potential pitfalls.
As a rule of thumb for an incandescent or
halogen lamps, if it is on for more than 4 hours per day, replacing it directly
with a LED will be a good idea. For all other lamps consider installing LEDs
when the current bulbs fail. Often the price of standard LED bulbs is
comparable to that of CFL and halogen products.
- If LED down lights are not correctly fitted with sufficient
space for the heat to be dissipated efficiently, their anticipated life
may be reduced.
- Make sure the lumen output of the current light and the LED
retrofit are similar. The lumen output is not always as much as claimed
particularly with cheaper products from unknown brands. A 5W LED may for
example only produce 4,5W output after a short period, rendering the light
output to be inadequate.
- Most manufacturers now offer a variety of light colors, for
example warm white light rather than the harsher cool white, which many
people find unattractive. Dimmable LEDs are also available, but these will
generally cost more.
- As the investment can be considerable, it is advisable to buy
better known brands with strong warranties and as with all energy
efficiency to do the research. There is a lot of information readily
available over the Internet.
- The return on capital expended can provide a payback on the
investment of 2 years or less, but only if the LED is good quality, and it
is correctly installed.
- DIY installation on bulbs and down lights is generally simple
and straight-forward and should only take about 2 minutes per fitting.