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Energy Efficiency

LED Me Tell You About My Light-er Electric Bill

Originally published on Global Warming: Man or Myth
by Scott Mandia

In an earlier post, I showed how a new energy-efficient refrigerator was saving me hundreds of dollars per year.  This post will highlight how a set of LED bulbs with a high initial price tag will not take too long to pay for themselves and then will begin to save me money.

Several years ago I switched almost every light bulb inside and outside the house with CFL bulbs.  One exception: the six-bulb candelabra in the dining room still had the old incandescent flame tip bulbs that used more energy and threw off more heat.  This is the room where we work on our laptops and where we entertain guests.  The other candelabras in the house had CFLs that were covered by a piece of glass that hid the twisted bulb inside but they were not appropriate for an exposed fixture in plain view of guests.  (I am being polite.  The shape of these covered bulbs is, well, I imagine something one might find in an adult shop.)

For years I looked at that candelabra and knew it was wasting energy and heating up the room.  We use this fixture more than any other light in the house so I wondered if there were LED bulbs in the shape of bent tip flames.  Home Depot had them for almost $11 per bulb after tax which appeared to be a very expensive switch.  However, after working out the math, buying these bulbs ended up being a no-brainer.

Philips Decorative LED Bulb

Philips Decorative LED Bulb

According to Philips, these bulbs will last 18.3 years if used an average of three hours per day.  (Home Depot will replace them for life so there is no risk!)  Based on three hours per day at my current LIPA rate of $0.17  kWh, each bulb will save me $44.20 over that 18.3 year lifetime.  At $11 per bulb, the energy savings will pay for the bulbs in about 4.5 years.  (Of course, the assumption is that energy rates will not rise in the next 4.5 years.  I assume that the rates will rise and I will achieve my cost savings sooner.)  As an added bonus, these bulbs cast off almost no heat which is a huge improvement over the older bulbs that quickly heat up the dining room to uncomfortable levels in the warmer seasons.

Another example of how we can save the planet and save money at the same time.

 

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