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Energy Efficiency

Published on November 11th, 2013 | by Guest Contributor


LED Me Tell You About My Light-er Electric Bill

November 11th, 2013 by  

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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  • Wayne Williamson

    Not in the same class, but the wife needed some small (~5watt) lamp bulbs. Bought the led ones instead of the normal incandescent ones. Probably 2 or 3 times as expensive as the “normal ones”. I’m kind of impressed by the amount of light they give off. We’ll see how long they last…
    As a side note, I just bought them at the grocery store;-)

  • Barry

    My Led bulbs had failed after a week even the CFL also , my grid inverter did’t it, so i don’t turn on the led or CFL lights in the basement in daylight hours only the Incandescent ones they can handle power surges from the grid inverter.

  • Ondrej Pikna

    Guys, just check Amazon.where ever you live…. I found good GU10 LED spots for £6.29 each and ordinary Toshiba LED bulbs for about £6… The ROI in less than a year !

  • Bob_Wallace

    Home Depot is selling Cree “60 watt” 10.5 watt LEDs for $7.97. That’s $5 less than they were a few days ago. (11/12/13)

    I’ve got a couple and they are great.

    • Jack

      Aidi in Australia was sell 100 watt rated led tubes @ 20 watts for $8.00 discounted from $29.00 much better then led bulb.

    • Bonaire

      I have an off grid power network were i live since 1985 no electric bills for me, i used 24vdc 60watt lamps back then. In 1990 Philip marketed the CFL at $39,00 17watts which made a big change for off grid setup around the world.

      I have not try the LED lamp yet i what until the CFL do there life cycle.

  • It’s original published on 2011/08/01, not up-to-date content.

    @marionmeads:disqus the content said “$11 per bulb after tax” for that Philips Decorative LED Bulb. And I checked the link you list, it is $59.88
    / each, maybe you two are talking about different bulb?

    LED light bulbs is cheaper now, I can get a 2w candelabra light bulb for only $7.50 from here: http://www.lightingever.com/led-bulbs/led-candle-light.html

  • JamesWimberley

    If you have air-conditioning in summer, the saving from the LED bulbs is increased as you save the energy you used to pay for extracting the heat from the tungsten bulbs. With a standard a/c installation of SEER=13, the COP is 3.2 (Wikipedia), so every 100w of heat takes another 30 watts of a/c to get rid of. If your a/c is on for 6 months of the year, that will increase your annual savings by 15%.

  • Marion Meads

    Do I live in a different planet than yours? Our Home Depot sells these bulbs for $59.88 each!!!!!!! Where in the world did you get the $11/bulb price????? See link below for reality check!!!!


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