Energy saving LED home lighting is without doubt the future of domestic lighting. Though some critics still bleat on about cost and comparison with conventional domestic lighting solutions, they miss the point as completely as comparing an abacus with an electronic calculator.
A typical 50w GU10 halogen lamp costs about £3 GBP in the UK and lasts (let’s be generous) 2,000 hours. You can however easily purchase LED equivalents – I source all mine from Amazon mainly because the quality is generally high, the price low and their returns policy is simply outstanding.
These LEDs can perform the same job as their incandescent counterparts and, cost wise, will at present set you back as much as 4 times more that but will last 25 times longer; so on true like-for-like purchase costs you actually save (3*25 – 12) £63 per lamp.
But that’s not even close to the real savings from switching to LED; assuming modest domestic usage of 5 hours per day, the cost of electricity saved from just one LED bulb compared to the equivalent brightness halogen lamp works out at £19.83 per year and £543.21 over the full lifespan of that one light bulb.
It may not seem like much but if you’re like most folk your lighting usage is almost certainly somewhat in excess of one bulb for five hours per day.
If you crank the maths you start to see typical savings for an average household that start at £400-£500 per year (or £11,000 – £15,000 over the typical lifespan of an LED) and go up from there. Who wants to leave that kind of money on the table?
The critics are right on one point though – LED lighting is not the same. Low energy domestic LED lighting should be installed, used and thought about differently because the new generation of home LED lights makes possible a whole new world of innovative, adjustable and cost-efficient designs never before dreamed of.
LED lamps are widely available in most forms these days, including normal bulb shaped LED light bulbs, but perhaps the most straightforward ways to begin your move to energy saving LED home lighting is by replacing your halogen lamps. Retrofit LED spotlights are fully compatible with the various types of existing halogen fittings (GU10, MR16, ES) and provide a similar form of light i.e. very bright and directional.
Replacement options commonly include GU10 LED bulbs for mains voltage, MR16 LED for 12v lighting and the new GU24 base introduced for low power consumption light bulbs (this was originally intended to delineate CFL bulbs before LED technology started parking its tanks on the low energy lighting lawn). So next up, a brief history of how we got to where we are now…