Have you converted all your household, office and/or work / industrial lighting to LED yet? It’s surprising the number of people who still haven’t done so despite it being better for the environment and the proverbial “no-brainer” financially-speaking.
LEDs or “light-emitting diodes” to give them their full title are semiconductors and they make both the old-fashioned standard light-bulbs (the so-called “incandescents”) and the energy-saving compact fluorescents (“CFL”s) look extremely inefficient. A typical 35-watt halogen replacing LED will use as around 4 watts – far less than the 10 watts a CFL would use to create the equivalent light. LEDs also reach their brightness level straight away – unlike most CFL replacements for halogen bulbs.
But with prices of over £20 per bulb, LED lighting often seems prohibitively expensive at first glance. It’s always easier to put it off until next time. However, steadily rising electricity prices and generally falling LED prices combine to make the conversion a sound one financially. For any homes with quite a large number of halogen bulbs, the latest generation of low-energy lighting now certainly makes good sense money-wise.
What’s more – the previous concerns over the relatively weak or “cold” quality of LED lights are also no longer relevant. Earlier generations of LED lighting were criticised for giving out too cold a light; a bluey-white hue as opposed to a warmer yellow glow. But the latest versions of LED are able to match halogen lights for colour. Keep an eye out for LED lights with a colour temperature of around 2,700k for halogen bulb replacements.
LED is also a better portable source of light for technical requirements where the bluey-whiteness is positively welcomed for its greater clarity.
If you’re ready to convert to LED, there are various online suppliers you can get it from. For example, you can buy LED floodlights online here from RS Components – one of the biggest suppliers online. They cover myriad accessories – and are generally cheaper than the large physical retailers. Wireless LED floodlights for example, are particularly useful for occasional use and outdoor use for relatively short periods of time – though halogen spots remain far cheaper to buy in the first place it has to be said.
Over the long term, though, the figures do make sense. LEDs usually cost somewhere in the region of five to six times the price of halogens. This means, however, that the pay-back period comes in around 15 months as an absolute maximum, and sometimes a fair bit less as prices fall. This is an ever-changing sum, but it’s still a no-brainer. For a typical halogen-based home with a requirement to change a few dozen halogen bulbs each year, the savings easily run into the hundreds of pounds annually after the initial pay-back period. It’s simply a question of being a little more far-sighted.
Simply put, anyone converting to LED will see an underlying return on their investment during the first couple of years, but, more to the point will then go on making savings for many more years. Better yet for most of us; you don’t have the continual problem of replacing burnt out halogen bulbs as LEDs last roughly ten times as long; somewhere around 10,000 hours or more, on average, compared with around 1,000 hours for the hotter halogen bulbs.
It’s time to make the change if you haven’t yet – but one final word of warning here; LEDs with MR16 fittings (those with two thin spikes) may necessitate a new transformer.
Image by matt512