LED Lights

Outdoor LED Light Bulbs

A few years ago, LED bulbs of any kind were very expensive and most people ignored them because of that. Even with rebates as incentives, the payback was just too long. However like all new technologies, mass production of outdoor LED light bulbs has enabled the price to come down substantially. Now it makes sense to buy these bulbs just to reduce the amount of electricity that we use and save money on our electrical bills. In addition there are still discounts from manufacturers and also from government agencies that consumers can use to decrease the cost of updating to the new cost saving LED’s. Before you buy, look for coupons in your newspaper, in flyers and also online.

Outdoor LED light bulbs will last many years and use about one tenth of the electricity at the same time. In some cases there is still a rebate available from your local electrical company for any kind of LED bulb which makes them even more attractive.

Outdoor LED Light Bulbs for Christmas Decoration

The biggest difference recently has been for Christmas lights for both indoor and outdoor LED bulbs. Now you can purchase strings of lights for the same price as the original Christmas tree lights, they operate at one tenth the cost, there is no heat so no worry about fire and you can attach many strings together and not be concerned about overloading the electrical circuit. The bulbs last forever virtually and you save electrical costs at the same time. What a great innovation!

Of course outdoor LED light bulbs are not limited to just Christmas tree lights. They are now appearing in house lights, emergency lights and so on. Manufacturers have developed the appropriate protective housing for the light bulbs so that they can be used just about anywhere. Many car manufacturers are using them in newer cars as well, reducing the weight as well as the power needed to generate sufficient electricity to power the lights.

The writers family has switched over to all fluorescent lights, which also last a long time, however not as long as the outdoor LED light bulbs. As the florescent lights stop working we will upgrade to the new outdoor LED light bulbs and the indoor LED light bulbs. It just makes so much sense.

LED Light Bulb Canada

In a previous post we compared the ROI for LED lights vs. incandescent light bulbs. LED’s although they are very expensive can last for up to 50,000 hours and save a great deal of money over their life time compared to incandescent bulbs even though they are much less expensive. The other question we wanted to look at is how to LRD bulbs compare to CFL’s(Compact fluorescent Light bulbs) and should we invest in one or the other at this time.

We found one such study, which actually showed that they were pretty close in the total savings, when you compare them both over a 50,000 hour time span. CFL’s cost around $4 a piece while LED’s cost around $35 at this time per bulb. CFL’s last for 10,000 hours so you will need five bulbs to cover the 50,000 hours. Both are very efficient, although LED’s have a slight lead over the CFL’s.

Comparison of Savings for LED’s vs. CFL’s

The actual savings of the LED’s was about $4 over the 50,000 hours when comparing to CFL’s. Both of these bulbs save a great deal more when compared to incandescent bulbs. Total savings for the CFL bulb was $263 compared to the savings of $267 for the LED bulbs.

The conclusion from this comparison is that when a CFL does finally burn out, consumers would be wise to install LED’s in their lamps with the following conditions taken into consideration:

The light will be used for more than 3 hours a day, which should last 10 years at this rate

  • You are planning on staying in the home for a long period of time
  • You want to upgrade your lights as part of a sales incentive when selling your home
  • Otherwise, CFL’s would be more than sufficient and reduce your initial installation cost.

An Example of When to Use LED Light Bulb Canada

As an example we plan to stay in our home for longer than 10 years. We have four lights that are on all night, which is approximately 10 hours a day. These lights would be ideal candidates for LED’s. We have several lamps that are also on for roughly 5 hours an evening depending on the time of year. These lamps could also be equipped with LED’s. Although if we were moving in less than 5 years, I probably would install CFL’s, just to minimize the initial cost. Other lights in the house which are not used as often would have CFL’s installed. Again this is to minimize the cost taking into account these lights are only used a few hours a week.

If you still have incandescent light bulbs installed in your home, the savings are so significant in terms of reduced electrical usage, that it makes sense to install CFL’s or LED’s even before they burn out following the above guidelines that we have outlined.

LED’s Decreasing in Price

As the price for LED’s decrease based on volume production, these recommendations may change and instead of installing CFL’s in lamps that are not used that often, it will just make sense to install LED’s everywhere. Unfortunately we are not at that point yet since the cost of LED’s is still pretty high. We are not sure if the price is based on cost or perceived value to the consumer. LED’s last up to 5 times longer than CFL’s and the prices are about 8 times more expensive. Based on this we think there is still a premium compared to the LED’s however that will decrease over time.

Consumers should monitor the prices and when they are down to approximately $20 for a LED bulb, there is no longer any premium on the LED’s. This will happen over time, especially as demand goes up, governments provide incentives and mass production sets in.

Let us know if this information was useful and if you also have additional thoughts and guidelines that should be considered when using LED light bulbs in Canada or the USA for residential use.

For more posts about LED lights and saving energy, click here.

LED Lights Return on Your Investment

LED LightLED Light bulbs are very expensive and we were wondering how can a consumer possible justify spending $35 per bulb when an incandescent bulb costs less than a dollar and fluorescent bulbs cost around $4? With such a difference in price we did not think that the ROI would be very good and if these bulbs did save you money, it would take a long time for the payback to work. In fact, I might not even own the house by the time they pay for themselves!

I discussed this with a friend of ours and he had the same concern. In fact he said that the LED bulbs will last many years before they stop working and he would be long dead, so why would you invest in these kinds of bulbs. A bit of stark reality, but this is another perspective to take into account.

How Long Do LED Light Bulbs Last

Regular incandescent bulbs will last about 1200 hours on average, while a fluorescent bulb will last 10,000 hours and a LED Light is supposed to last 50,000 hours. We have 3 lights at the front of our house which are on all night long. On average they may be on for 10 hours a night which means the incandescent bulbs will only last 120 days, the fluorescent will last a long longer up to 1000 day or 2.7 years, while the LED’s will last 14 years.

What is My ROI

We plugged these numbers into a ROI calculator which assumed the cost of electricity was $.09 / Kwh, the lights were on for 10 hours per day, there were 3 lights, and the cost of the LED Lights were $35 a piece.  The results were quite interesting over a period of 1 year.

Incandescent bulbs are going to cost $121 to operate the bulbs while the LED Light would cost $7.72 which is a huge savings. Over a 10 year period this amounts to $1113 in cost savings taking into account the cost to operate and to purchase replacement bulbs.

florescent bulbs cost a little more to operate on an annual basis at $14.58, while the savings over 10 years is lower around $900. LED’s are shatter proof and do not contain mercury which is a huge concern for pollution issues and safety.

Switching To LED Lights

Most stores still sell incandescent bulbs, however they are reducing stock significantly as time moves on. There is a gradual shift from fluorescent bulbs as well to LED’s. Fluorescent have come down in price a great deal over the last few years. We expect that LED’s will  also come down in price as they are mass produced.

I would consider switching to LED’s even with the high cost, for my outdoor lights since we keep them on all night long. They will cost more initially. However they will last much longer as well. No maintenance is needed and they do not generate heat.

For rooms inside our home, I would only switch from fluorescent lights for lights that we use a lot in rooms were the lights may be on for more than 5 hours a day. This eliminates most rooms except for the family room and kitchen. Next time I need to replace some lights, which are all fluorescent lights now, I will strongly consider the LED lights. As they come down in cost, I will reconsider this approach. Right now it would cost far too much to replace the bulbs I already have.

LED Light Calculators

Another calculator looked at the cost to light a room for 50,000 hours. Which is the length of time a LED is supposed to last. They compared the operating cost, plus the cost of the bulb with the same operating costs for the fluorescent and incandescent bulbs for 50,000 hours. The cost of replacement bulbs were factored in since they only last 10,000 and 1,200 hours respectively.

The cost to operate these bulbs over 50,000 hours including the cost of the bulbs was:

  • Incandescent : $352.50
  • fluorescent : $89.75
  • LED : $85.75

These are significant savings and one that consumers should look at if you still have regular incandescent bulbs. It just makes so much sense to switch now to the more energy efficient bulbs.

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