Tag: Light Bulbs

Incandescent lightbulb ban taking effect

Incandescent lightbulbEffective January 1, 2014, lightbulb manufacturers will stop making the popular 40 and 60 watt incandescent lightbulbs. These are the most popular lightbulbs in the country.

Consumers for sometime have been able to buy halogen bulbs, compact fluorescent bulbs, LED bulbs and high-efficiency incandescent bulbs. Most of these bulbs are significantly more expensive than the incandescent lightbulb however their energy and cost savings over the long run are substantial. If you have not already converted from using 60 or 40 W incandescent bulbs, note that the supply will run out shortly in most stores.

Manufacturers Complying with the Law

All manufacturers are compliant with this law and have no intention of continuing to manufacture incandescent bulbs of the 60 W and 40W variety. Consumers will have no choice but to make the conversion to the more expensive bulbs.

As consumers become more familiar with the energy-saving value of these new lightbulbs they will quickly convert. And incandescent bulb overs time will cost you seven dollars of energy while an LED bulb will consume two dollars of power under normal circumstances.

Prices are Declining

And the price of all of these bulbs is declining every year as they reach mass production levels. Consumers in North America have an unprecedented opportunity to reduce their electricity cost by using these new bulbs. When you can save money, why not follow the trend and get on with it.

If you do not want to replace all of your lights due to the cost, start by replacing the lights that are always on or at least on for a long time during the day or night time. Reuse the old lightbulbs as needed when other older Incandescent lightbulbs burn out. This is probably the most cost efficient approach to take so that you maximize your energy savings quickly while keeping the replacement cost of the existing lightbulbs at a minimum.  Make no mistake these new bulbs will save you money over the long run. LED bulbs are forecasted to have lifetimes of 10 to 20 years depending on the manufacturer and the materials used. This is a long time for a lightbulb to last and can make a huge difference in the cost of electricity used over that time period.

Consumers should look for discounts and coupons offered by various agencies to also help them save money when purchasing replacement bulbs. Both government and some companies are looking to persuade consumers to convert to the new bulbs so check them out and use the coupons to save you even more money.


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 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.


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 the LED’s/ Fluorescent have come down in price a great deal over the last few years and 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 and 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.

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.

Comments and thoughts are welcome. Spam comments are auto deleted.


Convert to Fluorescent Lights

Convert to Fluorescent Lights

There is a huge debate right now in many circles about ending the production of incandescent lights and converting to fluorescent lights. Many people do not want to be told what to do and incandescent lightothers are just upset at the cost of the fluorescent lights compared to the regular incandescent lights we have used for many years. We have made the conversion and are finding that there are benefits. We will cover some of them in this post, since this conversion supports reduced energy needs as well as avoids the new construction of undesirable power generation through coal of nuclear generating sites.

Ugly Fluorescent Lights

Many people are just not interested in converting because the light bulbs fluorescent lighton sale at stores are just not that attractive or do not fit the form factor that we are used to.  We have a lot of the type shown on the left , however we use them in locations were the bulb is hidden by a shade or they are outdoor lights and we do not care how they look since they are really there to provide security. These bulbs really last for a long time and operate fine outside as long as they are in a dry place protected from the weather.

There are also the straight line fluorescent lights as well, however the bulb shown in the picture are really intended to replace the fluorescent lightstandard incandescent bulbs. In the last few years we have found more and more products available on the market which makes them more attractive in many areas of your home. The picture on the right is one such example. They are now beginning to come in all sizes and shapes, with quick start ballasts that cause them to immediately brighten a room, rather than need to take a few minutes to warm up and light up a room.  We use these new fluorescent bulbs outdoors now as well as long as they are protected from the elements. We also found a light sensitive switch made to work with fluorescent bulbs so that they turn on at dusk and off at dawn.

What About the Cost?

You can purchase an incandescent bulb for around a $1.00, while many of the fluorescent bulbs will cost as much as $8 or $9 dollars. They do last longer and they use less electricity, but do they save money over the long run?

This is a bit complicated, so please stay with me. Here are the assumptions.

  • Incandescent bulbs last approximately 1000 hours while
  • Fluorescent bulbs last 10,000 hours
  • Incandescent bulbs consuming 60 watts of power produce 800 lumens of light.
  • Fluorescent bulbs consuming 13 watts of power produce 900 lumens of light.
  • Our cost for power is 5.9 cents per kilowatt hour
  • The manufacturer claims that you save $56 per fluorescent bulb

Using our assumptions above and the price we pay for power in the evening which is the lowest rate, we calculated that we are saving $29 per fluorescent bulb, which is still substantial. At our highest rate of power which is 11.6 cents per kilowatt the savings goes up to $55 per bulb which is very close to the manufacturers estimate.

These savings for consumers are substantial considering that most homes will have up to seventy five lights or more. At the same time you are causing much less energy to be produced which reduces our dependence on coal, oil and nuclear generated power and the associated pollution they generate.

We have already noticed the difference in power consumption. For example, we leave one light on all night inside the house, and 3 lights on all night outside our home. In addition, we have the standard set of electronics with their always on LED lights that consume small amounts of power. During the middle of the night with these lights on we use 4 or 5 cents worth of power, which is pretty cheap!

Comments are welcome on ways to save money and help with alternative energy sources or in this case alternative consumption sources. For more posts about saving energy with LED lights and Florescent lights , click here.

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