Generally LED replacement lighting will use 85% less energy and have a 10 year lifetime. Although the cost of these new bulbs are more expensive than the older compact fluorescent lighting their longevity and lower running costs means that they will save you money in both energy costs and the cost of replacing the bulbs.
How much can I save?
The biggest savings will come from switching older type lighting and higher wattage lighting. Kitchen lighting or recessed lighting where multiple bulbs may be in use are where you will make the biggest savings.
Typically a single 75 watt bulb will cost £23.82 a year in electricity costs to run. An equivalent CFL light at 18 watts cost £5.72 and switching to an LED equivalent at 9w will cost £2.54 a year to run.
It makes more sense to change your lighting that gets used the most based on your habits. Changing just one bulb from an old style incandescent to a modern LED will save you £21.28 a year on running costs. This would easily cover the initial cost of a new LED plus it would not need to get changed again for decades.
Where can the biggest savings be achieved?
Halogen lighting is often 50 watts where the equivalent LED is only 5 watts. This type of lighting (often GU10) is also much cheaper to replace, often half the cost of a standard Bayonet or Screw fit LED bulb. Replacing this type of recessed halogen lighting will generally give you the biggest savings although all LED replacements will save you money.
Do they take time to warm up?
Older CFL (compact fluorescent lighting) took a while to warm up and so didn’t reach their full brightness straight away. LED lighting works instantly and emit their full light output straight away.
Can I replace my existing lights easily?
You just need to ensure you buy the correct fitment for your home, the two most common types are screw fittings and bayonet fittings. They are replaced the same way as any other type of bulb.
Can I get a suitable replacement?
The most common types of fitting used in the UK include Bayonet Cap (BC or B22d) and the smaller Small Bayonet Cap (SBC or Ba15d or Ba15s) and the Miniature Bayonet Cap (MBC or Ba9s), Edison Screw (ES or E27) and the smaller Small Edison Screw fittings (SES or E14, E12, E10 and E5).
These are the fittings used by most ceiling and wall lights inside the home.
Halogen replacements come in a variety of sizes (G4, GY6.35, G9, R7, GU4, GU5.3, GU6.35 and GU10). To find a replacement for your halogen light that are often found in recessed lighting and some lamps you just need to find an LED with the equivalent fitting.
What about dimmable lights?
There are direct LED replacements that can be used with dimmer switches. The fittings will be the same, you just need to make sure you buy the dimmable version.
Is the light different?
The old type filament bulbs and CFL’s generally produce a yellow light. You can buy LED replacements that are cool white (5500-6500k) or warm white (2800-3500k), the same type of light as produced by the older traditional lights. The former cool white is a closer representation of natural daylight and therefore can reduce eyestrain and create better light for reading and crafts.
Comparing the light quality of bulbs below showing some typical values measured using colour temperature.
2700k = 60w incandescent bulb (old style filaments)
3000k = Warm CFL light or warm LED light
4100k = Moonlight
5000k = the sun at the horizon (sunset or sunrise)
6000k = Cool white LED
6500k = Daylight (overcast)
How bright are LED bulbs?
It is useful to have a general wattage comparison so that you can compare traditional tungsten filament light bulbs with the newer LED equivalents. The table below shows the light output measured in Lumens compared to the wattage that each type of lighting technology requires to achieve this level of light output.
|450||4 – 5||8 – 12||40|
|300 – 900||6 – 8||13 – 18||60|
|1100 – 1300||9 – 13||18 – 22||75 – 100|
|1600 – 1800||16 – 20||23 – 30||100|
|2600 – 2800||25 – 28||30 – 55||150|
Select the current wattage for your incandescent or CFL and compare to the equivalent LED wattage to see what would need for a like for like replacement. In general LED technology uses about half the power of CFL and one tenth the power of a traditional bulb.
How long will it last?
A typical lifespan is usually 50,000 hours although some are designed to last 100,000 hours. So if you use your light for 4 hours a day it would last about 34 years. This compares to 10,000 hours for a CFL and 1,200 hours for a traditional incandescent.
Fitting LED lights is a great investment for those who are unable to change lights themselves as their long lifetime means that the bulbs may never need changing. LED lights are also great in situations where a light needs to remain on constantly or for long periods of time.