Change your light bulbs now
So you are contemplating getting some energy saving light bulbs in your home, but you’re thinking, ‘I’ll wait until they blow, there’s no point in changing them while they are still working’. This is a real misconception, because as I will explain, it is worth switching over immediately.
So we are going to look at this using two scenarios. In the first, I will use a standard halogen bulb for a year (about 2,000 hours), replacing it when necessary. The average halogen bulb lasts for about this length of time, whereas an LED lasts up to 20 years, and we have assumed paying for replacements in the below scenarios as a result of this.
Now we always bang on about how long LED bulbs last (40,000 hours if you need reminding!), but what I am trying to show you here is that even taking into account they cost £15 or so to buy initially, they still pay back within the first year. Many people assume that in the short term the cost of LED bulbs outweigh the savings made. This simply isn’t true, especially in parts of the home like the lounge, where you will be using your lights for at least 5 hours a day. If you are using your lights at this sort of rate, then it really is worth switching right now. Remember this is just replacing one halogen bulb with an LED one – imagine if you were to replace 20 – the total cumulative savings on your energy bills will be massive!
Now some people still go for the old style energy saving bulbs technically known as CFL bulbs. These are low energy, and although they aren’t quite as efficient as LED’s, they are far better than halogens or incandescents. Unfortunately, CFL’s also contain mercury, and as such we recommend LED’s as the most economic and environmentally friendly option to light your home.
What about other areas of the home?
In our second scenario we look at rooms where the lights tend to be on for shorter periods of time, like the bathroom and the bedroom. Here, there is still clear saving to be made by switching to LED, although it will take a little longer to get your money back. The graph shows that in a room where you only use your lights for around 2 hours a day, it will take about 2 years to pay back for the cost of LED’s, so even in a lesser used room, it is worthwhile changing over to LED bulbs sooner rather than later.
So LEDs really are the way to go if you want reliable, cheap lighting in your home, but the real take home message here is that waiting till they blow doesn’t make sense since in that time there is a high chance the LED equivalent bulbs will have already paid for themselves!