Everyone loves to save a few dollars allowing us to spend it on things of more interest. With the electricity prices continually rising an area to consider looking into as a home owner begins with our lighting costs. This is a relatively easy area to make adjustments and it relates to technological changes in downlighting over the years. The cost of running LED downlights vs halogen is significantly lower, and the benefits don’t stop there.
In Australia, lighting accounts for 10% of the average household electricity budget.
Here are a few of the benefits for switching your halogen downlights to LED.As an indication, here is how the energy saving equation looks for replacing halogen downlights with LED alternatives:
Benefit #1 – Reduced Power Costs
|Old style incandescent||Mains voltage halogen||CFL / LED|
|Light Output (lumens)||Power||Cost ($/Yr)||Power||Cost ($/Yr)||Power||Cost ($/Yr)|
|220||25 Watts||$7.70||18 Watts||$5.50||5 Watts||$1.50|
|420||40 Watts||$12.30||28 Watts||$8.60||7 Watts||$2.10|
|720||60 Watts||$18.40||42 Watts||$12.90||11 Watts||$3.40|
|930||75 Watts||$23||52 Watts||$15.90||13 Watts||$4.00|
|1300||100 Watts||$30.70||70 Watts||$21.50||18 Watts||$5.50|
|** Based on the use of 3 hours per light per day and electrical tariff of 28c/kWh.|
20 Old Style Incandescent Bulb using 75W each: Annual power cost (estimate) =$460.00
20 Halogen Lights using 52W each: Annual power cost (estimate) = $318.00
20 LED Lights using 13W each: Annual power cost (estimate) = $80.00
Annual saving with LED downlights = $380.00 or 82.6%
That is a significant reduction in power costs! Obviously, the more lights you have in the home, the more savings can be realised. So while there may be an initial outlay to replace the halogens, the payback period is relatively short – 6 months to 3 years.
Further, with electricity prices set to continue to rise over the next few years, any investment in energy efficient lighting will help to minimise the impact in rising costs. It will also reduce the payback period even more.
Benefit #2 – Reduced Fire Hazard
One of the little known facts about halogen downlights is the potential fire hazard they pose. These lamps can operate in excess of 200C degrees which is a lot of heat inside your ceiling. If you stand under one of these lights, you can feel the heat, particularly when compared to the cooler LED lamps which operate at only 40C.
Effectively, if anything comes into contact with these halogens, particularly any cabling, it will burn which can cause a short circuit and fire.
Below is a photo showing the temperature reading using an infrared heat gun in the ceiling. Installing LED lamps to replace halogens will minimise this risk, making your home or work place much safer
Benefit #3 – Less Maintenance Time and Cost
One of the most common complaints with halogen lamps is how often they ‘blow’. This means new lamps are always being purchased and ‘blown’ bulbs replaced.
The beauty of energy efficient bulbs is that they last so much longer. In the case of LED’s it can be 10 years or more! Imagine not having to change a light bulb for another 10 years.
Naturally, this also translates into a cost saving because although the initial lamp purchase is higher, the life time of the bulb means that overall lamp costs are much lower.
Benefit #4 – Better For The Environment
Less energy being used by lighting means there are reduced CO2 emissions which is much better for the environment.
The benefits of switching to LED downlights are significant in many ways. While cost saving is always a big consideration, the other benefits outlined above can be important as well. Changing to this lighting solution could be enough to save your household.
KAB Electrical Qld.