It’s definitely a no-brainer to say that you should replace your incandescent bulbs with LEDs once they burn out, but should you do it sooner that that? There are a lot of factors that need to be considered before you decide whether to fit your home with LEDs not; for one, LEDs are expensive to buy – so you need to be sure they’re going to save you money in the long-term. They’re also slightly more complicated to fit, and don’t always offer the same usability as incandescent bulbs.
Is it More Cost-Effective to Replace Them Now?
It’ll take a little bit of maths to explain the reasoning here, but the answer is always YES. First, if you don’t already have a bulb for the lights in question, LED lights are definitely more cost-effective. Despite costing a little more than an incandescent bulb, the cost of running an LED bulb is considerably lower: in fact, estimates place the cost at around £21.18/year in comparison to £211.87/year for incandescent bulbs. This puts your annual saving at nearly £200 – far more than the extra you had to spend to buy the bulb in the first place. On top of this, LED bulbs last much longer than incandescent bulbs, so you’ll get your money’s worth eventually, anyway.
Now, what if you’ve already bought the incandescent bulb? It’s not really that different. If you’ve already bought the bulb, then throwing it away – or giving it away – means £2 or so down the drain, and a small waste of resources, but you’ll now make that saving of £200 – minus the cost of your LED bulb – sooner rather than later. On top of this, an LED bulb lasts for around 50,000 hours, as opposed to the 1,200 hours you’ll get out of an incandescent bulb – so you’ll keep saving £200 every year for a long time to come. Whether your incandescent bulb’s brand new or dog-tired, you’ll always make a saving by switching to LED lights.
Is it Viable to Fit My Entire Home with LEDs?
The first problem with fitting an entire home with LED lights is simply that it’s very expensive; however, if you can afford to buy all the necessary bulbs, then this isn’t an issue – as you’ll make all of the initial cost back in the savings you make on bills. Other than this cost, you shouldn’t have too much trouble converting at least most of your ordinary lights into LEDs. LED bulbs are available to buy in both bayonet and screw-in forms, so you can fit your usual ceiling lights with LEDs, and downlighters are perfect for LED lights. If you need more downlighters fitting, you’ll likely need to talk to an expert – unless you’re a DIY pro – but this would be the case with whatever kind of bulb you use.
Advantages and Disadvantages
There are considerable benefits to switching your lighting to LED, but there are also a few drawbacks. Here’s a brief summary of the major pros and cons of switching to LED lights throughout your home:
- As already mentioned, vast financial savings can be made by switching from incandescent lights to LEDs throughout your home.
- You won’t be going up and down ladders every few months changing bulbs; the LED’s 50,000 hours of power should mean that changing bulbs is a rare necessity – and with the money you’ll save, you can even afford to get someone to do it for you!
- It’s important to remember that by using LED lights you’re not just saving money – you’re saving the environment. Over the course of a year, your average LED lights might use around 329 KWh/yr.compared to 3285 KWh/yr. used by incandescent bulbs.
- Unfortunately, dimmer technology is only just making its way into LED lights, and so the majority of LEDs on the market today aren’t compatible with dimmer switches.
- Many LED lights still lack the warmth of colour in comparison to more traditional incandescent bulbs.
- Some electronic transformers require a minimum of 20 watts to work, while most LED bulbs use much less than 20 watts.