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TechTuesday
TECH TUESDAY
LED Watts and Lumens: Saving Money!
Author: Dorothy Winslow

We are here on another beautiful Tuesday with more beautiful LED facts. Let’s get down to your electric bill, which is sometimes not-so-beautiful. How can you save on your electric bill with LED lighting?

To review from the first article:

“You know those incandescent lamps I keep talking about? When we go to buy them, we have to know what wattage they are. Usually we buy 60 watts for our home. For those lamps, that means it’s very bright and uses A LOT of power (way more money on your electric bill!). My mom always had me turning off the lights when I left a room, did yours? LEDs do not use as much power to give that much brightness. So for LEDs we describe brightness in a term called lumens. LEDs only need 7 watts (WAY less than incandescents!) to make the same amount of light that the 60 watt incandescent makes. So if your kid accidentally leaves the lights on all weekend, that’s not even a blip on your electric bill.”

I’m sure you have also heard about how LEDs last a very long time. What is a very long time? A “long time” is when you look at a package and it says the LED lamp lasts 50,000 hours.

What does 50,000 hours really mean?
• 137 Years at 1 hour/day
• 22.8 Years at 6 hours/day
• 11.4 Years at 12 hours/day
• 5.7 Years at 24 hours/day

Compare that to an incandescent lamp, which only lasts between 750-2,500 hours according to the California Energy Commission (wow!). Even the ‘energy efficient’ CFLs are only rated to last between 6,000-10,000 hours. And they buzz and take a long time to light up, which are major drawbacks.

 

Here is what I’m saying in terms of cold hard cash:
So let’s say you are still using 60 watt incandescent lamps, and you’re replacing them every 1,000 hours; in 25,000 hours you’re spending about $55 for 25 bulbs vs the LED equivalent at $5.45 for 25,000 hours.

 

Now, factor in that you’re paying an average of $0.21 per kilowatts. You will be saving on average $23 a year per lightbulb on your electric bill by switching to LED. Personally I have 39 lamps at home. If they are all 60 watt incandescent lamps and we have them all on (which tends to happen) for 6 hours every night, and we switch to LED bulbs, I’ll be saving $897 a year on my electric bill. Not to mention saving the cost of constantly changing out those incandescent lightbulbs (about $5 a year, same price as one LED bulb, which instead lasts for 10 years).

 

Is LED looking attractive now?

Common LED Watt Equivalents:
40W Incandescent Lamp = 7W LED
60W Incandescent Lamp = 10W LED
75 Incandescent Lamp = 13W LED
100W Incandescent Lamp = 18W LED
50W Halogen MR16 = 7W LED
4 Lamp (128W total) Fluorescent Fixture = 40W LED fixture

 

Many LED lamps are rated to last 25,000-50,000 hours (L70), and some fixtures up to 100,000 hours!

 
Tech Tid-Bit: Since LED chips will last a billion times longer than you or I could comprehend, their lifespan is described in terms of something called L70. It’s a point in time when it’s putting out 70% of its capacity than when it was new. So if the lamp lasts 25,000 hours, on that 25,000th hour it is producing 70% of its original light output.

If you are shopping for LEDs and want to check out lumens on the label, look here:
Article 4 picture lumens label

LPW (lumens per watt) refers to the energy efficiency (or efficacy) of lighting: how much visible light you get for a given amount of electricity used.

Happy Savings!
About the author: Dorothy Winslow is a sales associate for CES Santa Barbara and has been with the company 4 years. She specializes in LED lighting and Energy Management. She is also a San Francisco Giants fan and an avid dog lover.