Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Bright Ideas! Saving Money with Light Bulbs

As a homeowner, there are always suggestions or ad campaigns targeted to help you save money. I know whenever I am installing recessed lighting or rewiring a new kitchen I am always asked about efficiency and cost savings regarding the updated electrical. There are many corners you can cut to help you save money or use energy more efficiently in order to cut costs. One of the easiest ways, that you have most control over is in the lighting of your home.
There has been much debate over light bulbs, their cost and the amount of money they potentially save you. A couple of decades ago, light bulbs were just that. There were not many choices, and we didn't really think twice about how much energy they used or whether there was an alternative choice. Head to your local box store or hardware store today and your choices seem endless.
So here we will discuss the differences between the newest choice and seemingly best choice between incandescent and LED. Years ago, costs for LED would have put this comparison out of reach for many, but with the growing market and manufacturing options it is now a serious contender.
Let's discuss the main differences. Incandescent bulbs (probably what you have in your lamp right now) runs an electric current through a wire filament and provides a warm glow. LED's (light-emitting diodes) were most commonly found in your electronics like your alarm clocks years ago. When this technology was first introduced, the light strength was fairly weak. The biggest difference between the two light bulbs is the duration of which they last. Incandescent bulbs can last the average user 3-6 months depending on the usage, but typically 1,000-2,000 hours. On the contrary, LED bulbs can last 30,000-50,000 hours. Amazing right? but durability and efficiency comes at a price. We discussed how high prices and new technology go hand in hand, but discovered and refined technology now equals affordable and reasonable prices. Some might say, it pays to wait. An incandescent GE light bulb at your neighborhood hardware store will probably run you $1.99, while with today's technology an LED bulb will only set you back $8.
So 2,000 hours of use for $2 will cost you .001 cent per hour with your incandescent bulb, 50,000 hour of use for $8 will cost you .00016 cents per hour with your LED bulb. Great! so we know we get more bang for our buck with LED in terms of use and length... but what about energy consumption?
Lighting can be as much as 25% of your household's energy consumption.
Here is an excellent example of energy savings for the differences in these light bulbs (the bulb costs and cost of electricity obviously vary, but an excellent illustration):

Light bulb projected lifespan
50,000 hours
10,000 hours
1,200 hours
Watts per bulb (equiv. 60 watts)
Cost per bulb
KWh of electricity used over
50,000 hours
Cost of electricity (@ 0.10per KWh)
Bulbs needed for 50k hours of use
Equivalent 50k hours bulb expense
Total cost for 50k hours

sourced: http://eartheasy.com/live_led_bulbs_comparison.html#a

So, while you may be considering cost savings for your home- the best place to start might be the quickest yet most efficient option... your light bulbs! 
For more tips and information regarding electrical work, panel changes, home improvements, visit our site at www.mytampabayelectrician.com