LEDS: How YOU can save on lighting costs

LEDs (light-emitting diodes) are a modern lighting solution that lets you save money and energy without sacrificing quality of lighting.

Compared to incandescent bulbs or CFL (compact fluorescent lights), LEDs produce equal or superior lighting at less than 35%-40% of the energy use. And with a lifespan of 5 years, replacement of the bulb will not be made for quite some time.

What is an LED?

LED is a lighting system that uses semiconductors to produce light. First used in the 1960s, they at first only emitted red-colored light, making them excellent for use as indicator lamps in appliances, radios, TVs, watches and machinery screens.

In the 90s, scientists began to find ways to produce high-intensity light from LEDs, paving the way for LEDs to be used as conventional lighting solutions. Advances in the use of silicon and related nanotechnology in the late 2000s has now allowed LEDs to equal and even surpass the performance of incandescent and fluorescent lamps in terms of lighting efficacy, quality, and energy efficiency.

Real, Sustainable Savings

A consumer buys a bulb. The bulb lights up an area. The bulb burns out. The consumer buys a new one. This is repeated several times over the course of several months and years. This cycle costs you money, money for the replacement bulbs as well as money for the cost of energy used for lighting. Multiply this by 100 bulbs, or 1,000 bulbs, and the costs become very significant.

With an LED, the cycle is immediately changed in comparison. Buy an LED bulb. The bulb uses less electricity than the conventional bulb without any change in lighting. The LED bulb SAVES you money. And keeps on saving money, over and over throughout a 5-year period. Multiply this by 100 bulbs, or 1,000 bulbs,  and the SAVINGS become very significant.

The chart below highlights the equivalent wattage of an LED light to produce the same amount of light as an incandescent or CFL lamp.

Incandescent Lamp

CFL Lamp

Equivalent LED

40W

8-12W

4-5W

60W

18W

7W

75W

18-23W

9W

100w

23-30W

16-17W

120W

36W

18W

150W

40-55W

25-28W

This second chart highlights how much you can save per year just by replacing an ordinary light bulb with an LED bulb:

Approximate figures as of October 2012

 

Watts

Burn Time (hours)

Days

Average cost/
kWh

Cost of energy per month/ bulb

Cost of energy per year/
bulb

x 100 bulbs

Incandescent

60

12

30

Php10.60

 Php 228.96

 Php 2,747.52

 Php  274,752.00

CFL

18

12

30

Php 10.60

 Php  68.69

 Php  824.28

 Php    82,428.00

LED

7

12

30

Php 10.60

 Php  26.71

 Php  320.52

 Php       32,052.00

Cost of an LED

Yes an LED bulb costs more. An LED bulb represents a different technology than a conventional light bulb.

Conventional incandescent bulbs use tungsten filaments that glow when electricity is passed through it. It produces a wide, bright light, but burns out quickly due to the wear and tear on the filament. When the filament burns out, the incandescent bulb is replaced. Incandescent lamps have a normal lifespan of up to 1,000 hours.

CFL bulbs use vapour-filled tubes to emit light. As electricity is passed through it, the phosphors in the bulb emit light. As time passes, the phosphors degrade, causing the bulb to emit less light until it no longer works. CFL bulbs have a normal lifespan of up to 15,000-22,000 hours. CFLs also contain mercury, which makes proper disposal an issue.

LED bulbs use electro-luminescence, achieved by turning a semiconductor into a conducting material. While more complex, the process ensures that less electricity is converted into heat as light is produced, resulting in a bulb that does not significantly heat up as light is produced. The process is not cheap, but LED manufacturing technology has improved to the point where price is within a reasonable range for an average consumer. And they are becoming cheaper and cheaper over time.

LED bulbs can typically cost 10-15 times the price of an average incandescent lamp. But as LEDs last up to 50,000 hours (5 years) and uses only 35%-40% of electricity for the same amount of light, the initial investment in LEDs pays for itself with an ROI of approximately 2 years.