What if you could save up to 20% on your electric bill each month? If you want to save money on your electric bill, light bulbs are the first things to consider.
LED light bulbs use a fraction of the energy as incandescents, but at $9-$25 a pop, they require a big up-front investment.
That’s an expensive bulb, wouldn’t you agree? I understand any reluctance you might have for shelling out the big bucks for a bunch of expensive LED light bulbs.
But are worth the money? What should you consider when buying them?
I replaced some of the lights in my house with LED light bulbs. Most of them were in the kitchen where we spend a lot of time cooking and eating. After doing the math replacing all of the lights in my house wasn’t worth it.
I’ll share with you an online calculator you can use to determine quickly if LEDs are going to save you money. The calculator is the one tool you need to use to determine if LEDs are worth the cost.
Should you make the switch to LED light bulbs?
Before you consider the financial perspective you need to ask yourself:
- How long are you going to live in your current place?
- How long do you run the lights each day you are considering replacing?
If you’re staying in your house for at least a couple more years, then LEDs might make sense.
But what if you plan on moving in 12 months? The last thing you want to be doing as the furniture movers show up in 12 months is taking out your expensive LEDs and replacing them with cheap lights for the next homeowner. Right?
How much can you save by buying LED light bulbs?
If you run a single incandescent bulb 5 hours a day for two years, it will cost you around $32 (depending on your energy rates).
Most of that money is spent on electricity.
If you run a single LED bulb 5 hours a day for two years, it will cost you $12.
But – $9 of that is just for the bulb!
What happens if you have a closet light or some room in the house you don’t light very much?
If you run a single incandescent bulb 30 minutes a day for two years, it will cost you around $3.50 (depending on your energy rates). Again most of that money is spent on electricity.
If you run a single LED bulb 30 minutes a day for two years, it will cost you $0.50. But you still have to pay $9 just for the bulb**!
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If I buy LED light bulbs how long will it take to break even?
Over the long run, you can save money by switching to LEDs.
However, you might be dead before you break even.
Don’t believe the marketing hype on the packaging for the LED lights you see in the store. Use the Cree LED Savings Calculator to determine how much money you will save on LEDs based on your usage habits. Don’t forget to include the cost of the LED!
If you want to replace all your lights to do something for the environment, hey I think that’s great.
If you just want to save some money over the long term, consider where you use the most light in your house and consider when you will break-even.
For more money saving tips for your home read 16 Money-Saving Tips Every Homeowner Needs To Know.
What are the best LED light bulb brands?
We all want good lighting, right?
I’ve tried four different LED brands in my kitchen before I found one that was an almost exact match to my incandescent lights. That brand is Cree.
Cree makes all the other bulbs look like technology from 10 years ago. All other brands I’ve tried are blinding white and look like fluorescent lights. Cree bulbs have a pleasing light. A light that is easy on the eyes.
Try this out:
- Visit your local home improvement store
- Buy as many LED brands as they have
- Bring the LEDs home to test them side-by-side against your incandescent lights
- Pick your favorite LED brand and return the rest