Monthly Archives: February 2012

Are LED Light Bulbs Too Expensive for Primetime?

Are LED lights too expensive? Should you buy now or wait five years? Well, it depends on who you ask. Lots of energy savings tips work no matter who you are. Turn off your computer at the end of the day; unplug your cell phone charger from the outlet when you’re done using it. Those things take just a little effort, save money, and save energy.

Upfront, no question, LEDs cost way more. Not just a little bit, either. On the most expensive day, a 60W light bulb might cost you $0.50. A cup of coffee costs more. The LED equivalent on average costs $33.50 (shout out to LED research division of TrendForce for the stat). Our 8W LEDshine360 replaces a 60W incandescent with a retail price tag of $31.95. Start counting up all the lights in your house – not everybody can spend that kind of money to make the switch.

You will replace that incandescent light bulb about 50 times before an LED stops working right (40,000 hours for the LED, 750 for the incandescent). There, you just spent $25 for your incandescent light bulb. Now add up gas for trips to the store, time to get out that ladder, and oh, by the way, energy costs to run the old light bulb. Depending on the energy costs around the country, switching to LEDs easily saves a customer $200 in energy costs alone over the life of the LED.

For businesses and municipalities that run their lights most of the day, the ROI makes sense. For residents, the answer gets drawn out. The return on investment depends on how often you use the light bulb. If you have a light off, it doesn’t matter if it’s LED or incandescent – it’s not wasting anything. Replacing the most used bulbs in the house in small stages would allow a tight budget to still get the benefits of going green.

Should I wait for LED prices to go down?

A19 LED bulb prices dropped 16% since last year. The trend continues to look favorable, but slow. LEDs will always cost more than other lights. They have aluminum or ceramic heat sinks. They have electronic drivers. They have anywhere from one to hundreds of diodes. Each of these components cost more on their own than a regular light bulb. The cost is going down, but it’s doubtful they will ever plummet. Going green costs a little green, then saves lots of green. Should you wait? It’s a personal call. If your budget is tight, we recommend starting in small stages with the lights you use the most.

With products like the LEDshine360 from Green Lighting LED, the time for converting to LED is now. You can have all the savings of an LED with the look and shape of an incandescent. LEDs are ready for primetime because of the payback and performance of current products.