LED Light Bulbs Really Are Cost Effective Especially If Using Solar Power
While they may seem expensive to some, if not to most people, LED bulbs are however, cost effective, and they will pay for themselves over time. You can also purchase LED grow lights that have an extended bulb life and they do have the same cost effectiveness as regular LED bulbs. Grow lights would typically be on longer than a lamp inside the home for example, so you would save energy even though grow bulbs are usually on in excess of 16 hours a day.
The prices are dropping and have dropped considerably from just a few years ago.
According to Consumer Reports LED bulbs usually do not burn out, but rather dim over time. The claimed life is an estimate of when brightness will decrease by up to 30 percent. Some LED bulbs according to experts claim to be bright enough to be useful for close to 23 years when operated on average of 3 hours per day.
Save your receipts because Energy Star LEDs must have at least a three-year warranty, but it is common to see five and 10-year warranties (Consumer Reports, 2015).
For Preppers using generators or solar systems or are thinking about using solar, wind and/or hydro power keep in mind LED bulbs require less wattage to run, thus reducing the load on your electrical generating system. The bulbs will pay for themselves over time, because obviously, if you only have to replace a bulb every 5 to 10 years and they cost less to operate day to day you have saved money.
Additionally, if you find yourself in a grid down situation, you will not have to worry so much about blown incandescent bulbs if you have solar power or are using a generator. If an LED bulb can stay lit for years this in itself may be worth the initial upfront cost for some people.
Before running out to replace your incandescent bulbs however, make sure the LED bulb will fit your lamp. Energy saving bulbs may be bulkier in size and may not fit in some fixtures if that fixture has a globe, for example, and in some cases, because of the design the bulb may not fit as well into the bulb socket on some lamps. Typically, this is not a problem, but check before buying. Also if using outdoors make sure they are damp rated and can be used in a wet area.
Because the bulbs may be bulkier make sure they do not make contact with glass globes if they are used. Typically, LED’s are much cooler, but it may be a problem if they make direct contact with surfaces when lit.
If you have dimmer switches make sure the bulb can be dimmed. Dimming bulbs can be another way of saving some additional money when using LED’s.
The bulbs can come in different colors, soft white, bright white, soft blue hues and ones that simulate sunlight and other colors may be available as well.
Lumens tell you how bright the bulb is and this information will be printed under the lighting facts on the back of the box.
General purpose bulbs used in lamps and other fixtures are known as A19’s for their bulbous shape. You will want at least 800 Lumens when replacing a 60-watt bulb, for example, with an LED and 1,100 lumens and up for a 75-watt replacement, and for a 100-watt bulb replacement you would need 1,600 or higher to get the equivalent lighting.
When replacing floodlights such as an R30 you would need at least 10 times the watts of the bulb you’re replacing, 650 Lumens to replace a 65-watt bulb, for example. Watts tell you how much energy a bulb uses.
Some 60-watt A19 replacement LEDs to Consider (lamps and other general purpose fixtures)
- Feit Electric A19/OM/800/LED
- Philips A19 11W 60W Soft White
- Energetic Lighting 60W Equivalent, A19 LED
- Cree 9.5-Watt (60W) A19 Warm White Dimmable LED
Some 65-75-watt BR30 replacements to consider (ideal for recessed and track lighting)
- Energetic Lighting, 65W Equivalent, BR30 LED
- Feit Electric (65W) BR30 Dimmable LED
- Philips (65-Watt) BR30 Indoor Flood Light, Dimmable LED
Consumer Reports. (2015). Retrieved 2015, from http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/news/2015/02/as-led-prices-drop-it-s-time-to-make-the-switch/index.htm