LED lights have become both the most popular and most preferable type of artificial light source for the majority of people around the world due to, among other things, their efficiency.
But just how efficient are they? Do they really save more energy in the long run? Let’s find out.
LED lights, compared to other types of electric-powered light sources available like incandescent bulbs or CFLs (Compact Fluorescent Lights), generally use much less electricity. In fact, they use approximately 80% less energy than incandescent bulbs and about 5-10% less energy than CFLs.
The reason behind this is the fact that LEDs, which stands for Light Emitting Diodes, use a semiconductor that emits photons (subatomic light particles) and produces visible light when electric current flows through it. In other words, light is the byproduct of the energy that travels through these diodes.
That being the case, it means that instead of the electric currents powering something else to produce light (like the filaments in incandescent bulbs which use electricity to heat up and light up), LED lights just make their own. How cool is that?
If you look at any comparative chart between different artificial light sources, you’ll find that LEDs really do use much less electricity. The difference, especially with incandescent bulbs, is quite astounding.
Let’s say you have a LED light with a 25,000-hour projected life span and a wattage of 8.5. The amount of electricity you will have consumed in all those 25,000 hours will only come to around 212.5 KWh (kilowatt-hour).
If we base this on the current average price of electricity in the US of 11.18¢ per KWh, that’s just roughly $23. And yes, that’s already for all 25,000 hours.
Now, compare that to an incandescent bulb which has a mere 1,500-hour lifespan with a wattage of 60. For 25,000 hours of use, you’d need at least 21 of them, and that would of course cause your KWh consumption to skyrocket to as much as 1,500 KWh.
If you multiply that by the cost of electricity per KWh, that’s going to be at least $165. That doesn’t even include the extra $20 or so for all those 21 light bulbs you’d have to purchase to make up 25,000 hours.
Based on these numbers, it’s easy to see why incandescent bulbs are slowly being phased out. Nowadays, you’d be hard-pressed to find a bulb or any light source that isn’t LED, because they’re just that much more efficient and economical.
The answer to the previous question makes this one easy, and that’s yes. They’re more power efficient, they last much, much longer, and they will cost you a fraction of what you’d have to spend with their older counterparts for the exact same amount of usage.
If all of these factors combined still fail to convince you to switch to LED lights, I don’t know what will.
Decades ago, when the first wave of LED lights hit store shelves, they were a luxury. Due to the fact that the technology was relatively new to regular consumers, the pricing of LED products had to reflect the novelty of being introduced to the market as well as the innovation.
This led to rather exorbitant prices that many people were hesitant to spend for a single LED light (which started at about $30 and went higher depending on the type), especially since much cheaper alternatives already existed.
Nowadays, that’s no longer the case. LED lights have become the norm and the primary choice of consumers for lighting, both for household and commercial use.
Rising popularity and demand have led to a dramatic increase in production and have also significantly reduced the cost.
Now that they’re much cheaper than they used to be, the fact that they’re still a little bit more expensive than their counterparts is easily overlooked because the pros outweigh the cons. Some LED light “bulbs” (they’re technically not bulbs) even cost as little as 2$ or 3$ depending on the wattage and the lifespan.
As stated above, a typical LED light has a lifespan of approximately 25,000 hours. If you use it for an average of 7 hours a day, your LED light can last up to 9 or so years.
The most enduring types of LED lights have a 100,000-hour lifespan, which is nothing short of impressive.
Having said that, a few factors can affect the lifespan of LEDs. While they do last longer than any other type of light source currently available, what’s written on the label shouldn’t be taken as an exact measurement because they’re only there to give you an idea of how long your LED light could potentially keep serving its purpose.
Things like the area, the temperature, the amount of use, and the way it’s used all affect its lifespan and could actually reduce it pretty significantly. The good thing is that they will still last thousands of hours longer than a regular incandescent bulb or CFL.
LED strip lights have also seen an increasing favor with the masses, with more and more people preferring to use them over traditional fairy lights to decorate their rooms with, or Christmas lights on their trees and other places in their homes during the Yuletide season.
LED strip lights, being also made of LED, naturally do not consume a lot of electricity. They only seem like they will from the outside. In reality, they can cost even less than other types of LED lights. This is because the consumption of LED strip lights is directly determined by their length and their light density. For example, a standard 5-meter strip will only cost you about $3 a year to run.
We’ve written an in-depth article on how much electricity LED strip lights use here.