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Why LED lighting can save you money

Posted: 2013/05/15

At first, LED lighting products are generally more expensive than conventional lighting products. Despite the initial up-front cost, however, they are well worth the investment. Read on to find out why this is the case, and see how much you can save!

Higher energy efficiency

One of the most discussed advantages of LED lights is that they consume far less power than conventional lighting sources. This is typically evidenced by the higher luminous efficacy that LED lights possess. Luminous efficacy is typically expressed in lm/W (lumens per watt), a measure which tells us how many units of visible light are emitted (lumens) for every unit of electrical power consumed (watts). The table below shows how different lighting technologies compare in their energy efficiencies.

Comparing the energy efficiency of incandescent, compact fluorescent (CFL) and LED lights:



Compact Fluorescent (CFL)

LED Lights

Luminous Efficacy

10 -17 lm/W

50-70 lm/W

70-120+ lm/W

Among these lighting types, LED lighting is by far the most efficient. For most common residential and corporate environments, LED lighting is the best way to cut down on energy consumption. Because we can obtain a much higher level of brightness with less energy consumed, this translates to a smaller impact on the planet and, of course, savings in electricity costs. The table below shows a comparison of how much electricity and resources will be consumed by a typical light bulb in a year, according to lighting type.

What it takes to get 900 lumens (typical brightness of a 60W incandescent light bulb) for one year:



Compact Fluorescent

LED Lights

Power needed

60 W

18 W

9 W

kWh consumed

174 kWh

52.2 kWh

26.1 kWh

Electricity Cost

17.4 USD

5.2 USD

2.6 USD

CO2 released

243.1 lbs

72.9 lbs

36.5 lbs

Coal used

93.0 kg

27.9 kg

14.0 kg

Assumptions (click link for source): Lights are used for 8 hours per day; Electricity costs:0.10 USD/kWh; CO2 released per kWh:0.95 kg/kWh Electricity produced per kg of coal:1.87 kWh/kg

While providing the same amount of brightness and in some respects even better performance, LEDs have a far smaller impact on the environment. Additionally, the electricity costs are half of CFLs, and less than 1/6 of incandescent lights. For a typical household with 20 light bulbs, this equates to a yearly savings of nearly $300 USD versus incandescent and $50 USD versus CFLs.

Longer lifetimes

LEDs boast a significantly longer useful lifetime compared to conventional lighting types; they can last up to 50 times longer than incandescent lights!

Typical lifetimes of each lighting type:



Compact Flourescent

LED Lights

Lifetime in hours

1000 h

8,000-10,000 h

30,000-50,000 h

Lifetime in years @ 8 hrs/day

~0.4 yrs

~3.4 yrs

~17 yrs

LED lights' rated lifetime is up to 50 times longer than traditional incandescent lights, meaning that during the lifetime of a single LED light bulb, an incandescent must be replaced 50 times. Incandescent light bulbs currently cost about 0.35 USD per unit, meaning for 50 incandescent light bulbs, $17.50 USD must be spent (50 units * 0.35 USD/unit = $17.50 USD) during the time in which a single LED light bulb will last. Currently, the market unit price of many LED light bulbs is at or below this price.

What this analysis shows is that considering only the cost of purchasing 50 incandescents during the lifetime of a single LED light and not taking into account electricity or other costs, the cost of LED light bulbs are about the same, if not cheaper than traditional incandescents.

In addition to the savings in electricity (already outlined above), another savings factor is the time and resources spent on frequently replacing the incandescent lights. For residential customers, this means not needing to go on an extra trip to the local electric store or the supermarket to purchase replacement bulbs, and saving time and energy spent replacing light bulbs installed in the ceiling that are hard to reach. For commercial customers, this means fewer interruptions and lowered labor costs required to replace lights in very difficult to reach places where ceilings are very high or inaccessible.

Our LED Downlight product installed at the Beijing Music Hall. Not only do they now save on electricity costs, they also save on the time and resources that were required to exchange burned out incandescent lights.

LED lights are environmentally friendly not only because they use less electricity and do not contain the toxic chemicals that CFLs do, but also because they do not need to be disposed frequently, consequently conserving the natural, physical resources needed to manufacture the light sources.

Additionally, unlike incandescents whose filaments blow out and CFLs which begin to flicker, LED lights slowly lose their brightness over time. Typically, lifetime is expressed as the total number of hours after which approximately 50% of a sample of lights have less than 70% of their initial brightness. Although the brightness will not be as high as when initially purchased, the light can continue to be used after its expected lifetime.

Of course not all LED manufacturers provide the quality and assurance necessary to ensure that the LED lights will last as long as the advertised 20 years. For a purchase with such a long-term payback period, differentiating between reliable suppliers and those who cut corners is extremely crucial.

We at Beijing Yuji understand the importance of providing high quality products from the start. Our expertise and experience in the industry allow us to discern differences between low and high quality LED components, and we pledge to work to our customers' full satisfaction. If you are looking for a reliable supplier of LED products please contact us!

Author: Alex

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