Author Topic: Are LED lightbuilb's worth the cost?  (Read 5546 times)

S0VERE1GN

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Are LED lightbuilb's worth the cost?
« on: May 01, 2014, 12:22:55 PM »
Hey all,

Just looking around at LED light bulbs to replace the incandescents in our new house, and they're still extremely expensive ($30-40 per bulb!)

I know they're extremely efficient, but are they really worth the lower cost?  Say i Make an up front investment of $600 to replace the bulbs, will I see that cost savings in the electric bill over the first year, the first two? three?

what's the efficiency difference? any insight would be appreciated.


Ottawa

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Re: Are LED lightbuilb's worth the cost?
« Reply #2 on: May 01, 2014, 12:30:57 PM »
Hey all,

Just looking around at LED light bulbs to replace the incandescents in our new house, and they're still extremely expensive ($30-40 per bulb!)

I know they're extremely efficient, but are they really worth the lower cost?  Say i Make an up front investment of $600 to replace the bulbs, will I see that cost savings in the electric bill over the first year, the first two? three?

what's the efficiency difference? any insight would be appreciated.

No, they are not that expensive.  There are quite a few threads around the forums on LEDs.  I ordered mine from Hong Kong - free shipping included for bugger all! 

Try
http://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/reader-recommendations/led-light-bulbs/ and
http://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/share-your-badassity/leds-continue-to-kick-ass!/ and
http://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/ask-a-mustachian/will-switching-to-led-light-bulbs-save-money-how-to-switch and
http://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/welcome-to-the-forum/led-bulbs-for-under-$10 and
http://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/ask-a-mustachian/buying-led-lightbulbs-in-bulk

For starters
« Last Edit: May 01, 2014, 12:32:37 PM by Ottawa »

S0VERE1GN

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Re: Are LED lightbuilb's worth the cost?
« Reply #3 on: May 01, 2014, 12:45:29 PM »
Thank you. apparently my search skills are weak.

seattlecyclone

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Re: Are LED lightbuilb's worth the cost?
« Reply #4 on: May 01, 2014, 01:09:52 PM »
A few years ago I would have said that CFLs offer the best balance between bulb cost and electricity cost, since the difference in power consumption between an LED and a CFL is much lower than the difference between a CFL and an incandescent bulb. Now that the LEDs have been coming down in price, I think the LED might easily make the most sense in the long run, especially since they last a lot longer. I plan to use up my current stash of CFLs (that I purchased well below cost due to generous subsidies from the local electric utility) and then start to phase in LEDs.

nereo

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Re: Are LED lightbuilb's worth the cost?
« Reply #5 on: May 01, 2014, 01:35:27 PM »
Just looking around at LED light bulbs to replace the incandescents in our new house, and they're still extremely expensive ($30-40 per bulb!)
$30-40 (!)  My local Home Depot has the highly-regarded CREE brand A19 ("standard) LED bulbs for $7 a piece, complete with a 10 year warranty.

At anything under $20 LEDs are a no-brainer in terms of energy efficiency.  At $7 it's a face-punch to buy the equivalent incandecent bulb.  The only question I ever have is "how much further will they fall in price"

Greg

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Re: Are LED lightbuilb's worth the cost?
« Reply #6 on: May 01, 2014, 01:52:19 PM »
If you're replacing bulbs anyway, transitioning to LED is pretty smart.  If you already have CFL's, wait until they die.  That's the boat I'm in.  I have a stockpile of CFL's to use up, then we'll go LED.  And their prices will continue to fall.

acroy

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Re: Are LED lightbuilb's worth the cost?
« Reply #7 on: May 01, 2014, 01:59:48 PM »
be honest with the math - it is easy to estimate useage and thus ROI

here is why I have incandescent in my the fan lights throughout my house:

2hrs a day max
4x25w clear, dimmable bulbs (stylish and 100W of light is plenty)
8c/kw-hr

$5.84 operating cost per year assuming operation 365days/yr
At $40 to replace all 4, ROI is 6.8yrs.

Pretty borderline. Until the ROI gets to around 3yrs, I'll keep the paid-for incandescents in the fixtures and out of the trash stream :)

Jomar

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Re: Are LED lightbuilb's worth the cost?
« Reply #8 on: May 01, 2014, 02:31:01 PM »
Head to Ikea- LED bulbs are $7 and that's in pricier Canada, I imagine they're cheaper in the States. And the light is awesome. Just replaced a bunch of lights in the house. Very warm colour, brighter, and the knowledge I'm not burning a hole in my pocket when I turn the lights on gives me a satisified feeling every night! LEDs>CFLs any day of the week for light quality and durability also.

Thegoblinchief

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Re: Are LED lightbuilb's worth the cost?
« Reply #9 on: May 01, 2014, 03:01:39 PM »
be honest with the math - it is easy to estimate useage and thus ROI

here is why I have incandescent in my the fan lights throughout my house:

2hrs a day max
4x25w clear, dimmable bulbs (stylish and 100W of light is plenty)
8c/kw-hr

$5.84 operating cost per year assuming operation 365days/yr
At $40 to replace all 4, ROI is 6.8yrs.

Pretty borderline. Until the ROI gets to around 3yrs, I'll keep the paid-for incandescents in the fixtures and out of the trash stream :)

You also need to factor in replacement cost of the bulbs.

When I've done the math for customers (I sell lighting), typically the bigger return is on the extra life span of the bulb than the energy savings. Admittedly, this is usually comparing versus halogen floods for recessed fixtures.

Electricity rates vary widely. Mine is 13c/kWh.

Spork

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Re: Are LED lightbuilb's worth the cost?
« Reply #10 on: May 01, 2014, 03:31:53 PM »
Just looking around at LED light bulbs to replace the incandescents in our new house, and they're still extremely expensive ($30-40 per bulb!)
$30-40 (!)  My local Home Depot has the highly-regarded CREE brand A19 ("standard) LED bulbs for $7 a piece, complete with a 10 year warranty.

At anything under $20 LEDs are a no-brainer in terms of energy efficiency.  At $7 it's a face-punch to buy the equivalent incandecent bulb.  The only question I ever have is "how much further will they fall in price"

It really depends on WHAT bulb you're buying.   There are still some bulb footprints that are stupid expensive (last time I checked... which, to be honest, was 2-3 months ago).

S0VERE1GN

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Re: Are LED lightbuilb's worth the cost?
« Reply #11 on: May 02, 2014, 06:08:44 AM »
I checked the "MMM recommends" site for LEDs and they're roughly a billion dollars a piece. so that's where I got my pricing from. upon further inspection of the rest of the internet, I am sorely mistaken.

Emg03063

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Re: Are LED lightbuilb's worth the cost?
« Reply #12 on: May 02, 2014, 09:58:51 AM »
$5/piece at Costco, but CFLs are cheaper still where you don't mind using them.

welliamwallace

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Re: Are LED lightbuilb's worth the cost?
« Reply #13 on: May 02, 2014, 10:56:41 AM »
Definitely find a friend with a Costco membership! Last month 60W equivalent LED bulbs were on sale for $2.99!!! I paid for my yearly Costco membership on that sale alone!

nereo

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Re: Are LED lightbuilb's worth the cost?
« Reply #14 on: May 02, 2014, 12:35:46 PM »
$5/piece at Costco, but CFLs are cheaper still where you don't mind using them.
Cheaper when comparing just the cost of one bulb to another?  Sure.  But most A19-style LEDs lifespans are rated to twice that of CLFs, even before you get to energy savings.

Quote
I checked the "MMM recommends" site for LEDs and they're roughly a billion dollars a piece. so that's where I got my pricing from. upon further inspection of the rest of the internet, I am sorely mistaken.
Um... a billion dollars?  This thread is just getting weird.

S0VERE1GN

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Re: Are LED lightbuilb's worth the cost?
« Reply #15 on: May 02, 2014, 01:11:23 PM »
I said roughly a billion, not exactly.

electriceagle

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Re: Are LED lightbuilb's worth the cost?
« Reply #16 on: May 02, 2014, 02:25:01 PM »
It depends. I did  this calculation a while ago when moving.

The biggest didference between my method and those of most people is that I included riak factors for moving & not getting them all, failure (cost to ship for warranty = half of bulb) and breakage. 10%, 10%, 5%.

With those factors, CFLs make the most sense by far. They are cheap, ubiquitous and capture most of the energy savings from ditching incandescents.

The calculation would favor CFLs even more if you considered the possibility of using CFLs now and getting LEDs when they halve in price in (guessing) 2 years

Fishingmn

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Re: Are LED lightbuilb's worth the cost?
« Reply #17 on: May 02, 2014, 02:49:15 PM »
Broke down and bought 14 - 65w Cree spot lights for all my can lighting 6 weeks ago from Home Depot when they dropped to $10 each. Had been waiting as they are all on dimmers so CFL wasn't option. My Xcel Energy bill came this week and it was the lowest it has ever been! Full payback should be in 1 year.

MicroRN

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Re: Are LED lightbuilb's worth the cost?
« Reply #18 on: May 02, 2014, 02:58:34 PM »
Yes, but shop around.  We stocked up when we lived in CT and our local energy company subsidized the cost.  I think it ended up being $3-4/bulb, about 2 years ago.  We removed the incandescents in the rental, used our LEDs, and then took them with us when we left.  I love how sturdy they are too.  Our toddler pulled over a torch-style lamp.  It cracked the bowl of the lamp, but the bulb still works fine. 

Emg03063

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Re: Are LED lightbuilb's worth the cost?
« Reply #19 on: May 02, 2014, 04:43:29 PM »
$5/piece at Costco, but CFLs are cheaper still where you don't mind using them.

Sorry, make that $5/ 3 pack.  Too bad I don't need any lightbulbs.

Mr. Frugalwoods

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Re: Are LED lightbuilb's worth the cost?
« Reply #20 on: May 02, 2014, 05:32:24 PM »
In Massachusetts the energy companies heavily subsidize the LED lightbulbs.  Last time I bought some of the nice CREE ones from Home Depot they were $7/each.  At that price, it's a no brainer to replace any incandescent immediately and to replace CFLs as they fail.

As opposed to CFLs, I haven't had any LEDs die prematurely on me yet.  Who knows if it's just luck, but in the first year of using CFLs I had a failure rate of about 10%.  After that year they were solid.

Nothing like that with LEDs so far, so yay!