Among the different types of lighting you can buy, buying LED lights is one of the best ways to reduce your energy bills throughout the year. While there are many other lighting options -- including incandescent, halogen, and compact fluorescent (CFL) bulbs -- none compare to the savings people get from LED bulbs in the long run.
In fact, LEDs are now the most popular lighting used in homes and businesses. In 2019, Statista reported that almost half of all light sources are LEDs, and by 2030, that number is expected to reach 87 percent.
So what makes these bulbs so popular? First, these LEDs are very efficient. A 16.5-watt LED bulb can be used to replace a 75-watt incandescent bulb or a 22-watt CFL, according to Green America, a nonprofit that points out that LEDs have a long life span. Although the life of these high-efficiency bulbs may be partly affected by the level of bulb manufacture, they can be one to three times longer than fluorescent bulbs and 24 times longer than incandescent bulbs.
How much can YOU save by switching to LED bulbs?
The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) estimates that the average household spends 15 percent of its electricity bill on lighting. For homeowners, switching to LED lights could bring significant savings. Best of all, you get the same level of illumination as a CFL or other bulb type, but use less energy and cost less. According to the DOE, people can reduce their energy costs by $225 per year by switching from other lighting fixtures to LED fixtures. It is understood that the cost savings will be most noticeable in households that replace incandescent bulbs. That may not seem like much, but it increased over a period of time. In a survey published by the Consumer Federation of America (CFA), it was estimated that some consumers could see about $1,000 in energy savings over 10 years, assuming their home uses at least 20 lights that are switched to LEDs.
While reducing energy is one cost savings, you can also save money because LED bulbs last longer. While these bulbs typically have higher upfront costs, they last longer, which means you don’t have to buy replacements as often. Philips, for example, says its latest generation of Hue LED bulbs can last 25, 000 hours or 25 years. Compared to incandescent bulbs, which cost a dollar but have a much shorter life span, needing to be replaced after an average of 1,000 hours of operation.
Soon, LED lights will be the only option
Soon, buying non-LED lights will no longer be an option. In 2022, the Biden administration implemented energy regulations that will phase out the use of non-LED lights, in addition to banning the manufacture and sale of non-LED lights starting in 2023. Officials estimate the move will collectively save consumers $3 billion a year in utility bills and reduce global carbon emissions by 222 million metric tons a year. That amount is equivalent to the annual emissions of 28 million homes.
At the same time, people can still save money on lighting by making sure the WATtage, color, and lumen of the LED bulbs they choose are appropriate for the space they’re in, or they might have to pay more for a different bulb. Users can also save money by turning off lights when not in use, which is where the smart plug comes in. In addition, people can opt for smart LED lights to further cut their bills. With smart bulbs, users can schedule when their lights are on and off, and at the same time track energy use to see when their homes are using the most energy.