Thursday, 10 May 2012

The Futures Bright-The Futures Expensive....

A number of manufacturers are planning to launch 60W equivalent LED light-bulbs which will last for 20 years and use very little electricity.Link to BBC report.
I've taken a concious decision not to replace my spot light bulbs with LED's, based on their initial cost and the pay back period. Link to my original piece. However, the implications of a bulb that will probably last longer than me are intriguing and worthy of a fresh look.

Have you ever counted up the number of light bulbs used in your home? 
Well, excluding the garage, security lights and the one in the fridge we have 44. I couldn't believe it and went and counted again. 44 50W spotlight bulbs spread around the house, I'm surprised we're not competition for Blackpool, if they were all turned on at once. For me "all turned on at once" is the point. 

I like to think of myself as a bit of an Eco warrior, we turn on lights when entering an empty room and turn them off as we leave. In the evening if we're watching television in the lounge the only light being paid for are two 50W units above the TV, it's cosy and feels like being at the cinema.There's not a lot of energy being used and the potential for savings are limited.

The initial costs for the radical bulbs are predicted to be £37 each. Ouch...
The friendly and benevolent manufacturers are planning to offer a discount which will drop the price to £12 each. ( Don't you feel suspicious of any pricing which can afford to drop by over 50%?)
If I was to decide to replace my existing bulbs as they fail with the new type my up-front costs would be 44 x £12 = £528.This year I anticipate an annual electricity cost of £400, you can draw your own conclusions regarding my plans.

I think this technology will make a significant difference to commercial organisations and local authorities who have lighting on for long periods every day. For the rest of us it seems like an aspirational move rather than economic.

Have you replaced your bulbs with LED's, would you consider these new products?

Twitter: (@solaricarus)


  1. Hi,

    I've just opted to buy 40 bulbs for around £2.00 each from ebay, coming soon from China. Ideally, between our two properties there are just over 100 GU10 bulbs in operation, which always seem to need replacing.

    I only ordered 40 to 'test' their look and operation on our home, if they're no good, they'll end up at the cottage.

    I've gone for a SMD type bulb which at 4.5W each will save over 90% of the current cost of my standard halogen GU10's.

    I'll keep you posted on their success. In my reckoning £90.00 was worth a go. I had looked at other but the price was running into hundreds.

    Thanks for the site, I've found it really useful having installed solavr PV just recently. You have a great froum and a wealth of experience available.



  2. Hi Julian.
    At £2.25 each I might be tempted myself. You seem to have found a bargain, but I'm still not certain about the economics.
    Did you use the spreadsheet on my post regarding converting LED bulbs? I am currently buying standard bulbs at 50p each which at our usage of lighting rate will take some beating.
    I will alter my costs if you can come back with some feedback on the SMD items quality and longjevity.

    Please keep us posted on your progress.