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  1. #1
    Super Member California's Avatar
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    Default Are LED bulbs now cost effective?

    Are LED bulbs now cost effective compared to fluorescent?

    Now that they are around $3 per bulb I'm considering swapping the existing spiral fluorescents throughout the house and replacing them with LEDs.

    Has anyone run the numbers to determine if LEDs greater efficiency now offsets their cost, compared to fluorescents?

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Are LED bulbs now cost effective?

    You can get a pack of 4 CFLs for the price of 1 LED. The LEDs use 60% of the wattage that a CFL does. While it will take some time to get the price difference back at least the LEDs will last a lot longer.
    US Air Force Retired (1966-1988) ... mike

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  3. #3
    Elite Member Baby Grand's Avatar
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    Default Re: Are LED bulbs now cost effective?

    I think the screw in types are probably cost effective, at this point.
    They are definitely frustration effective.

    I've already replaced almost every CFL in the house, garage, shop and outdoor lights with LEDs, due to better quality of light and fast response, especially in cold conditions. I replaced the 18" under cupboard fluorescents in the kitchen with slim, LED units that "daisy chain", allowing me to get a few more fixtures where we had some dark areas.

    We just bought our first two 4' LED replacement tubes for our fluorescent work light in the laundry area of our basement.
    They plugged directly in to the old fluorescent fixture. Much, much more light from the same fixture - I was really surprised. Another plus, these "bulbs" are actually plastic tubes that are somewhat flexible, so less chance of breaking them. This should be a real plus in the shop & garage. I hate picking up after a broken fluorescent tube.

    The shop & garage 4' fluorescent lamps are now next on my list for replacement. There's always one that's on the fritz, flickering or dim or not firing at all. I only hope the price of the LEDs keeps coming down. I have noticed about a 10 to 15% reduction in electricity use over the past 2 years. Our rates just jumped (a lot) and I suspect that's the trend for the future.

    -Jim
    Last edited by Baby Grand; 08-19-2015 at 12:44 PM.
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  4. #4
    Epic Contributor Bird's Avatar
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    Default Re: Are LED bulbs now cost effective?

    It's a little difficult to determine whether, or how much, electricity is being saved, at least in my case. But during January and February of this year, I replaced every bulb in the place (except the 2 in the garage door opener) with LEDs. I've had none go bad so far. We had a mixture of incandescent and CFL bulbs that I replaced. And I just looked at my spreadsheets and found that in the 6 months since then, we've used 8155 Kwh that cost $849.94 compared to the same time last year when we used 7716 Kwh at a cost of $849.69. Yep, we've used 439 Kwh more that cost $0.25 more this year.

    But I can't say whether there's been any difference in the average temperature (A/C usage), and we've also had a slight change in the "plan" with TXU Energy so the average cost per Kwh was $0.110482636 last year and $0.108202692 this year.

    Too many variables to say for sure whether we've saved money or not, but I do know that we have more and brighter lights and I'm happy with the EDs.
    Bird

  5. #5
    Epic Contributor IslandTractor's Avatar
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    Default Re: Are LED bulbs now cost effective?

    There is a "MassSave" organization funded by utilities in my state that actually comes into your house and simply replaces all standard incandescent or CFL light bulbs, even chandelier bulbs, with LEDs for free. Kinda weird really but you cannot knock the price. Obviously being funded by some sort of tithe based on gas and electric bills but silly not to take advantage. I much prefer the light from LEDs to that of the CFLs.

  6. #6
    Super Member newbury's Avatar
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    Default Re: Are LED bulbs now cost effective?

    Quote Originally Posted by IslandTractor View Post
    There is a "MassSave" organization funded by utilities in my state that actually comes into your house and simply replaces all standard incandescent or CFL light bulbs, even chandelier bulbs, with LEDs for free. Kinda weird really but you cannot knock the price. Obviously being funded by some sort of tithe based on gas and electric bills but silly not to take advantage. I much prefer the light from LEDs to that of the CFLs.
    And that's an excellent example of how local conditions can influence cost savings.
    I've just "replaced" 12 fluorescent tubes AND 4 ballasts with LED tubes. One of the key features for ME was that the ballasts were all failed/failing and needed replacing.
    I've 20 or 30 eight foot T12 fixtures up in 12' to 14' ceilings in unheated/cooled shops with ballasts that are gradually failing. In order to replace them I've got to replace the ballast in situ AND figure on it being done again in maybe 10 years. Replacing JUST the tubes w/ LED's only required clipping out the ballasts in situ and a quick rewiring. Ballasts ALONE were going to be about $15 @. LED tubes were only about $40@.
    They provide instant on when cold, no warmup flicker, and a LOT more light (which my aging eyes appreciate) PLUS electricity savings. IF there had been a utility $$ kick in it would have been great.
    My rides - '95 Kubota M4700 w/ PEC, LA1001 FEL :'07 B7610, LA352 FEL, Bush Hog SBX 48 box blade, '09 Woods BH70-X w/ 16" bucket and thumb, 3pt pallet forks, Dale Phillips PHD, Jinma 8" chipper, 2 Piranha's, Winco 12KW PTO generator, Howse plow, 5' KK tiller, 5' Big Bee cutter, with a 2002 7.3L Ford F350 CC DRW 4x4 and '07 18' Hudson HSE Deluxe trailer - 5 Ton to haul it all
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  7. #7
    Super Member California's Avatar
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    Default Re: Are LED bulbs now cost effective?

    This is good to hear. It sounds like the crossover point is already here.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Are LED bulbs now cost effective?

    I ALMOST bought some LED bulbs to replace some CFIs, the price was ok but the LEDs were not quite bright enough. Once the Lumens go up a bit I guess we will start replacing CFLs with LEDs.

    Later,
    Dan

  9. #9
    Epic Contributor Bird's Avatar
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    Default Re: Are LED bulbs now cost effective?

    Quote Originally Posted by dmccarty View Post
    I ALMOST bought some LED bulbs to replace some CFIs, the price was ok but the LEDs were not quite bright enough. Once the Lumens go up a bit I guess we will start replacing CFLs with LEDs.

    Later,
    Dan
    That's surprising. Our LEDs are as bright, or brighter, than the CFLs they replaced.
    Bird

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Are LED bulbs now cost effective?

    I plan to gradually move to LEDs as I replace some bulbs. But not fluorescent tubes yet. 4' fluorescent tubes seem to be on sale every time I need them. Usually for 1/4 the cost of LEDs, or better. Right now, Menards has some 4' tubes for 98 cents! That makes it difficult to justify a switch to LED tubes yet. I did replace a CFL flood light with an LED, and it is MUCH brighter.

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