Counting Cents to Keep the Lights On


Keeping the lights on is costly. With the price of electricity increasing significantly this year (9.4 %), it has become imperative to find ways to cut power costs in and around the home.

The good news is that by simply converting your existing conventional globes (or lamps) to LED is one of the most effective ways to reduce your electricity bill, says Eben Kruger, Marketing Manager at Eurolux.

LED is the answer

While the unit price of LED lamps are marginally more than conventional lamps, the long-term benefits of switching to LEDs far outweigh the relative difference in unit cost per lamp.

“The big thing about LEDs is that you’re guaranteed similar light for longer, at a much lower cost,” Kruger explains. The numbers don’t lie (unfortunately, in the case of the electricity price increase!), so it is useful to consider the following equation to understand how switching to LEDs results in greater savings in the long term.

Conventional Halogen lamps vs LED

The average household Halogen lamp uses 42W of electricity, compared to the average LED lamp of just 6W, but still producing a similar light and brightness. Effectively, this means that while the LED costs more per unit, it uses 7 times less electricity. Plus, it also offers 15,000 lighting hours, as opposed to the ordinary Halogen lamps less significant 2,000 hours.

Therefore, 1 LED lamp equates to the work of 7 Halogen lamps. In other words, to get 15,000 hours out of an ordinary Halogen lamp, you would require 7 of them at a total cost of R245, versus 1 LED at just R39.

That’s certainly a significant saving in electricity costs over the lifetime of the LED lamp.

This example applies to just one lamp, but considering that the average 4-bedroom suburban home can be fitted with over 50 downlighters, the numbers make an even bigger impact.

More than money

As a general rule, LEDs are 80% more cost effective than conventional Halogen lamps, but there is the added benefit of it being more environmentally friendly as well.

Because the number of light hours is almost 8 times that of an ordinary Halogen lamp, you’re using less LED lamps as the first environmental saving. Secondly, LED lamps use less power per unit, as demonstrated above, thus reducing carbon emissions from power plants. In fact, the annual energy consumption of a LED lamp can be up to 30 times lower than its conventional counterpart.

Furthermore, Halogen lamps release as much as 90% of their energy as heat, while this number for LEDs is just 5%.

So switching to LED makes sense on multiple levels – saving money and electricity, as well as our environment.