PSA: switch to LED light bulbs and save hundreds per year

Questions on how we spend our money and our time - consumer goods and services, home and vehicle, leisure and recreational activities
iamlucky13
Posts: 2011
Joined: Sat Mar 04, 2017 5:28 pm
Location: Western Washington

Re: PSA: switch to LED light bulbs and save hundreds per year

Post by iamlucky13 »

JackoC wrote: Mon Sep 14, 2020 2:11 pm On electricity rates CA's average was also around 17 in 2019, not saying nobody pays 30 there but that's not the state average (CA was 7th most expensive behind the non-contiguous states and a cluster of small New England states). NJ's *average* is a bit lower than our rate. The US national average was 10.58 per:
https://calchamberalert.com/2019/03/29/ ... ion%20data.
That site likely uses the average of marginal kWh rates (no base charge), which makes sense in this context. Note that many areas have a single, higher rate, with no base charge. The EIA figures include base charges in the average. Therefore, they report an average of 13.28 cents per kWh.

I just wanted to clarify why there are different figures mentioned in this thread and elsewhere for average cost of electricity.

EIA Data
wfrobinette
Posts: 1242
Joined: Fri Feb 20, 2015 3:14 pm

Re: PSA: switch to LED light bulbs and save hundreds per year

Post by wfrobinette »

fedpharmer wrote: Sat Aug 22, 2020 4:20 pm Check your local Dollar Tree for $1 LED bulbs. I was able to replace all the bulbs in our house, including candelabras and floods, from the dollar store.
Any time I have gone generic on these they have failed well before their expected life.
wfrobinette
Posts: 1242
Joined: Fri Feb 20, 2015 3:14 pm

Re: PSA: switch to LED light bulbs and save hundreds per year

Post by wfrobinette »

000 wrote: Sat Aug 22, 2020 5:11 pm
nisiprius wrote: Sat Aug 22, 2020 5:02 pm
000 wrote: Sat Aug 22, 2020 4:18 pm Have never found a replacement for incandescents that is as soft and gentle.
Do a little bit of shopping among LED bulbs. Some of them how have very good color rendering indexes. Much, much better than compact fluorescents. You can start simply by checking the color temperature. The cooler ones have higher luminous efficiency but the light from a warmer LED is very nice, side-by-side with an incandescent it's quite comparable.
I haven't been able to find LED replacements for the ultra low light output bulbs (15w traditional). Have you seen them?
Check homedepot.com

It helps to know the shape code of the bulb.
fedpharmer
Posts: 31
Joined: Wed Dec 18, 2019 1:30 pm

Re: PSA: switch to LED light bulbs and save hundreds per year

Post by fedpharmer »

wfrobinette wrote: Mon Sep 14, 2020 3:17 pm
fedpharmer wrote: Sat Aug 22, 2020 4:20 pm Check your local Dollar Tree for $1 LED bulbs. I was able to replace all the bulbs in our house, including candelabras and floods, from the dollar store.
Any time I have gone generic on these they have failed well before their expected life.
I was able to find Sunbeam brand at my dollar store. I've only had them for about a year and a half but haven't had any issues so far.
surfstar
Posts: 2208
Joined: Fri Sep 13, 2013 12:17 pm
Location: Santa Barbara, CA

Re: PSA: switch to LED light bulbs and save hundreds per year

Post by surfstar »

wfrobinette wrote: Mon Sep 14, 2020 3:17 pm
fedpharmer wrote: Sat Aug 22, 2020 4:20 pm Check your local Dollar Tree for $1 LED bulbs. I was able to replace all the bulbs in our house, including candelabras and floods, from the dollar store.
Any time I have gone generic on these they have failed well before their expected life.
I've had two Feit LED bulbs from Costco go out within 4 years. One they were able to swap out for me, but just barely. Hard for them to figure out how to replace a single bulb from a multi-pack. A few months later when we tried again (different bulb shape) they said they couldn't. I wasn't about to bring back all the bulbs for a single, failed bulb :oops: and highly likely that the same discount pack they sold is no longer available/sold anymore.
We could make do without replacing that bulb, so we did, as I didn't want to hassle contacting Feit and trying to get a remedy.
Happy otherwise. They were purchased in 2016, were quite cheap, and came in the soft-white color which was a requirement for me. Too far towards the white-blue spectrum and LEDs are just plain annoying and look cheap, IMO.
User avatar
Nate79
Posts: 6333
Joined: Thu Aug 11, 2016 6:24 pm
Location: Delaware

Re: PSA: switch to LED light bulbs and save hundreds per year

Post by Nate79 »

surfstar wrote: Mon Sep 14, 2020 4:37 pm
wfrobinette wrote: Mon Sep 14, 2020 3:17 pm
fedpharmer wrote: Sat Aug 22, 2020 4:20 pm Check your local Dollar Tree for $1 LED bulbs. I was able to replace all the bulbs in our house, including candelabras and floods, from the dollar store.
Any time I have gone generic on these they have failed well before their expected life.
I've had two Feit LED bulbs from Costco go out within 4 years. One they were able to swap out for me, but just barely. Hard for them to figure out how to replace a single bulb from a multi-pack. A few months later when we tried again (different bulb shape) they said they couldn't. I wasn't about to bring back all the bulbs for a single, failed bulb :oops: and highly likely that the same discount pack they sold is no longer available/sold anymore.
We could make do without replacing that bulb, so we did, as I didn't want to hassle contacting Feit and trying to get a remedy.
Happy otherwise. They were purchased in 2016, were quite cheap, and came in the soft-white color which was a requirement for me. Too far towards the white-blue spectrum and LEDs are just plain annoying and look cheap, IMO.
Have you tried contacting the bulb manufacturer directly? I've had good luck a couple of times when they failed they will send a free replacement single bulb.
Valuethinker
Posts: 40928
Joined: Fri May 11, 2007 11:07 am

Re: PSA: switch to LED light bulbs and save hundreds per year

Post by Valuethinker »

iamlucky13 wrote: Mon Sep 14, 2020 3:13 pm
JackoC wrote: Mon Sep 14, 2020 2:11 pm On electricity rates CA's average was also around 17 in 2019, not saying nobody pays 30 there but that's not the state average (CA was 7th most expensive behind the non-contiguous states and a cluster of small New England states). NJ's *average* is a bit lower than our rate. The US national average was 10.58 per:
https://calchamberalert.com/2019/03/29/ ... ion%20data.
That site likely uses the average of marginal kWh rates (no base charge), which makes sense in this context. Note that many areas have a single, higher rate, with no base charge. The EIA figures include base charges in the average. Therefore, they report an average of 13.28 cents per kWh.

I just wanted to clarify why there are different figures mentioned in this thread and elsewhere for average cost of electricity.

EIA Data
And some of us pay equivalent of 30 cents per kwhr USD.

W Time Of Use tariffs in some US utility areas that is a level also reached in USA. NE USA has high power prices also California.

Thus my post here nearly 10 years ago. We have something on the order of 60 bulbs in a 1500 square foot house.

Swapping out say 40 of them at a cost of say 800 USD then, saved me about 15 USD pcm-- I could see it in my electricity bills. At a 4% discount rate this was NPV positive.

There is a failure rate and I would say I replaced as many as 10 prematurely (at much lower costs).
Last edited by Valuethinker on Tue Sep 15, 2020 7:35 am, edited 1 time in total.
wolf359
Posts: 2175
Joined: Sun Mar 15, 2015 8:47 am

Re: PSA: switch to LED light bulbs and save hundreds per year

Post by wolf359 »

iamlucky13 wrote: Mon Sep 14, 2020 3:09 pm
wolf359 wrote: Mon Sep 14, 2020 2:30 pm I noticed that when I changed a room from soft white to daylight, there was a greater tendency for people to forget to turn the lights off
Similar color temperature notwithstanding, if there is enough daylight in the room the lights go unnoticed, why turn them in the first place?
We turn on the lights when we wake up in the morning, before the sun rises. Is that unusual?
iamlucky13
Posts: 2011
Joined: Sat Mar 04, 2017 5:28 pm
Location: Western Washington

Re: PSA: switch to LED light bulbs and save hundreds per year

Post by iamlucky13 »

wolf359 wrote: Tue Sep 15, 2020 6:55 am
iamlucky13 wrote: Mon Sep 14, 2020 3:09 pm
wolf359 wrote: Mon Sep 14, 2020 2:30 pm I noticed that when I changed a room from soft white to daylight, there was a greater tendency for people to forget to turn the lights off
Similar color temperature notwithstanding, if there is enough daylight in the room the lights go unnoticed, why turn them in the first place?
We turn on the lights when we wake up in the morning, before the sun rises. Is that unusual?
I didn't think of that scenario when reading the original post. That helps clarify it.
sport
Posts: 9478
Joined: Tue Feb 27, 2007 3:26 pm
Location: Cleveland, OH

Re: PSA: switch to LED light bulbs and save hundreds per year

Post by sport »

iamlucky13 wrote: Tue Sep 15, 2020 2:06 pm
wolf359 wrote: Tue Sep 15, 2020 6:55 am
iamlucky13 wrote: Mon Sep 14, 2020 3:09 pm
wolf359 wrote: Mon Sep 14, 2020 2:30 pm I noticed that when I changed a room from soft white to daylight, there was a greater tendency for people to forget to turn the lights off
Similar color temperature notwithstanding, if there is enough daylight in the room the lights go unnoticed, why turn them in the first place?
We turn on the lights when we wake up in the morning, before the sun rises. Is that unusual?
I didn't think of that scenario when reading the original post. That helps clarify it.
It seems to have thrown some light on the subject. :twisted:
Spirit Rider
Posts: 13380
Joined: Fri Mar 02, 2007 2:39 pm

Re: PSA: switch to LED light bulbs and save hundreds per year

Post by Spirit Rider »

There are many people who always turn on the lights even on a sunny day with lots of windows in the room.
Valuethinker
Posts: 40928
Joined: Fri May 11, 2007 11:07 am

Re: PSA: switch to LED light bulbs and save hundreds per year

Post by Valuethinker »

Spirit Rider wrote: Tue Sep 15, 2020 9:16 pm There are many people who always turn on the lights even on a sunny day with lots of windows in the room.
Your eyes get dimmer as you get older. On a cloudy day I need the lights on.

I am really noticing this in my late 50s.

And of course we age at different rates.
mrc
Posts: 1442
Joined: Sun Jan 10, 2016 6:39 am

Re: PSA: switch to LED light bulbs and save hundreds per year

Post by mrc »

Valuethinker wrote: Wed Sep 16, 2020 4:02 am
Spirit Rider wrote: Tue Sep 15, 2020 9:16 pm There are many people who always turn on the lights even on a sunny day with lots of windows in the room.
Your eyes get dimmer as you get older. On a cloudy day I need the lights on.

I am really noticing this in my late 50s.

And of course we age at different rates.
That may depend on your vision. I noticed the same thing, and at age 61 I prefer a lot of light. My wife, who is profoundly near sighted and pushing 70, reads with her glasses off quite easily, in what I could consider, the dark.
By the time you know enough to choose a good financial adviser, you don't need one. | bogleheads.org is my advisor: The ER is 0.0% and the advice always solid.
JackoC
Posts: 1632
Joined: Sun Aug 12, 2018 11:14 am

Re: PSA: switch to LED light bulbs and save hundreds per year

Post by JackoC »

iamlucky13 wrote: Mon Sep 14, 2020 3:09 pm
JackoC wrote: Mon Sep 14, 2020 2:11 pmI agree when I run numbers for particular lights that are on a lot (we're home mainly) including daytime (like over my desk, family room and kitchen sometimes) it seems questionable to switch them on/off when moving from room to room.
If it's extra effort to turn the light off (inconvenient location, arms full, etc), that's understandable, but since switches are usually by the entrances to rooms, it's a pretty minor effort

Here's a quick estimate for a hypothetical house where numerous lights are left habitually on.

US average new single family home size = ~2500 square feet. Assume the average illumination is 150 lux, the lights have an average efficacy of 80 lumens/W, and the occupants leave half of them on for 12 hours, or most of the time they are awake.

That's the equivalent of roughly 22 bulbs, consuming 217 Watts, and at the current US average of $0.13/kWh, it costs $124 per year.
Yeah like I said I've run the numbers for our situation and nothing like that. We have a little <avg size house but four floors, 4th was grown kids no lights are ever on up there except fairly rare guests. We never leave lights on 3rd flr (our bedroom) either when not there. The lights in question are really my desk lamp on second flr, the hallway/stair lights from 2nd to first, overhead fixture and table lamp in 1st floor TV room, 3 sets of ceiling lights in kitchen but realistically seldom more than one on at a time. All LED, so maybe 150 consumption watts total, and switching them off an average of another 3 hrs a day would be a lot, so I figure more like $28 a year even at our $0.17 per kW-hr. You could get a much higher reasonable number assuming loads of lights left on all the time, but as I said I'm thinking of our situation, absolutely aggressive turn off every time we leave the room v generally turning them off if we're not around, and also not counting as 'waste' using the lights when we're in the room, that's what they are there for. :happy
User avatar
unclescrooge
Posts: 5268
Joined: Thu Jun 07, 2012 7:00 pm

Re: PSA: switch to LED light bulbs and save hundreds per year

Post by unclescrooge »

mrc wrote: Wed Sep 16, 2020 9:04 am
Valuethinker wrote: Wed Sep 16, 2020 4:02 am
Spirit Rider wrote: Tue Sep 15, 2020 9:16 pm There are many people who always turn on the lights even on a sunny day with lots of windows in the room.
Your eyes get dimmer as you get older. On a cloudy day I need the lights on.

I am really noticing this in my late 50s.

And of course we age at different rates.
That may depend on your vision. I noticed the same thing, and at age 61 I prefer a lot of light. My wife, who is profoundly near sighted and pushing 70, reads with her glasses off quite easily, in what I could consider, the dark.
Yup. Just last month I was telling my wife I can no longer read books in the bedroom with a zero watt bulb.
Normchad
Posts: 1104
Joined: Thu Mar 03, 2011 7:20 am

Re: PSA: switch to LED light bulbs and save hundreds per year

Post by Normchad »

unclescrooge wrote: Thu Sep 17, 2020 8:02 pm
mrc wrote: Wed Sep 16, 2020 9:04 am
Valuethinker wrote: Wed Sep 16, 2020 4:02 am
Spirit Rider wrote: Tue Sep 15, 2020 9:16 pm There are many people who always turn on the lights even on a sunny day with lots of windows in the room.
Your eyes get dimmer as you get older. On a cloudy day I need the lights on.

I am really noticing this in my late 50s.

And of course we age at different rates.
That may depend on your vision. I noticed the same thing, and at age 61 I prefer a lot of light. My wife, who is profoundly near sighted and pushing 70, reads with her glasses off quite easily, in what I could consider, the dark.
Yup. Just last month I was telling my wife I can no longer read books in the bedroom with a zero watt bulb.
PSA: Switching to zero watt bulbs could save you hundreds a year. :)
User avatar
unclescrooge
Posts: 5268
Joined: Thu Jun 07, 2012 7:00 pm

Re: PSA: switch to LED light bulbs and save hundreds per year

Post by unclescrooge »

Normchad wrote: Thu Sep 17, 2020 8:25 pm
unclescrooge wrote: Thu Sep 17, 2020 8:02 pm
mrc wrote: Wed Sep 16, 2020 9:04 am
Valuethinker wrote: Wed Sep 16, 2020 4:02 am
Spirit Rider wrote: Tue Sep 15, 2020 9:16 pm There are many people who always turn on the lights even on a sunny day with lots of windows in the room.
Your eyes get dimmer as you get older. On a cloudy day I need the lights on.

I am really noticing this in my late 50s.

And of course we age at different rates.
That may depend on your vision. I noticed the same thing, and at age 61 I prefer a lot of light. My wife, who is profoundly near sighted and pushing 70, reads with her glasses off quite easily, in what I could consider, the dark.
Yup. Just last month I was telling my wife I can no longer read books in the bedroom with a zero watt bulb.
PSA: Switching to zero watt bulbs could save you hundreds a year. :)
:mrgreen:
Actually, zero watt bulb consume more energy than the significantly brighter 7w LEDs. :oops:
Post Reply