Some of us resist the switch to efficient lighting, even some who embraced the compact fluorescent, just can’t seem to accept LED lighting around the house.
This is just the dilemma that Ohio resident, Dave Lippert, faced. This electric utility retiree has always been dedicated to doing his part to save energy and wanted his friends and family to do the same. But they were having trouble believing that just changing the light bulbs around the house could really save money on their electric bills, especially enough to offset the higher price of LED lights. So Dave decided to do an experiment and see if he could convince his friends just how awesome LED lighting around the home can be.
The experiment was this: Dave went through his average-size, 2,400-square-foot house and replaced every light bulb he could with LED lights. The only bulbs he didn’t replace were decorative bulbs in chandeliers and fluorescent stick lights, since there were few options for each when he started his experiment in 2011. In all, he replaced incandescent and compact fluorescent lighting that used 3,656 watts of electricity with 638 watts’ worth of dimmable LED lights. His cost for all these light bulbs was $975. Then, in an attempt to keep the research as accurate as possible, Dave made a point of not adding any new, or getting rid of any old, electric devices in his home to keep his other energy use the same as before. Dave explains, “There’s nothing we did different, because I was trying to isolate it (the difference in energy use) to the light bulbs.”
When the electric bill came, Dave saw a difference right away. By the end of one year, the Lippert family had reduced their electricity use by nearly 19 percent, from 12,590 kilowatt-hours to 10,217 kilowatt-hours. Next, in part because of their reduction in energy use, the family was able to lock into a lower energy rate with their utility company, bringing the savings to more than 25 percent of their total electric bill. In one year’s time, the Lippert’s went from spending $1,599.03 on electricity to spending only $1,190.75 because they changed a few small things: light bulbs. That’s an annual saving of $408.26 and an annual rate of return on his investment of 41.87 percent, according to Dave’s calculations. He also figures that he will have saved enough on his electric bill by April 2015 to recoup the $975 he paid for the house full of LED bulbs.
But that’s not all. Lippert says the lights in his house are typically on an average of 3.4 hours a day, so the same LED bulbs he used for the experiment should last a little more than twenty years if they live up to their claim of a 25,000 hour life. Based on his costs during the one-year study, Dave calculates that he will save $8,186 in electricity over the life of the bulbs. How’s that for a return on your investment?
He was so pleased with the findings from his research that he summarized them in a report that he gave to family members and friends. He hopes it will encourage them to try the new technology, especially the ones who are reluctant to give up their old-style light bulbs. After hearing Dave’s story, who could resist switching to LED, it’s like putting money in the bank.
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