I have changed all most of my light bulbs in my house to LED bulbs. These new generation bulbs are actually pretty good, last quite long and are relatively inexpensive.
But what I did was also change the fluorescent tube lighting in some parts of my house, ie the kitchen, so that I can use existing E27 bulb sockets:
Now, this is relatively easy to understand:
A typical florescent light tube is rated at about 35watts as I understand it. With a florescent tube, that would mean consumption of 35watts per hour. It's fairly efficient, as compared to an incandescent light bulb, which needed to be about 60watts in order to give about about the same amount of light.
So, wattage for a light bulb is rated watts per hour, so typically, if you're using a 60w incandescent light bulb, that would be 60w per hour for that bulb alone.
The recent compact florescent bulbs, typically referred to as CFL, is a florescent that is compact (duh) enough that it fits into a standard small bulb sized, but with florescent technology. What does that mean? Well, it means that it gives more light than an equivalent incandescent, with two color options (daylight, warm white) that fits into a regular bulb socket, AND uses less wattage per hour.
A typical CFL I have in my house uses about anywhere from 12watts to 18watts, a far cry from 35watts of a tube, and 60 watts of an incandescent bulb.
Now that we've understood what type of bulbs there are and how that works out to watt usage per hour, on to the LED bulbs; how much wattage does it consume?
How much does a typical LED bulb consume? Well the ones I bought consume anywhere from 7watts, 5watts and even 3watts!! And how bright? Well, these bulbs I have are better used for down-light, as they illuminate in a more or less straight direction (like a torch light) rather than all-around light from an incandescents or CFLs.
So, by using select 5w and 7w LED bulbs instead of CFLs in my house, replacing 12-15w CFLs I can quite confidently say that, on a typical night with necessary light usage, every necessary light that is turned on still works out to less than 100watts per hour, that is less electricity use than a single 100W incandescent light bulb!
As you can imagine since LEDs have a long life as well as having minimal watt usage, they work great for lights that are left on at night, especially if you can find 3w ones or even lower, 2w. I do not have the Lumens rating for the 3w ones, but they give out about the same light as a 25w incandescent.
Now because these bulbs are better used in down-lighting housing, (which I do have in my house, so it is a perfect fit for them), there are some areas in the house which are not fit for down-lighting, such as the kitchen and the dining room (which used to be florescent tube lighting, ugh). Also, compared to CFL or florescent tube lighting, they don't attract too many insects, something you may not want in the kitchen, dining or bedroom.
So, instead of buying a completely new light setup for these areas, I cheated, with the use of these E27 socket splitters;
You can buy these at any of the Supersave Branches for about RM5
E27 sockets are the screw-type sockets that is typical in most bathroom setups. There are also other types of sockets, but in order to Keep Every Damn Thing Simple (K.E.D.T.S), it probably makes more sense to choose a particular socket setup all over the house, rather than go with different fancy bulb for each corner of the house like some interior designers tend to do, and frustrate you to no end on exactly what type to buy when they needed replacing. A K.E.D.T.S set up also allows you to take one bulb from a seldom used light and replace the bulb on a more necessary light as a temporary replacement.
So once I got enough of these, I can come up with a set up like this:
Image from here
Which not only looks better than a single-bulb set up, but also distributes the LED bulb lights all over instead of just downwards, and improving lighting in the room. With these splitters, add and remove to your hearts' content. My set up includes several 7 watt true white bulbs, and several 3 watt bulb warm white bulbs. I did this because it makes the room color much less 'sterile' compared to just daylight white, while still not as yellow as incandescent bulbs.
I have to warn though, while LED bulbs make great lighting for kitchen and dining, for the bedroom I still went with CFLs, only because in my opinion CFLs are "softer", it doesn't burn your retinas when you look at it, which of course when you are lying down for rest or whatnot your eyes will be facing the ceiling most of the time. With LEDs, the searing luminance of an LED bulb shining down on your eyes can make it uncomfortable to lie down, even if you do close your eyes, and ESPECIALLY when you open your eyes after closing them for some time. Well you could turn off the light, but sometimes you are lying down but not want it off. So my recommendation is that bedrooms still need to go with CFLs, or unless you have a light that fits LEDs but with indirect or bounce lighting.
How much savings? I don't know. I'll need time to see the results, but what I do know now is that on a typical night, with the necessary lights on at peak use, I would probably cut usage by at least 30%. How marvelous, the technology that we have nowadays.
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