Switch on to saving with LED
Posted September 2016 by Melissa Abraham-Smith
At Unity, we're always looking to share ways to save money and help our customers achieve their financial goals without breaking the budget. Even small changes can add up to significant savings over time. Energy-efficient light bulbs, for example, use up to 80% less energy than standard incandescent bulbs, so you start saving money the moment you make the switch.
What are the options and what bulb is best?
Although LED bulbs are the most expensive type of bulb to buy, they are by far the most efficient and long-lasting so they will pay for themselves quite quickly in terms of lower power bills and replacement costs. Most LEDs should last at least 15,000 hours – which is more than 13 years if used every day for three hours.
A compact fluorescent lamp (CFL) is generally cheaper than LED and has a lifetime of at least 6000 hours - about six times longer than incandescents but much shorter than LEDs. They take a few seconds to reach full brightness and tend to fade over time. Frequent switching can shorten its lifespan.
Halogen lamps are a slightly more efficient type of incandescent bulb. They are commonly used for recessed downlights and spotlights.
Incandescents are the old-style bulb with a wire filament. They are far less efficient than other types of lighting and have a short lifespan.
Is it worth changing existing lighting to LED?
The answer is yes. According to consumer.org.nz, lighting costs the average household $220 per year – about 12 percent of your electricity bill. The difference in running cost means they will pay for themselves quite quickly. There is also the added convenience of not having to change bulbs so often, especially those in hard-to-reach places.
If your house has recessed downlights with incandescent or halogen bulbs, it is recommended you replace the entire fitting with a dedicated LED downlight fitting, rather than just changing the bulb. Simply replacing the bulb with an LED is likely to overheat the LED and shorten its life. You will need an electrician to install them for you.
The other benefit of cooler LED fittings is that it means you can install ceiling insulation right up to, or even over the top instead of having to leave drafty gaps.
For non-recessed fittings, retrofitting LED bulbs is cheaper and easier than installing dedicated LED fittings.
Unity has partnered with Kinetic Electrical to offer our customers a $200-$500 discount on converting your home to LED lighting. They also waive the mileage charge on any job, big or small. See http://kinetic-electric.co.nz/ for more information or to book a consultation. Remember to have your Unity member number handy when booking. Check out all our Member Benefit Programme deals here.
While Unity believes Kinetic Electrical is a reputable company and will provide you with great service, Unity cannot accept any responsibility for any aspect of their service.