Efficiency Vermont has partnered with several electrical distributors to offer LED (Light Emitting Diode) light bulbs at a substantial discount. These lamps are the latest in lighting technology and offer efficiencies much better than Compact Fluorescent and standard incandescent bulbs. Advantages of LED lamps include:
- Efficiencies over conventional bulbs. For example, a 16 watt LED bulb will provide the same light as a 75 watt Halogen bulb.
- These bulbs last and last – they are rated at 25000 hours of use. Conventional bulbs are usually rated to last around 1000 – 2000 hours, so these can nearly pay for themselves in bulb replacement costs alone!
- Most of them can work with a dimmer and can be had in ‘warm white’ colors to match the light bulbs we now use.
- There is no mercury pollution when disposing LED lamps as opposed to the compact fluorescent.
When buying LED bulbs you should keep the following in mind:
- Replace bulbs with matched LED lamps so that they fit into the fixtures you have. You may need to take in your existing bulbs for correct sizing.
- Don’t try to save energy by using a ‘dim’ bulb. A 5 watt LED bulb may look like the one you are replacing, but its light output won’t match the 60 watt bulb you now use. Follow the guidelines that would tell you to use a 12 watt LED to match the light of your current 60 watt bulb.
- The LED bulbs are rated at a color temperature, usually in degrees KELVIN . A ‘warm white’ bulb is rated near 2700 degrees Kelvin. 4000 degree Kelvin and higher bulbs will have a ‘bluish’ light and are a bit harsh in my opinion.
The energy and cost savings are substantial. If you convert your light bulbs to LED, your electrical bill will go down. LED bulbs are most economical when replacing lights that are on most often. Closets aren’t the place to put these bulbs. I have converted 90% of the bulbs in my house to LED and my bill with Vermont Electric is usually less than $60 per month (I also have a propane stove, dryer, and water heater …) The following is an example of the cost savings of these bulbs over their 25,000 hour life:
12 watt LED to replace a 60 watt conventional light bulb.
Savings: 1,200 KiloWatt Hours (kwhr) at a cost of $0.17 per kwhr, Savings = $204
(and this doesn’t include the savings of replacing more than 10 regular bulbs!)
I have recently adopted Vermont Electric’s ‘Variable Rate Schedule’ which charges more for power at the peak times and substantially less for off peak times. If most of my lighting happens in the evenings during the peak hours, the cost of electricity increases to $0.26 per kwhr and can increase to nearly $0.40 per kwhr… This would result in savings of more than $300 to $480 per bulb over its life… Investing $100 in twenty LED bulbs will return from $4080 to nearly $9,600 over the bulbs’ lifetimes, and save 24,000 kilowatt hours of electricity.
So Efficiency Vermont and these local electrical supply houses are offering these bulbs from Phillips, Sylvania, etc at prices starting at $4.99 per bulb. This is a big savings – costs in the local hardware stores are more like $6 to $25 per bulb even for non name-brand bulbs.
Some of the stores where these bulbs are available are:
- NorthEast Electrical, 340 Ave D, Williston
open Mon – Fri, 6:45am – 5:00pm
- Twin State Electric (behind Pet Food Warehouse on Williston road)
open Mon – Fri, 6:00am – 4:00pm
- Walsh Electric, Rt 7, Colchester. (Just north of Costco)
open Mon – Fri, 7:00am – 5:00pm
Most electrical supply houses aren’t open on weekends, but they do generally have early morning hours.