There are a number of reasons for wanting to use low powered or green lighting. Perhaps you feel that’green’ issues are important and by using lighting that reduces your carbon footprint, you’ll minimise the damage to the environment. You may simply wish to lower your electricity consumption because the price of lighting may be a significant percentage of a power bill.
Here’s a case study that involves one part of fitting a new kitchen to the breakfast/kitchen of an old house. It contains issues which are relevant for anybody planning a similar kind of project.
With any new kitchen, the designer will say at some stage in the planning phase,”if we are fitting a new kitchen we will have to update the lighting”. The kitchen is in the center of the modern household and it needs to be a place where family members are delighted to congregate for meals or just spend some time together. Modern lighting means it is possible to increase the ambiance of this kitchen by picking out features, highlighting food prep areas and generally setting the mood, which makes it an attractive area to eat and meet.
The power consumption was raised from 180 watts to 280 watts that was not in any way helpful. This was changed for nine recessed GU10 halogen ceiling lights at 35 watts each thus increasing the energy consumption from 100 g to 315 watts in a stroke. Hardly an eco-friendly movement.
OK, the dining and kitchen room were now brightly lit, but the energy consumption had increased from 280 watts to a whopping 595 watts.
Fortunately, alternative bulbs in the kind of LED variations of the GU10 lights are easily available nowadays, using only 3.0 watts each bulb. So that the halogen lights were swapped in favour of LED lights, which meant that the energy consumption from the kitchen was 24 watts, and at the dining room it had been 27 watts. In general, that was only 51 watts!
Though the LED GU10 units are more expensive to purchase than the halogen equivalents, there was another plus factor as well as the radically reduced power consumption. This came in the duration of bulb life.
It might have been cheaper to purchase replacements for spotlights and filament bulbs in the preceding kitchen, but they needed to be replaced site regularly.
Halogen light bulbs are somewhat more expensive to get, but they have a longer life span. GU10s are rated at an average of 2,500 hours, meaning that if you kept them constantly you’d expect to change them three times annually.
LED lights perform better using an average lifespan of 50,000 hours. That’s an incredible 5.7 decades of constant use. Now of course, nobody leaves the lights on all of the time (anybody with teens at home will probably disagree!) , so you’d expect the LEDs to continue to produce savings in electricity consumption for a lengthy time.