Find out how much you can save if you switch lightbulbs with our calculator
What type of bulbs do you have?
How many bulbs do you have?
What wattage are the bulbs?
How many hours a day do you use them?
How much are you paying for electricity?
You could save an estimated £
100 each year by swithcing to LEDS
How much can you save by switching to OVO Better Energy?
Using this calculator
This calculator is designed to give you a simple idea of how much electricity you might save by switching from traditional light bulbs to LEDs.
To keep things as simple as possible, we have made some limiting assumptions, namely that each bulb of interest has a similar wattage and is used for roughly the same amount of time. These assumptions serve to make your calculations simple, but naturally mean that the calculation can’t be overly accurate.
For further information to judge how much you would like to invest in LEDs, please continue reading this piece. It will give you some context about how much a typical home spends on lighting electricity, and how this can inform what you spend on LEDs. For help with choosing good replacement light bulbs please see our Energy Saving Lightbulbs piece.
How much electricity does lighting a home use?
Lighting is gradually becoming a less prominent share of electricity use in UK homes. Although it once accounted for over 20% of the total, by 2010 this had fallen to 15%, and today it is currently heading towards 10% with the increasing dispersion of CFLs and LEDs.
Although this varies between homes, looking at what is happening to the average household can give you a better idea of how much you might save when you switch. In the graph below, we’ve calculated the typical yearly electricity use for lighting over the last few decades.
Up until 2005, annual electricity used for lighting was very stable at around 700 kWh/year. This was a result of the continued dominance of traditional incandescent light bulbs and relatively high wattage halogens (mostly used in kitchens and bathrooms).
Over the last ten years this picture has changed considerably. According to a study by the Energy Saving Trust, by as early as 2010 incandescents had dropped to a little over a third of total light bulbs, halogens made up a further third, while the remainder were energy saving technologies including CFLs and – to a lesser degree – LEDs.
Because both CFLs and LEDs are more than five times more efficient than traditional bulbs, the amount of electricity used by lighting crashed below 500 kWh in 2003 and is likely to go lower, particularly as LEDs become more commonplace.
How much do we spend on lighting?
Occasionally in the media you hear extravagant claims about how you can save hundreds of pounds in electricity costs each year by switching to LEDs. Invariably these figures don’t stand up to any sensible analysis, simply because the average bulb isn’t on for 6-10 hours – more like 2.5 hours.
If you want to make a sound investment in light bulbs that will pay itself back inside two years, then aim to cap your spending at around £100. The reason for this is simple: most of us spend less than £100 a year on electricity for lighting. So there is little point in spending £400 on light bulbs if they only save you £80/year at most (unless you’re paying for style).
Here is the average spending on lighting electricity over recent years. Unlike those in the electricity use graph, these figures have grown over time as electricity price increases have exceeded the falling demand for lighting electricity.
How much money can LEDs save?
New LEDs use as little as 15% of the energy of a standard incandescent to produce the same amount of light. To give you an idea of how transitioning from incandescents to LEDs might look like at a household level, I’ve estimated what the electricity costs would look like for homes using only one type of bulb.
Assuming a typical UK home used only incandescent bulbs, their annual lighting costs would be roughly £130 a year. Produce the same amount of light with just LEDs, however, and this figure falls to as low as £21.
The major takeaway from this is that if your home is currently using only incandescent and halogen bulbs, and you spend £100 switching all your high-use bulbs to LEDs instead, the initial cost will pay itself back in 1-2 years.
How to make a smart investment in LEDs
Here are some basic tips to make sure your switch goes smoothly.
Start with your busiest bulb. Switch it to a high-quality LED
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