There are so many changes we can make around the home to help cut the cost of our electricity bills.
Turning the TV off at the switch rather than leaving it on standby, and buying an appliance rated A for efficiency rather than C or below can save a significant chunk, as can turning off your lighting when it isn’t in use.
The Cost of Smart Lighting
The switch can save the planet, but can it also save you money?
Smart lighting is not only a way to make your home ultra-modern, but they can also be controlled from anywhere in the house or when you’re out and programmed to switch on only when you need it. This could save money in itself, but the actual bulbs are also a lot more energy-friendly than traditional filament models.
Do Smart Bulbs Cost Less To Run?
Most electrical items around your home don’t actually use a lot of power per year, especially if they’re modern appliances. On average, it costs you £23.50 to run a refrigerator and £46 for a cooker – two of the most continuously used items in your house, which are probably also always on.
But surprisingly, despite the claims they can be turned on and off from anywhere, your smart lighting also has to be on standby all the time. This is so it can constantly communicate with your WiFi or home hub and is ready to be turned on at the exact moment you need it. So, even if it isn’t emitting light, it is still using energy.
Is This a Concern?
If your entire fridge is always on and only uses around £20 per year to run, a bulb can’t require much energy and money, can it?
You’d be right to think this. Compared to other forms of lighting such as incandescent light bulbs, they cost less to run because they are all LED. They are ten times more efficient at converting electricity into light than filament bulbs. This means that if your lamp requires a 60W bulb, it will only need a 6W LED light.
But They are Expensive
They can be a lot more pricey than an ordinary LED bulb – especially if you want to make the switch for every single lamp in your house.
On average, they are about £20 each. Twin packs and bundles can be bought which are excellent value, but then there is the smart speaker to think about (if you choose this operation method). Some also require central hubs to operate.
Coloured bulbs cost more than the white ones, and then there are optional extras such as dimmer switches which can make the most out of your smart lighting experience.
Will I Make The Money Back?
Say you have ten bulbs in your home, that are all on for 10 hours per day. With the old-style 60W bulbs:
- This is equivalent to using 600W per day, or 0.6kW
- Based on an average price of 12.2p per kW, they cost 7.3p per hour altogether
- This is 73p per day, £5.11 a week, £21.90 a month or £266.45 a year.
But with a 6W LED, the costs are one-tenth of this, so around £27 per annum. That is a massive saving of over £200.
Don’t worry about the costs of them being left on standby either, as this will only make up around 10% of the overall running costs.
Energy efficiency doesn’t only matter in regards to short-term use, but long-term too. Some ordinary 12W LED light bulbs have a lifetime of around 6,000 hours. This is about 18 months with 10 hours of use per day. But a lot of smart light bulbs claim they can actually last for 20 years on average. This is much more cost-efficient than replacing them every year or so.
Obviously, every household is different, as is every brand of bulb. Not all of your bulbs will be on for 10 hours per day, and it differs between seasons. But it is more than likely that the bulbs will end up paying for themselves after around two years of use.
If you have no idea where to start in your search for smart lighting, we have reviewed a range of bulbs, LED strips and lamps which will fit right into any home.