Myth 29: LED lights are too expensive

Any technology at an early development stage is usually a costly investment. So, the question should really be: Expensive compared to what? Lighting has evolved tremendously within the past century. Since the introduction of LED back in the 1980s, the technology behind LED has evolved enormously and consequent cost of this technology has dropped significantly as well. When evaluating the price of LED products, we need a meaningful way to measure cost/benefit. There are many choices in the marketplace and when comparing the prices of the various LED bulbs one of the key performance attribute benchmarks is lumens.

Lumens: Wattage used to be the standard method of calculating a lamp’s brightness, however since LED technology has become more efficient, this measure is no longer as relevant as it once was. Newer LED lamps consume less watts without compromising light output. Today lumens are the most accurate measure of the brightness of a light source.

So, when you are comparing lamps (bulbs) look for the number of lumens, and secondly, the lifespan cycle. To put it into perspective, here is a quick comparative chart:

Comparative chart of lighting technologies

(based on use of 3 hours per day, 7 days a week)

Incandescent Halogen Compact Fluorescent LED
Initial Cost ($CAD) $1.00 $2.25 $4.61 $8.00
Consumption (Watts) 60 43 13 8 Watt
Lumens 630 750 900 810
Electricity cost (11¢/kWh) $7.23 per year $5.18 per year $1.57 $0.96
Lifespan (Continuous use) 1,000 hours 1,000 hours 10,000 hours 50,000 hours
Lifespan when used for 3 hours a day, 7 days a week 10 months, 29 days 10 months, 29 days 9 years, 1 month, 18 days 45 years, 7 months, 29 days
Number of replacements each year 1.09 times 1.09 times 0.11 times -
Cost of replacement each year ($CAD) $1.09 $2.46 $0.50 -
Total annual cost ($CAD) $ 8.32 $7.64 $2.07 $0.96

Result: FALSE! LEDs help you save money.