Economics

LED lighting is the most efficient light source on the market, offering people long-term cost-savings.

Household Cost Savings

LEDs enable us to reduce our home or building’s electricity bills, while also providing quality, mercury-free safe light. LED lighting is the economic choice because of its low electricity consumption and longer lifespan. 

Over the last few years, retrofit LED light bulbs have become significantly more affordable and accessible. In most countries, an LED bulb that replaces a compact fluorescent lamp (CFL) can often be found for the same price or sometimes slightly more expensive. In those situations, the small incremental cost of the LED lamp is quickly recovered through lower electricity bills – this is called the “payback period” where people and businesses are paid back through their energy bill savings.

Payback periods for LED bulbs are very short – usually only a matter of months. In Tanzania, for example, in a household that uses their lights for 4 hours per day, a 15-watt CFL can be replaced by an 8 watt LED costing 25% more. That additional cost is recovered in just 4 months. The LED bulb then goes on to last for years, generating more and more savings.  

National Economic Savings

At the macro level, particularly in countries and regions which are experiencing shortages in the supply of electricity, switching to mercury-free LED bulbs saves power and money at the same time. 

The Oko-Institut, an expert consultancy in Germany, calculated the net impact that a fluorescent phase-out would have in Europe. The study found net savings (including the cost of bulbs, electricity, some new fixtures and the labor to replace them) of 29.9 billion Euros.  They also calculated 309 TWh of electricity savings for Europe, which is equivalent to the electricity output of seven large (500 MW) coal-fired power plants over 15 years. 

4 months

Payback Period for LED Bulbs

LEDs may be more expensive than CFL bulbs, but the replacement cost can be recouped in just 4 months

2-3 times

Longer Product Lifespans

LEDs last 2 to 3 times longer than fluorescent bulbs

60%

More Energy-Efficient

LED bulbs save money by consuming 50-60% less energy

Switch to LED and Save

For LED linear bulbs, the payback period is very short, given the longer operating hours where they are installed. In an office installation in South Africa, replacing a 36W T8 fluorescent linear tube with a 18W LED tube that operates 10 hours per day will pay back in just six months. The building owner will  accrue hundreds of Rand in savings because the LED bulb lasts for 7 years. Similar calculations have been performed by global lighting companies like LEDVANCE, who state that for a linear LED tube retrofit bulb, “Replacement costs can be recouped in just four months.”  

While in some cases, LED lighting may appear to be more expensive than CFLs at the point of purchse (usually about 25% more expensive), prices are continuing to decline as efficiency increases. Switching to LED eliminates mercury, saves money on your electricity bill, pays for itself within a matter of months – and provides quality light for years.

Make the smart switch to LED lighting. 

Far from being disruptive, the installation of LED retrofit tubes into existing fluorescent lamps is common sense – it removes mercury, reduces energy consumption and provides better, longer lasting service life from the lamps. Nils Borg, Executive Director, European Council for an Energy Efficient Economy

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The Clean Lighting Coalition is a global partnership to capture the health and environmental benefits of eliminating mercury-based lighting. It is coordinated by CLASP and supported by Climate Imperative and Sequoia Climate Fund.

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