Comparing LED & CFL Fittings ~ total cost of ownership is more than just the purchase price

For the MChi interior site in Bombay (Mumbai), I found some really nice LED light fittings but they are more than three times the cost of identical CFL fittings. Now we all know that LEDs consume very little electricity  and they have an extremely long life but I wanted hard numbers to convince my clients – after all, they are the ones paying for everything.

It didn’t take long… At the light shop, it was pretty obvious that the 18W LED fitting threw as much light as an identical one housing 36W of CFLs.  Frankly I was a little surprised by the 1:2 power consumption ratio because I always assumed it was more like 2:3. However, LED technology is making such rapid strides that yesterday’s facts are already redundant. Putting all the costs into a spreadsheet immediately produced a very compelling argument in favour of the former.

An Example of Total Cost of Ownership - LED v/s CFL

While the life of an LED bulb is in the region of 50,000 hours, the calculation over such a long period (while in favour of LEDs) is rather unfair because even at 5 hours per day, that means 27 years.  Instead, I’m working with 30,000 hours which represents a more realistic 16 years.

Even accounting for the fact that the LED driver (an electronic device that regulates the power that LEDs receive) doesn’t have a 50,000 hour life, the calculation still showed a huge saving.

The calculations here are not likely to remain valid for long because the cost of power is sure to rise even further and that of LEDs can only go downwards.

And here are some images of what the house is going to look like when complete.[imagebrowser id=3]

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5 thoughts on “Comparing LED & CFL Fittings ~ total cost of ownership is more than just the purchase price

  1. Appreciate your in-depth working to justify the use of LED products. In case you have done any further calculation on CFL Vs. LED for office areas recently, please share !!

    Regards !!

  2. Thanks Ranjan. So far, I haven’t done any further calculations but, overall, LEDs are the way to go especially as the prices keep coming down. For a recent commercial space, I was, again, able to convince the clients about the savings and they are happy with the results.

    For the ShKo bungalow too, we’ll probably have almost all our lighting through LED because we’re using solar power for the most part. Will blog about that when the lighting design is completed.

    One thing to keep in mind is to get the lights and drivers (which are like the chokes for fluorescent lights) from reputed manufacturer even if the initial cost is a little higher, because quality fluctuates dramatically.

  3. Pingback: The Changing Face of Lighting ~ how LEDs make a difference | bT Square Peg

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