Downlights, recessed lighting fixtures in the ceiling of your home, are the most commonly used lighting systems in today’s homes. Beaming light directly downwards, downlights offer either a broad floodlight or a more concentrated light source within all rooms of the house.
So, are downlights expensive to run? Do downlights use a lot of electricity? If you’re looking to renovate your home or are building a new dwelling, these are important considerations. The experts at Cowley Electrical are here to outline the costs of running downlights in your home or office.
Do Downlights Use a Lot of Electricity?
According to the Australian Government’s Energy Rating, lighting accounts for around 10% of the total energy bill of a household. Generally speaking, downlights can be one of the more energy-consuming methods of lighting a room. That is not to say they are unnecessary for commonly used spaces that require illumination – obviously, lighting is important!
Your total cost of running downlights will be high if you use outdated halogen globes or incandescent downlights. LED downlights use far less energy to produce the same amount of light, with increased longevity.
When installing downlights in your home or office, consider the watts that the downlights use, not the volts, to determine energy consumption costs. At the low end, the most energy-efficient LED downlight bulbs use anywhere between 7w to 20w and the least efficient coming in at 100w to 200w - a massive difference when you think about how many a home will have installed.
The Different Types of Downlights
The type of downlight you choose to install will affect how expensive downlights are to run in your home or office. From energy costs to lifespan to installation costs, there are several effects that your chosen downlight will have on costs.
1. Low Voltage Halogen
Halogen light bulbs are the cheapest bulbs on the market. They are an easy, entry-level downlight that was popular following the phasing out of incandescent light bulbs. The Halogen light price is attractive to some homeowners, but their lifetime cost is more than other bulbs.
2. Compact Fluorescent
Compact fluorescent lights are more energy-efficient than both halogen and incandescent bulbs. A convenient replacement for halogen bulbs as they are a direct replacement to the previous systems. Their premier letdown is they do not last as long as LED.
The most energy-efficient lighting fixture you can install in your home is LED. LED (Light Emitting Diodes) globes produce as much light, if not more, than their counterparts and use the least electricity. LED downlights are the most expensive to install but can last for up to 10 years.
Cost of Downlight Installation
When it comes to answering the question of “are downlights expensive to run?”, installation is the most significant barrier to your energy savings. It is essential that when it comes to choosing your downlight system, you consider how long the bulb will last you. Halogen light bulbs cost around $3 to purchase, compared to $10 for an LED. Whilst you can install more halogens under the same budget, the lifespan of the LED bulb is about five times longer, meaning you will need to spend $15 on halogen bulbs compared to the initial $10. Purchase and install bulbs with eventual replacement in mind, and you will find yourself saving far more.
Lifetime Electricity Costs
The lifetime cost refers to the long-term cost of the downlight, incorporating the electrical bill and any replacement bulb costs over a given period. LED bulbs have a life span of around ten years and will use far less energy in that time than the equivalent period for multiple halogen bulbs.
Importance of Configuration
Answering “are downlights expensive to run?” comes down to how efficiently you install the lights. The beam angle of the light defines the most economical way of installing your downlights. When lighting an area such as a lounge room or kitchen in the home, you will need to fix the widest beam angle possible to reduce the number of lights required.
For installations in places like restaurants, downlights are often used to draw attention to individual features or areas like décor or dining tables. Restaurant configurations are not the most energy-efficient but contribute significantly to the ambience of the setting.
Downlight configurations at your home or office should balance the needs of the occupants of the space, the total energy being consumed, the functionality of the lights, and how the lighting impacts the aesthetic properties of the space. Taking these factors into account when configuring your downlight positions will help you save money on energy costs and allow you to brighten areas economically.
Which Is the Best Downlight System to Install?
Comparing the factors listed above, LED is by far the best downlight system to install. Are downlights expensive to run? Not when you choose an energy-efficient and cost-effective solution to lighting your home or office.
LED bulbs are safer and longer-lasting than their counterparts. Whilst the bulbs will incur a higher initial installation cost, LED lights will provide increased savings over their lifetime. In fact, the original investment is often returned in decreased energy bills over the first full year of their use.
Install Downlights with Cowley Electrical
The total cost of running downlights will be high should you choose typical halogen globes or incandescent lights. LED lights not only use less electricity but also are less expensive to run in the long term.
The trend of building bigger homes is causing an upwards spike in the number of lights we are installing, and thereby the resulting power bills. More energy-efficient lighting is becoming more readily available, and the team at Cowley are excited about making your home or office more energy efficient. If you are looking to install new downlights or switch over to a new downlight system, call in the leading provider of South Coast electrical services at Cowley Electrical.
Cowley Electrical Services are the leaders all electrical services throughout the south coast of NSW. Any member of our fully certified team can help get your LED downlights installed in the best configuration for your home or office. For other lighting installation enquiries, do not hesitate to contact the Cowley Electrical Services team today on 0411 457 441.
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