Feb 15 2015
Electricians LED Price/Cost Analysis
LED Price/Cost Analysis.
As an electrician and Martin County electrical contractor, one of the topics I am asked about often is whether LEDs are worth the investment. Circumstances dictate the correct answer. Many factors have to be considered in making that decision. To a large extent the answer is about “pay me now or pay me later.” It’s about upfront cost vs. long term economic savings. There are vast technological differences between incandescent bulbs and light-emitting diode (LED). Yet, light is light. When you flip the switch, whether LED or incandescent, all you get is light.
A light-emitting diode is a type of solid-state lighting that uses a semiconductor to convert electricity into light. LED bulbs can be six to seven times more energy efficient than conventional incandescent lights and cut energy use by more than 80 percent. Unlike incandescent bulbs, which release 90% of their energy as heat, LEDs use energy much more efficiently. A recent Energy Department study determined that LEDs have a much smaller environmental impact, compared to incandescent bulbs. They also have an edge over compact fluorescent lights (CFLs) in regards to those same factors. Good-quality LED bulbs can have a useful life of 25,000 hours or more — meaning they can last more than 25 times longer than traditional light bulbs. That is a life of more than three years if run 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
So what’s not to like? It’s about price—LEDs cost more, significantly more, though cost is trending decidedly downward.
LEDs: a cost-benefit analysis.
Like all the decisions you make, you need to analyze if the higher cost of LED lighting up front is worth it in the long term. A LED lighting system can cost three times what a traditional T8 fluorescent tube system costs. But you have to factor in your application and maintenance costs. LED lighting has won acceptance in outdoor applications because it is more rugged and low maintenance. Fluorescent lighting is the current standard for overhead lighting in homes, offices, warehouses and retail establishments.issue.
Many retailers use halogen spotlights to showcase displays, but halogen burns “hot” and needs frequent replacing. LEDs also provide bright directional light and last a very, very long time, saving on labor as well as energy. Extended use interior lighting paybacks can be in the 2-4 year range when LEDs are substituted. The new LED technology has better performance and more light output than ever before.
If you are investing in your home or office, and plan to be there for a long time, the higher cost of LEDs makes sense. But if you are renting, or expecting to move in a few years, you might not want to pay more for the most efficient lighting technology. Because LEDs give you the most value where you need light the most, you can always consider a combination of LED and other types of bulbs.
Apr 9 2015
Solar Power Installation Timing
Timing Your Solar Power Installation.
With spring officially upon us and Florida’s long, sunny, summer days approaching, you may be considering a solar system installation now to let the sun be your utility provider. Solar power generation is part of the solution to lower electrical generation costs. Solar power generates clean energy and helps to reduce your individual carbon footprint as well.
Residential solar power generation is no longer more expensive than traditional fossil fuels. Indeed, it is cheaper. So, a residential home solar can save money month after month while providing a better future for the planet and generations to come. That said, the real issue is not whether you should or should not install a solar power system on your home, but when.
Major home solar installation companies, such as Sunrun, claim that the timing for you to install a solar system couldn’t be better. They point out that through 2016, you can take advantage of a federal tax credit that lets you write off up to 30% of the cost of buying and installing a solar system. They also suggest that there are also many programs available that allow homeowners to go solar with $0 down.
But, as always, the devil is in the details. According to Sunrun, On average the total cost of solar installation can be between $15,000 to $29,000 for average sized systems sized between 4kW and 8kW. The go solar with $0 down contracts typically let you pay for the electricity you use at a 20% discount from your current utility rate being charged by FP&L.
For the average Florida homeowner, it would take a lot of years to justify the installation, even if electrical rate rise. But, what if utility rates fall? Homeowners locked into a long term contract such as described above would pay dearly for their bleeding edge technology.
Future Solar Power Installation Costs.
And, that scenario is highly likely. According to Giles Parkinson, founding editor of RenewEconomy.com.au, “Solar Costs Will Fall Another 40% In 2 Years.” After reading that article and others, I am inclined to believe that now is not the perfect time to install a solar power system on a home in Florida. The time will come, but it is not now.
Would you like a complimentary…no obligation …project consultation? Please feel free to call for more details. Mobile: 772-263-2333.
By Glenn_G • Solar Power • • Tags: Residential solar power