LED Downlight Replacement – FAQ

We are running an LED Downlight Bulk Buy. More details here: http://sunnyshire.org.au/sunny-shire-led-downlight-bulk-buy/

This post contains our Frequently Asked Questions & Answers.

How Much can I save? 

As always, the answer to this is: it depends.

Converting an Downlight from a 50 Watt Halogen to a 10W LED saves 40W rate of electricity usage. So, it depends how much you use the lights, and this differs for each room. We ranked the rooms that generally are most used in order from highest usage to lowest usage, with an educated guess of how many hours per day on average:

  • Kitchen & Dining – 6 hours per day
  • Lounge – 6 hours per day
  • Bathroom – 4 hours per day
  • Bedrooms – 2 hours per day

Of course, this is different for each house and room. Remember to average out how lights are used more in winter than summer, and even weekends compared to weekdays.

Therefore, if a kitchen light is replaced, saving 40W on average 6 hours per day, this saves 240Wh per day, or 87 kWh per annum. If electricity costs, say 35 c/kWh during lighting hours, then replacing 1 light saves $31 per annum.

For bedroom lights, the saving may be $11 per annum.

For our Bulk Buy, this may mean getting higher performing but higher cost LEDs for your kitchen and loungeroom, and more economic cost LEDs for lesser used rooms.

What is the payback?

As above, it depends. For example, for your kitchen and dining room:

  • Spending $340 on 4 x Absolute D-Light ‘Steath’ LEDs can save $122 p.a., seeing a 2.7 year payback
  • Spending $176 on 4 x LED replacements by Spark Ireland Electrical could save you $122 p.a., seeing a 1.5 year payback

Paybacks are longer for lesser used rooms. (Disclaimer: these are estimates only and depend on your situation and usage)

Why replace the whole fitting, and not just the globe?

It is best to replace the whole fitting and driver/transformer, rather than just the globe. This ensures the globe and driver are made to work together. Replacing the globe may see it not work well with the existing transformer, that is made to work with the halogen globe, leading to flicker, energy waste or lighting failure.

Halogen downlights get very hot and many fittings are designed to allow air flow through them. When warming your house in winter, or cooling your house in summer, this sees lots of air conditioned air lost up through the downlight fittings, and waste energy trying to keep your house warm/cool.

LEDs don’t need this as much, so the fittings are designed with less gaps, so less energy is wasted by losing heating/cooling from your rooms into your roof.

Why are LEDs safer?

Downlights are a leading cause of house fires. Halogen downlights get extremely hot and usually insulation installers tear away large sections of the insulation around downlights to ensure that the insulation doesn’t touch the hot halogen light fitting . The large gaps in the insulation massively reduces the performance of your ceiling insulation

The clearence around halogen downlights ensures that there is enough air around the downlights so they cool effectively, but sometimes insultation installers carelessly leave insulation touching the fitting or covered over the downlight. Flammable insulation can char an result in fire if it touches hot downlights. If insulation covers halogen downlights, they can overheat and start a fire.

When LEDs downlights are installed, the insulation should not cover the LED, because it will reduce the life of the LED, however it does not pose a safety risk, and will not cause fires.


About Sunny Shire

Community Energy concentrates on clean energy solutions for our local community. It empowers people to take action by promoting an increase in clean energy including, renewable energy, energy storage and energy efficiency. Community energy groups can play a variety of roles, from advocates and promoters of clean energy, to developers and owners of clean energy projects. Sunny Shire aims to bring community energy to the Sutherland Shire. This could: * Increase the amount of renewable energy in Sutherland Shire * Save households and business money through reduced electricity bills, strengthening the local economy * Increase energy independence and self reliance * Help shire residents and businesses better understand energy and our electricity market

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