Energy Efficiency – how economical is LED strip lighting?

LED strip lights (LED means ‘Light Emitting Diode’) are an amazingly energy-efficient mode of lighting.

Installing LED strip lights will give you more light and generate less heat, at significantly lower cost.

A traditional incandescent 40W lightbulb outputs around 400 lumens – that’s about the same brightness as a single metre of warm-white LED tape with high-quality Epistar diodes. And rather than 40 watts, that one metre of LED tape will draw less than 5 watts!


LED Tape vs Traditional Lighting

Installed as your light source, LED strip lights guzzle less electricity to produce the same light output. The potential savings are very significant – LEDs draw up to 85% less electricity than conventional incandescent lighting, and around 18% less electricity than CFLs (Compact Fluorescent Lamps).

Even at first glance, these savings look impressive. But because of the long life of an LED tape installation, they’re even more rewarding than they first appear.

InStyle’s LED tape range has a life expectancy of 50,000 hours. Used for four hours a day, that’s over 30 years! For comparison, conventional incandescent bulbs can last up to 2,000 hours (just over a year) and CFL up to 15,000 hours (around 10 years).

This long life saves you even more on replacements and maintenance.

LED lights are more efficient

LED Strip Lights & the Environment

Up and coming LED technologies can help to reduce carbon emissions, and they offer other green benefits for the environment too.

LEDs convert up to 95% of the energy-supply in into light (just 5% is wasted as heat), whereas fluorescents typically convert only 5%-10%. (Wasting up to 95%!) The comparative efficiency of LEDs means far less power is need to produce the same light-levels; as the infographic at the top of this page shows, 1 metre of 25-watt white LED tape produces roughly the same light-level as two 70-watt halogen bulbs. And that lower power consumption decreases energy demand, which in turn reduces greenhouse gas emissions.

Going green with LEDs!

Another environmentally green benefit is the non-toxic nature of LED components. By contrast, the fluorescent lighting found in many workplaces contains toxic chemicals such as mercury. As well as a pollutant, this is potentially hazardous. In a study reported in the 1 August 2008 edition of Environmental Science & Technology, Robert Hurt (director of the Institute for Molecular & Nanonscale Inovation) was quoted as saying, “The amount of mercury gas [from a broken CFL bulb] is over a milligram over a few days. If you put that milligram into a poorly ventilated room, the concentration can be over the recommended limit for children. The overall risk is low, but it’s not zero risk, and there is definitely an opportunity to do better.”

The long life of LED strip lights saves on more than just maintenance costs. The 50,000 hour LED life expectancy that we already flagged (above) also leads to massive reductions in the industrial power-consumption required to manufacture replacement bulbs – another greenhouse gas-emission saving!

Comparing InStyle’s LED Strip Light Range

LED Tape Lumens/metre Equiv. Incandescent Bulb Wattage*
White 4.8 watts 330 lpm (warm)
360 lpm (pure)
approx 30 watts
White 9.6 watts 660 lpm (warm)
720 lpm (pure)
approx 55 watts
White 14.4 watts 990 lpm (warm)
1080 lpm (pure)
approx 75 watts
White 19.2 watts 1320 lpm (warm)
1440 lpm (pure)
approx 90 watts
Blue 4.8 watts 66 lpm approx 5 watts
Red/Amber 4.8 watts 90 lpm approx 8 watts
Green 4.8 watts 210 lpm approx 20 watts
Blue 14.4 watts 198 lpm approx 5 watts
Red/Amber 14.4 watts 270 lpm approx 8 watts
Green 14.4 watts 630 lpm approx 20 watts
RGB 7.2 watts set to ‘white’, 540 lpm approx 50 watts
RGB 14.4 watts set to ‘white’, 1080 lpm approx 95 watts

* ‘Equiv. Incandescent Bulb Wattage’ gives the equivalent incandescent bulb wattage for each metre of LED tape – to get the total equivalent incandescent bulb wattage, multiply by the length (in metres) of LED tape.

How Much Money Could I Save?

Our LEDs could save you money twice. First, you’ll be saving each year because you’re using less electricity each time you switch on your lights. And second, because InStyle’s LED strip lights keep running longer than other light sources, you’ll save even more in replacement and maintenance costs over their lifetime.

As an example, let’s compare the cost of running 5 metres of InStyle’s 9.6 watt white LED tape against an equivalent incandescent bulb wattage for four hours each day. (Cost of electricity is calculated at 14p per kilowatt hour.)

White 9.6 watt LED strip lights (5m)

Equiv. Incandescent Bulb Wattage (275 watts)

Yearly Cost

9.6 watts x 5 metres x 365 days x 4 hrs per day x 0.14 per kwh ÷ 1000

= approx. £9.81

275 watts x 365 days x 4 hrs per day x 0.14 per kwh ÷ 1000

= approx. £56.21


In this example, LED strip lights would give an annual saving of about £46.40 over equivalent-brightness incandescent bulbs.

Spread across the LED tape’s 30-year lifetime, that’s a total saving of about £1,392.
LEDs can save you money!

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