Upgrading to Led Lighting – Pros, Cons, energy efficiency,

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Upgrading to led lighting

A quick look around your home will show you how many light bulbs you have installed. An average UK household will have around 34 light bulbs, each of which uses energy and adds to your home electricity bill.

To save energy and money, you can turn off the lights and use only those that are truly necessary. While this is a great way to reduce your energy consumption, you can’t simply turn off all the lights as living in the dark is not practical.

What you can do, however, is upgrade to a more energy-efficient option such as LED lights.

LED lights are an incredibly versatile lighting option that is leading the way in efficiency and durability and is a fantastic and long-lasting alternative to fluorescent and incandescent lighting.

Read on to find out more about LED lights, how to upgrade to this more energy-efficient lighting option, its pros and cons, how much it would cost per house type, and much more:


LED (Light-Emitting Diode) lights have long been used in home appliances and electronic devices, and due to their advantages over other forms of lighting, they are now more commonly used to light offices and other commercial properties as well.

LED lights work using a semiconducting material – a diode – placed inside the bulb to provide a bright and steady light for proper illumination. An electric current is passed through the diode which emits lights via the process of electroluminescence.

In comparison, an incandescent bulb works by passing an electric current through a small wire or filament, the electrical resistance of which causes it to get hot and glow, producing light.

Since LED lights do not rely on heat to produce illumination, they run cooler and are much more energy-efficient than incandescent bulbs.


There are different types of bulbs used in residential, commercial, and industrial properties throughout the UK. They include:

Incandescent bulbs

Incandescent bulbs are the standard bulbs you see in many homes. They work by heating up a tungsten wire inside the bulb until it becomes white-hot. The filament then produces heat, which in turn generates light.

Incandescent bulbs are not energy-efficient and are always hot to touch. Only 2 to 3% of the electricity used is converted to light.

Halogen bulbs

Halogen bulbs work in a similar manner to incandescent bulbs but are much brighter and the light is more flattering.

They are also not energy-efficient, although they use 20 to 30% less energy than incandescent bulbs.


CFLs (Compact Fluorescent Lamps) use 60 to 80% less energy than incandescent bulbs and do not use heat to produce light.

The downside with them is that they take time to warm up and are not bright straight away like other lights.


LED (Light-Emitting Diode) lights are replacing all the traditional types of lights due to their great benefits in terms of energy consumption, eco-friendliness, durability, versatility, and design.

They use only a fraction of the power – 85% less power used by halogens to be precise – leading to enormous savings each month, both in terms of energy and bills.


As part of the UK’s wider efforts to tackle climate change, the government began phasing out the sale of higher-energy halogen lightbulbs in 2018, with fluorescent light bulbs to follow suit.

This measure is expected to mean that LED light bulbs will account for 85% of all bulbs sold by 2030 and will soon replace all traditional lighting due to their energy efficiency and long life.

Here are a few of the main benefits of upgrading to LED lights:

Less energy use

Probably the biggest benefit of switching from traditional lighting to LEDs is the amount of energy they save.

A standard halogen bulb uses 50W of energy, while in comparison, an LED bulb can produce the same amount of light using only 5W. That’s 10 times less energy used!

Fewer replacements

Since LED bulbs require less energy, it results in a longer working life for each bulb and fewer replacements.

Compared to a standard incandescent bulb, an LED bulb lasts 25 times longer. From an average life expectancy of 3 months to a whopping 10 years, LED lights save both time and money on unnecessary and frequent replacements.

An incandescent bulb lasts around 1000 hours, halogen bulbs last for 2000 hours, CFL bulbs last for 6000 hours, and LED bulbs last for 50,000 hours!

Less heat

Traditional lights, such as incandescent and fluorescent lights, work by heating a metal filament or gas-filled chamber to produce light as a by-product of the heat produced.

This not only makes the environment where they are installed extremely hot but also uses excess electricity to generate the heat which, in the end, serves absolutely no purpose. In addition to that, it can also be a burn or fire risk if the bulbs get too hot.

In traditional bulbs, 90% of the energy produced is heat and the remaining 10% is light. With LED lights, there is far less heat waste and the little heat that is generated is absorbed backwards into a heat sink so that the bulbs remain safe and cool to the touch.


Fluorescent lights are powered by coils filled with mercury, which is a toxic substance that can poison animals and fish if it is not recycled properly.

With LED lights, this is not an issue since they do not use any harmful substances and are much safer for the environment.


LED lights are far economical when it comes to their running costs. Compared to halogens that use around 35 to 500 Watts an hour, LED lights use around 7 to 20 Watts per hour to emit the same amount of light.

The annual running cost of a typical 700+ lumen LED bulb is around £1.71, compared to £2.04 for CFLs, and £8.42 for halogen bulbs, making LED bulbs the clear winner when it comes to long-term savings and energy efficiency.

Directed light

LED lights are extremely versatile in lighting design as they can emit light in a specific direction. They can be used as desk-side lamps, ceiling downlights, architectural lighting, emergency lighting, fancy lighting, and much more.

To achieve the same result with incandescent, fluorescent, or halogen bulbs, you would need to use diffusers and reflectors to trap and redirect the light, which is an unnecessary expense.

Instantaneous illumination

Traditional bulbs that use a filament take a few moments to warm up, as opposed to LED lights that operate at full brightness the moment they are switched on.

This feature is extremely useful and beneficial when using lights for security purposes that need to be instantly lit up when they are turned on, or in the case of motion sensor lights when they need to be turned on the second any motion is detected.

Dimming capability

LEDs can easily be dimmed to operate at virtually any percentage of their rated power; something that wasn’t available with traditional lighting technology.

They require hardware specific to LED technology to achieve the dimming capability, but it is well worth the investment since operating LEDs at less than their full power not only makes them more efficient but also increases their total lifespan.

Colour options

LED bulbs are available in a wide range of colour options ranging from cool whites to warm yellows making it easy to set the mood for different areas and places around your home.

The colour is determined by the temperature of the bulb on the Kelvin Scale and the light is emitted at a constant colour temperature. You can choose the colour according to your preference and suitability by reading the details on the pack.

Smart lights

Smart LED lights are connected to an app, smart home assistant, or another smart accessory to allow you to automate them or control them remotely, eliminating the need for traditional light switches.

Other than easier and more accessible control, smart LED lights are easily dimmable, more energy-efficient than normal LED lights, fully automated, and can be integrated with other devices such as security cameras, audio equipment, and thermostats.


Are there any drawbacks to upgrading to LED lights? Their higher initial cost is the only thing that comes to mind, but even that is largely offset by the long-term benefits mentioned above.

When you look at the initial costs, an LED bulb is more expensive than other types of lights, which may discourage people to invest in them.

The good news is that this cost is coming down as the demand for LED lights increases. Also, in its attempt to make the country cleaner and greener, the government has launched initiatives to offer grants For LED Lighting for commercial small and medium-sized UK businesses.


Due to their efficiency and durability, LED lights can be installed anywhere around your house, both indoors and outdoors.

They are particularly useful for areas where directional light is needed, such as the bathroom, kitchen, and aesthetic lighting.

They are also ideal for areas where the lights need to be left on for long periods, such as the living room and porch lights. They are a great choice for decorative lights due to their durability and lower heat output.

Some of the most common LED applications include:

  • Ceiling/spotlights for indoor rooms
  • Under-unit kitchen lighting
  • Stair lighting
  • Cabinet and shelf lighting
  • Games room
  • Decorative lighting
  • Accent lighting
  • Driveway lighting
  • Underwater lighting
  • Floodlights


LED lights are extremely energy-efficient and, therefore, a sustainable lighting solution with lower costs and a reduced carbon footprint.

With instantaneous brightness along with dimming capabilities, LED bulbs improve the overall lighting quality and are fully compatible with existing wiring and fixtures.

While they can easily be retrofitted and replaced, it is always not as easy as swapping an existing light for any LED light. Most LED upgrades will require a professional service since the process calls for a few important considerations such as:

  • The type of base and bulb your fixture takes,
  • The type of bulb you want,
  • The brightness,
  • The colour temperature, and
  • The correct angle and installation position.

While an LED light is a far better choice compared to other types of lights, its performance depends entirely on the quality of the LED itself and the expertise with which it is installed.

Choosing a trusted brand will ensure that you get good quality lights that are reliable and long-lasting. Also, how well the light source is incorporated into the housing is another crucial factor as even the best products fail if they are poorly installed and implemented.

Most LED bulbs will be compatible with your current fixtures and can easily be replaced like-for-like. For best results, consult with a professional LED upgrade service and have all the lights in your home switched to more energy-efficient LED lights for incredible energy and cost savings.


When upgrading your current lighting to LED lights, you need to take into account more than just the initial cost. There are other factors to consider such as:

  • The size and layout of your home
  • The lighting design
  • Your current installations
  • The electrical infrastructure

The size and layout of your home will determine the number of lights needed based on how big and well-lit it is. The cost will vary depending on the house type and how many rooms it has.

The actual prices vary considerably based on the factors mentioned above, but you can expect to pay around £150 to £200 per day.

The material cost will be dependent on the style of the LED lights you choose and you can expect to pay extra for complex fittings.

The main issue that may arise when upgrading to LED lights is with the wiring and electrical work. This is usually the case in older homes and homes with faulty wiring.

If the sockets for the old bulbs are dated, worn out, or broken, they may also have to be replaced, incurring additional costs.

Similar to the costs associated with LED upgrades, the total time it would take to finish the job will also depend on factors that we have already discussed above.


Before upgrading to LED lights, it is recommended to ensure that your current wiring and installations are up to code.

You wouldn’t want to start with the upgrade only to find out that your wiring has issues and needs to be fixed. Not only will that take much more time but will also incur additional unforeseen costs.

Most new homes have updated wiring in place, but if your home is older than 25 years, it would be best to have the wiring tested and inspected by a professional electrician. It will make the upgrade process smoother and will also be safer for you and your family.

It may also be useful to consider upgrading your entire home to LED lights to ensure the most energy savings along with improving the aesthetics of your home.


Efficient home lighting is a great way to reduce your energy consumption to save money on your bills and reduce your carbon footprint.

We, at Calder Electrical, provide an easy and effective way of achieving this by both upgrading to and installing new LED lighting.

We can offer fittings with 3 to 5+ year warranties that will not only reduce energy costs but also make your homes brighter. We can also provide a forecasted energy calculation so you can see what your energy bills and savings will look like.

We can survey your home and create a lighting design to see if we can not only reduce the number of light fittings but also make the area reach a lighting level suitable for use.

We can also incorporate motion detectors so that lighting in areas that are low usage is only switched on when someone enters them.

We can give you an energy calculation to show your current lighting costs and the estimated costs by upgrading to LED lighting so that you can see how much you will save, normally aiming for a 40% saving.

If you are undertaking a new installation, we can help you create a lighting design suitable for the house layout and intended usage.

We provide a high and efficient level of LED installation services guaranteed to meet the current wiring regulations BS7671.

Contact us here or call us on 0800 612 3001 to talk to our LED lighting experts right away!

Photo by Callum Hill on Unsplash