Save Hundreds with an LED lighting conversion from OLP
We recently had the chance to work on a beautiful custom home in El Cajon that was built about 10 years ago. We were there to service his existing landscape lighting system that was installed with the house and it had been nicely designed – just about every tree, garden and pathway was illuminated with a quality brass fixture. The owner had called us because a section of lights were out and he wantedOutdoor Lighting Perspectives to resolve the issue, which we set about doing. As we inspected the light fixtures themselves however, we saw that the system (like most from that era) was built with incandescent (halogen) lamps. This discovery led to a discussion of the cost and energy effectiveness of an LED conversion for his system.
In America’s Finest City we are blessed with a very mild climate, but some of the highest electricity rates in the country. In fact, a search for ‘Americas highest electrical rates’ shows Hawaii as most expensive at $ .27 per Kilowatthour (kWh) – but our SDG&E peak rate in San Diego is 33% higher at $.36 /kWh! Additionally, because of a lot of daytime solar generation, peak rates are from 4pm to 9pm meaning our landscape lights are using some of the most expensive electricity in the country as the sun goes down.
Visit SDG&E to see the Time of Use Guide
This El Cajon client has a large system for a personal residence, about 300 fixtures, around the property, but that amount of outdoor lighting fixtures is common in commercial sites. When I asked what their electric bill was, it became clear that they were spending far too much on their outdated halogen system and the cost savings to convert to LED would easily pay for itself in the monthly electricity savings.
After some research and modeling, I found that is existing system was costing over $9/night to run, and that we could cut that by more than 2/3 to under $2.50/night. That is $200 per month savings on the electric bill! The chart below details the calculations and cost comparison. This client readily agreed with the math and we set about converting his system.
|Incandescent Lighting System||Qty||Watt (per bulb)||Total|
|Total Energy of System ( Watts)||4180|
|LED Lighting System||Qty||Watt (per bulb)||Total|
|Total Energy of System||1145|
|SDG&E Cost / kWH||0.36|
|SDG&E Cost / kWH||0.36|
An LED System conversion is pretty straightforward – it is simply replacing a bulb with a compatible LED lamp in the same fixture. This is also a good time to service the system by cleaning the lenses, straightening stakes and perhaps replacing cut wires, old timers, etc. to bring the system up to an ‘as new’ condition. Because the new LED lamps are so energy efficient, existing transformers will have sufficient capacity, so no changes are needed there. We use high-quality, 5-year warranty bulbs and depending on the amount of additional services required, we charge between $25 and $50 per fixture to convert the fixture to LED.
The math works out the same for just about any system if you use the system for 6 hours a night, whether it is 300 lights or 20. The LED conversion costs will pay for themselves in 24-30 months with monthly savings on electric bills. If your system runs from dusk-to-dawn, the payback period is 12-18 months!
Remember thatthis is only a financial calculation – an LED lighting system has numerous other benefits like a brighter, more radiant glow and LEDs require much less maintenance to replace bulbs over time as well.
At Outdoor Lighting Perspectives, we can make your home, gardens, and pathways look their best with a professional, full-service approach to lighting while delivering the value of a top-quality solution. Electrical rates aren’t getting any cheaper in California and if you haven’t made the switch to LED, the new evening rates from SDG&E are a strong signal to make that change.
To learn more about our LED conversion services or to see what you could start saving with an energy efficient, LED system, give us a call at 619-345-3312.
About the Author: John Moore, Outdoor Lighting Perspectives of South San Diego
After serving in the Marines, John went back to school and stared working in IT sales and services. In Silicon Valley he learned a lot about cabling for large corporations, such as Google and Facebook. John uses these years of experience to bring beautiful outdoor lighting systems to homes in San Diego and surrounding communities. John and his team specialize in everything for extierior lighting, from design, LEDs, and more!