LED Power Consumption Explained

Light Bulb Power Consumption: Wattage

How much a light bulb costs to run is directly related to its power consumption. Power is measured in Watts (W) and for larger installations in Killowatts (KW.) Traditionally, in incandescent bulbs wattage would also be an indicator of brightness – however, efficiency in LED products differs from other lights sources and varies between different LED applications.


“Ghost” Wattages in LED Light Bulbs

Due to the make-up of LED light bulbs, wattage could be measured or assigned across their various components. This can cause confusion. Here, we shall try to explain the various ways that the term is being used with LEDs and indicate what really matters most.


Some LED bulbs operate at lower voltages and require an additional driver component to convert the mains supply to the required operating conditions of the bulb. This in itself consumes electricity too, and thus you must add the consumption of this component to the consumption of the bulb to get the true value required to calculate its cost.


In some cases wattage is also approximated as a general marker of the power of the LED – for example some 1.2 watt LEDs are being billed as “2 watt” LEDs, and if a bulb uses 3 of them this in turn could lead to it being labelled a “6 watt” LED. The true consumption may only be in the region of 4 or 5 watts.


Calculating the Cost of your LED light bulb

Your electricity tariff (usually expressed in £/KW) can be used to calculate the cost of running an LED light bulb. If you total the power consumption of each and all of your bulbs (in KW) then multiply by the value of £/KW, you will find the cost of operating your bulbs.


total wattage (/ 1000) * £/KW = total cost of operation for an hour



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