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In the world of electricity, the myths that are passed around are occurring far too often without any evidence that they are the truth. So, with this post we are busting these common electricity myths and putting a end to them once and for all.

1. Its best to leave lights on. Powering on an electric light uses more electricity.

False! It is better to switch off lights even if one is leaving the room for a few seconds.


2. An LED is more expensive than a fixture using HID or fluorescent technology.

False! The onetime cost of an LED product may be higher. But it also lasts more than 10 times longer and uses 80% less energy than a bulb. Once you factor in the cost of 10 bulbs, electricity savings and replacement costs, LED’s are much cheaper. In effect it pays for itself in little over a year, and generates considerable savings for the next 10 years.

If you want more information on how much a commercial LED fixture goes for, contact us and we will help you out!


3. It takes more electricity to power some appliances like computers or a cathode ray television on, than one saves by switching it off.

False! The power surge when you power on an appliance is insignificant. In most appliances there is no power surge. In a few appliances where there is a power surge it lasts for only a fraction of a second. Even if a device were to use 4X its usual power consumption when powered on, you will break even in half a second or less!


4. It takes less energy to keep the AC running at a high setting than to switch it on and cool the building in the evening.

False! An air conditioner running all day at a higher setting will use a lot more electricity than what’s used by switching it on in the evening. Save money by cooling off your building at certain times, rather than all day.


5. Electricity leakage can cause the meter to run and I will end up paying for electricity I didn’t use.

The answer to that one is simple. Switch off all equipment and unplug as many as possible. Now check if the meter is still running! Use the tips in our article ‘Why is my electricity bill so high?’ to determine if you are paying for electricity you didn’t use. And to find out how to reduce your electricity bills!


6. It is better to use my existing incandescent / HID bulbs till they burn out.

False! The old bulbs are far less efficient than LED. Modern LED fixtures are more than 2-8 times more efficient! Every hour that the old incandescent bulb burns, it’s wasting your money. Replacing it with LED will start paying back from day one by reducing your electricity bill.


7. LED bulbs are not dimmable.

False! Manufacturers can create dimmable LED bulbs. it requires different electronics to do so. The most important thing to remember is that one should not try to dim a non-dimmable bulb. This puts undue stress on the internal electronics. And will cause it to fail, and more than likely will void the manufacturer’s warranty. Likewise, be very careful with the dimmable switch that you use. The low amount of energy drawn by LED’s may place a burden on traditional dimmer switches. You might hear a hum from a dimmer switch that is a sign that the switch is struggling. They heat up as well, which could create a fire if turned on for extended periods of time. Always use certified dimmer switches meant for use with energy efficient dimmable bulbs.


8. All LED lamps produce bright, white light that is unappealing and harsh.

False! The lights we have on this site have a warm tone. We ran some tests with consumers. They could not tell the difference between the incandescent and LED lighting fixtures.


9. As long as I install an energy efficient climate control system my electricity usage will come down.

Only partially true! It is true that the power bills will come down. But if the HVAC systems are not installed properly, you will continue to lose money. Approximately, a third of the electricity used will compensate for improper installation. Similarly if you use air conditioners and HID / Metal Halide bulbs – you end up paying twice. Once for heating the room (an HID bulb converts a lot of the electricity to heat!). And then to pump this heat out.


10. Energy conservation will require that I lower the level of my life style.

False! You can conserve energy by switching off lights when not in use. And not using the standby mode in appliances. And setting the air conditioner a couple of degrees higher. It is also possible to reduce energy consumption by energy efficiency. Energy efficiency consists of replacing wasteful, inefficient appliances with modern energy efficient ones. Replacing 400 watt metal halide bulb with a 150 watt LED light will give you the same amount and quality of light. But consume a fraction of the electricity. You’re interested in the light and not in the heat that the bulb generates. There are more efficient ways of heating the room.


11. An appliance that’s turned off consumes no power.

False! Some appliances continue to consume power even when they’re turned off. The problem is more acute in the standby mode. Air conditioners for example continue to consume power unless they’re unplugged. These appliances contribute to what’s called the ‘phantom load.’


12. I don’t need efficient LED bulbs, simply dimming the incandescent bulb will help.

False! For one, new LED devices are 8-9 times more efficient than an incandescent. If you are willing to dim it that far – it would be better to use candles! On a more serious note – The relationship between power used and light emitted is not linear. When you dim incandescent bulbs, they become even more inefficient. As more of the energy emitted by the incandescent is now in the infrared spectrum. This is why high temperature incandescent bulbs have a higher efficiency of illumination. If you were to dim a dimmable LED light the results would be linear and you will save more power.


13. Frequently switching appliances on and off reduces their life span.

False! The notion’s outdated. Scientists at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory have shown computers last longer if they’re switched off. The on off cycling was a problem with some earlier models of appliances. But new developments mean new appliances do not have shorter lives if they’re switched on and off.


14. Electric heating is very energy efficient. HID and Incandescent bulbs are an asset in winters.

False! This is a notion that many people have. Incandescent bulbs convert 95% of their energy into heat. That’s a tremendous efficiency ratio. The production of electricity from burning coal is in itself an inefficient process. Of the total energy in coal only about a third’s converted to electricity. And then there are losses in transmission and distribution. The bulb and the electric heater may be efficient. But the energy losses have occurred even before the electricity reached the socket! That is why direct combustion fuels like gas are best for heating purposes. And work out cheaper than electricity.


15. I don’t need to turn off the computer, the screen saver will help reduce the electricity consumption.

False! The screen saver has no relation with the computer’s energy consumption. To save electricity, switch off computers or put in hibernate/ sleep mode. Or at the very least, switch off the monitor when the computer is not in use.


16. I leave the computer in the sleep mode – it is a great energy saver!

Only partially true! While sleep mode is alright if the computer’s left for a few minutes, even in sleep mode the computer draws 10 watts or more. Over extended periods this adds up to significant electricity wastage. If the computer’s left unattended for long periods, it is best to turn it off.


17. Once I set the thermostat high my building gets heated faster and the reverse is true for air conditioning.

False! Turning the thermostat high means the electric current will cut off after the thermostat reaches the higher temperature. It has no relation with the speed with which the temperature will rise (or fall if an air conditioner is set very low).


18. Energy efficient products are expensive

False! Energy efficient products are usually better designed and last longer. They also have better features and repay any cost difference by energy savings. Take a look at our lighting products. They’re offered at competitive prices and are efficient! Paybacks are quick. So any extra cost will be quickly re-couped.

About the Author

Dwayne Kula is President of LED Lighting Supply. On any given day, Dwayne is writing content for the site and helps manage the marketing initiatives that are on-going. He has a Software Engineering degree and still dabbles in writing software for the company as needed. When not working, he enjoys spending time with his family, working out, playing the occasional game of golf and exploring New England.

See more posts by Dwayne Kula