Consider the humble light globe. It hides in your ceiling, turning electricity into light, but little do you know how inefficiently it's doing that. Halogen light bulbs aren't great, but traditional incandescents are downright terrible. Ikea says that the average Aussie household could save nearly $150 a year by switching its lighting to LEDs.
With a whole bunch of conveniently-timed research to back up its claims, Ikea says that Christmas is generally a time for Australians to overspend, and that if you're looking to save a few dollars (like 40 per cent of survey respondents) then switching to LED could pay for itself within the first year depending on the size of your house or apartment. The difference in energy consumption for eight bright bulbs, two medium bulbs and two dim bulbs — enough to light a 1-bedroom apartment by our estimates — is around $140 per year, and also saves replacement costs for 108 incandescent bulbs over a 10-year period.
That $1 billion figure? Ikea reached it by taking that $140 yearly average saving for the average house (not a very bright house, if you ask us), multiplying it by 10 years usage and then multiplying that by the 9 million dwellings esitmated to be in Australia according to the 2011 Census.
In fact, if you walk into an Ikea, you won't find anything but LED bulbs. It's been that way since the start of this year, and Ikea insists that its bulbs are just as bright as traditional globes while also lasting (up to) 20 times longer. More than half of the households that Ikea surveyed weren't using LEDs, with most saying they were too expensive and didn't look as good as traditional bulbs. Eventually, though, you'll have to switch: incandescent globes haven't been sold in Australia for some time now, and they're impossible to find no matter how hard you look.
There's only one problem, though: there's no denying that cheap LED lights generally don't have the same colour rendering index quality as incandescent globes. A good LED can look pretty close to the bright white sunlight that all bulbs try to achieve, but we'd always recommend you try before you buy and make the decision of which globe to choose carefully before switching your whole house over. [Ikea]