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Pricier LED Lightbulbs Can Actually Pay Off In Long-Run

CHICAGO (CBS) -- Energy saving LED light bulbs are a hard sell because they can cost five times more than other bulbs, but believe it or not, they can also put money back in your pocket.

CBS 2's Dorothy Tucker did the math on just how much LED Lightbulbs can save you.

Kim Davis is replacing the last of the energy-draining incandescent bulbs in her home with an energy-saving LED.

"These are all LED lights in the ceiling. Ever since I replaced them, my bill has continued to go down," says Davis.

From $79 just three months ago to $56 now. The drop in Davis' bill is a direct result of using less energy.

IIT Professor Alex Flueck demonstrates how customers can save:

"This is the old style 100-watt light bulb," says Flueck.

"The light bulb's consuming about 97 watts creating a lot of heat, and that's where the energy loss is going for this particular light bulb," says Flueck.

The halogens that replaced incandescents are almost as bad.

"We get up to about 70 watts," Flueck said.

The LED is the clear energy winner

"We see about 19 watts consumed by this one," says Flueck.

LED's can cost much more than Halogens. You could pay $10 for an LED, compared to $2.50 for a halogen.

But the cost to use the LED is a lot less.

It's 19 cents a month compared to $1.14 for the halogen.

If you replace 55 of those with LEDs, the average number in a Chicago area home, you save $52 a month, $624 a year.

And because LED's last 14 years before this bulb blows out you would have saved $8,700.

"This, you can make a huge difference and it's easiest thing you can do," says George Malek who is Director of Energy Efficiency at Comed.

Last September Malcolm Crawford replaced 80 incandescents in the community center he owns.

"The chandeliers, those are LEDs," says Crawford.

He saves about $100 a month.

"It's a non-profit so anything that we can do that will make a difference in those bills I'm willing to do," says Crawford.

Comed has an instant discount where the cost of a limited number of LEDs is lower when you buy them.

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