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Do Outdoor Lights Use a lot of Electricity? Debunking Myths & Shinning Light On Energy Consumption

November 9, 2023 by Cory Moore

Do Outdoor Lights Use a lot of Electricity? Shining a Light on Energy Consumption



Picture this: the mesmerizing vibe of outdoor lights turning our gardens, walkways, and front porches into absolute wonders. But, here's the thing—sometimes, the thought of how much juice these lights guzzle can dim the magic. "Do outdoor lights hog a ton of electricity?" Great question! Let's chat about it in this deep dive. We'll clear up any confusion, chat about energy-smart fixes, and spill the beans on what outdoor lighting really does to your energy bill. Let's shed some light on this topic! 

The Myth of Excessive Energy Consumption


Myth: Outdoor Lights Are Energy Guzzlers


The perception that outdoor lights are large energy consumers is not entirely accurate. While it's true that some types of lighting can be energy-intensive, modern advancements in lighting technology have led to more energy-efficient options that deliver both aesthetics and practicality.


Outdoor lighting, especially in residential settings, has evolved significantly over the years. Gone are the days when homeowners had to rely on power-hungry incandescent bulbs to illuminate their gardens or pathways. Today, energy-efficient options like LED’ (Light Emitting Diode) lights have revolutionized the outdoor lighting landscape.


Energy-Efficient Technologies

Fact: LED Lights Revolutionize Outdoor Lighting


One of the standout contributors to energy efficiency in outdoor lighting is the advent of LED technology. LED lights are renowned for their exceptional energy efficiency, consuming significantly less electricity than traditional incandescent bulbs. They produce light by passing current through a semiconductor, converting a higher percentage of energy into visible light rather than heat.


The efficiency of LEDs lies in their ability to generate light with minimal wasted energy. In contrast, incandescent bulbs emit a substantial portion of their energy as heat, making them far less efficient. This inherent inefficiency led to the development and widespread adoption of LED lights for both indoor and outdoor lighting applications.


The energy savings offered by LED outdoor lights are particularly noteworthy. Consider a simple comparison: a standard 60-watt incandescent bulb versus a 10-watt LED bulb. The LED bulb can produce similar or even superior illumination while consuming significantly less energy. This translates to substantial energy savings over time, contributing to both your wallet and the environment.


Debunking the Brightness Myth

Myth: Energy Efficiency Equals Dim Lighting


A common misconception is that energy-efficient lighting compromises on brightness. However, LED lights have proven this notion wrong. With adjustable color temperatures and varying lumen outputs, LED outdoor lights offer the flexibility to create the desired level of brightness, from warm and cozy to crisp and vibrant.


Modern LED outdoor lighting fixtures are designed to provide the same or even better illumination compared to their less efficient counterparts. Moreover, they maintain their brightness consistently over their lifespan, whereas incandescent bulbs tend to dim as they age.


The ability to customize the ambiance of your outdoor space while maintaining energy efficiency is a significant advantage of LED lighting. Whether you want to create a romantic, intimate atmosphere or a well-lit area for outdoor activities, LED lights offer the versatility to cater to your preferences.


Quantifying the Energy Savings

Comparison: LED vs. Incandescent


To better understand the energy savings potential of LED outdoor lighting, let's delve into the numbers. Consider an outdoor lighting setup that includes five fixtures, each using a 60-watt incandescent bulb. If these lights were to operate for an average of five hours a day, you'd be consuming a total of 300 watts of electricity daily (5 lights x 60 watts each).


Now, let's switch to LED lights with the same level of brightness but only consuming 10 watts each. With the same usage pattern, you'd only be using 50 watts of electricity daily (5 lights x 10 watts each). That's a significant reduction in energy consumption.


The positive impact becomes even more pronounced when you consider this on a monthly or yearly scale. Over time, the energy savings translate into lower utility bills and a reduced carbon footprint. LED outdoor lights not only contribute to a greener planet but also put money back into your pocket.


The Positive Environmental Impact

Fact: Reduced Energy Consumption is Eco-Friendly


Opting for energy-efficient outdoor lighting isn't just a smart financial choice—it's also an environmentally responsible one. By minimizing energy consumption, you're contributing to the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions and conserving valuable natural resources.


Traditional incandescent bulbs are notorious for their inefficiency. They waste a significant amount of energy by converting it into heat rather than light. This inefficiency results in increased electricity demand and higher carbon emissions associated with electricity generation.


In contrast, LED lights are a greener choice. Their reduced energy consumption directly translates into fewer greenhouse gas emissions from power plants. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, widespread LED use has the potential to save 348 TWh (terawatt-hours) of electricity by 2027, which is equivalent to the annual electrical output of 44 large electric power plants.


By choosing LED outdoor lighting, you're aligning your lifestyle with sustainability and contributing to a cleaner, healthier planet for future generations.


Addressing Cost Concerns

Myth: Energy-Efficient Lighting is Costly


Running your lighting system is probably not as much electricity or money as you may think! On average, a lighting system with 25 lights will cost less than $29 a year in electricity. That’s less than $3 a month! Lighting not only can make your home beautiful at night, but it also provides safety and protection for your home.

Let’s do some math! 


AC Unit 

3000 Watts per Hour 

24 hrs a day x 3000 watts = 72,000 watts a day 

72,000 watts per day x 365 days a year = 26,280,000 watts a year

26,280,000 watts / 1000 = 26,280 kwh

26,280 kwh x $.13/kwh = $3,416.4 in electricity a year


25 light lighting system 

6 watts x 25 lights = 150 watts per hour 

4 hours per night = 600 watts used each night 

600 watts per night x 365 days per year = 219,000 watts 

219,000 watts / 1000 = 219 kwh

219 kwh x $.13/kwh = $28.47 in electricity a year


In comparison, in Naples, FL, on average, people are spending over $3,000 a year in electricity to run their AC units. Of course AC is necessary here in Florida but this shows you how minimal the additional electricity and cost of your lighting system will be. 


While the initial cost of LED bulbs might be slightly higher than traditional options, their longer lifespan and dramatic reduction in energy consumption result in significant cost savings over their operational lifetime.


Let's break down the economics of LED lighting. LED bulbs typically have a lifespan of 25,000 to 50,000 hours or more, depending on the quality and usage. In contrast, incandescent bulbs last only about 1,000 to 2,000 hours on average. This means you'll need to replace incandescent bulbs much more frequently, incurring additional costs for both bulbs and labor.


Moreover, consider the energy savings over the life of an LED bulb. A single LED bulb can save you approximately $80 or more in electricity costs compared to an incandescent bulb over its lifespan, based on average electricity rates. Now multiply that by the amount of fixtures installed on a property and you will quickly see the lifetime savings of an energy efficient landscape lighting system. Here at Beacon Outdoor Lighting our average project size totals 35 LED’s, you can see even at today's energy cost the average customer will be saving almost $3,000 over the lifespan of their system in energy cost.


The long-term financial benefits of LED lighting are evident. While the initial investment might be slightly higher, you'll recoup that cost and more through reduced electricity bills and fewer replacement bulbs.


Making Informed Lighting Choices

The key to making informed decisions about outdoor lighting lies in understanding the energy consumption of different options. By embracing energy-efficient technologies like LED lights, you can enjoy well-lit outdoor spaces without sacrificing your budget or the planet's health.


When considering outdoor lighting solutions, it's essential to choose fixtures and bulbs that align with your specific needs and preferences. Whether you're looking to create a cozy outdoor dining area, illuminate a garden path, or enhance the security of your property, there are energy-efficient LED options designed to meet your requirements.


So, the answer to the question "Do outdoor lights use a lot of electricity?" is a resounding "No." With energy-efficient LED lighting options, you can create stunning outdoor sceneries while keeping your energy consumption in check. Remember, the magic of outdoor lighting doesn't have to come at the cost of excessive energy use.


Incorporating energy-efficient lighting into your outdoor spaces not only adds to their allure but also contributes to a brighter and more sustainable future.


Illuminate Responsibly, Shine Bright Efficiently.

Sources: - LED Lighting



  • We had a wonderful experience from beginning to end with Cory and Beacon Lighting. He was patient, courteous, and professional. Beyond that, Cory was able to take the vague ideas of how we wanted our home to look, and come up with a vision that well exceeded our expectations. The installation was seamless, and the final result is amazing. We absolutely love our new lighting and the extra beauty it brings to our home and landscaping.

    Kristie H.

  • Cory is simply the best! If you are looking for a company to help you with outdoor lighting, you have found the best. We had a great experience with Cory, he is a hard worker, very professional, and is respectful about keeping to a budget. I would give him 6 stars if I could!

    Gary P.

  • We love Cory from Beacon Outdoor Lighting! Very professional, polite, and clean. Our backyard entertainment area is now beautifully lit and the lights highlight our Florida landscape well. Cory also installed lighting on the sides and in front of our house that makes the whole yard feel safer at night. Very competitively priced & much more pleasant to deal with than other contractors we’ve hired in the past. 10/10 would recommend to all my friends!  
    Marina B. 


We are here to answer all of your outdoor lighting questions. We are committed to excellence in all that we do, and we look forward to hearing from you soon.

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