How and why LED lights work well together with solar power

solar power is better with led lights

I’m Dave Llorens, and I was a co-founder of Solar Power Rocks before EverWatt. I’m an electrical engineer with about a decade in the solar industry. I also founded One Block Off the Grid, a solar group-purchasing company that was acquired by NRG a few years ago.

I wanted to write about something I remember from my very first days in solar, but not solar itself: LED lights. Specifically, how LEDs are like nitro power for the overall economics of solar power.

Long story short: LEDs can save you tons of money by reducing your energy usage and the size of a solar system you need to meet your needs, and you should get some for your business today

If you prefer your long stories long, read on…

Why LED lights are way cool:

Back when I started out in the solar industry, I worked in a green home showroom as a sales rep. We’d tell people all about the advantages of green building techniques, and show them examples. The one that always got the biggest response was LED lights.

The men’s and women’s bathrooms in our showroom had identical floor plans, but we gave each bathroom a different color temperature of LED lights. When the bathrooms were not in use, we’d show people the difference, and almost no one was willing to believe the rooms were identical. But they were! The change in lighting temperature gave each room an entirely different look and feel. It’s something you have to see to believe.

Unfortunately, as cool as LED lights are, they used to cost an arm and a leg, and only rich folks building new green mansions really ever bought them. That has changed, big time.

How LED lights can save you money with solar:

Remember how 20 years ago you needed a second mortgage to buy a desktop computer? These days, you can get a blazing fast laptop or tablet for under a grand, and it’ll probably still work great 5 years from now. Similarly, the cost of home solar has come down 70% in the last decade (but we probably don’t have to tell you that, you smart solar lover, you).

Now, LED lights are doing it, too! Cost has dropped dramatically as manufacturing efficiency has increased. LEDs are now mainstream, and these days, you can install efficient LED lighting in and around your house and cut down your energy usage by a lot.

Here’s an example:  

1. You could install a solar power system of size X (to meet your current energy needs) for cost Y


2. You could replace your lights with LEDs, and install a solar power system of size 1/2X, for a total cost of 3/4Y

If you read our site, you know rebates, tax credits, and electricity prices are different everywhere, but there are places in the country right now where you can reap the same electric bill savings with LEDs and solar as you would with a larger solar system, at 25% less cost to you.

OK, so LED lights are cool and save money – what can *I* do?

  1. If you own a business that you’d like to save money – simply hit reply and let us know about your situation. We’ll look into it personally and see if we can help.
  2. If you own a home, consider replacing some of your outdoor lighting with some LED corn bulbs.

The next best way to save more money on your electric bills is to just shut off all your lights forever.

Dave Llorens
CEO, EverWatt Lights