Do LED Strip Lights Cost a Lot of Electricity?

LED strip lights are a great way to illuminate an area interestingly and originally.

Some people utilize strip lights during the festive season, wrapping up the Christmas tree in the living room or outlining the roof of the house, all done in celebration of a joyful time.

Others use strip lights to give a modern and hip feel to their homes by placing them along the cornice or tracing over the vertical portion of the steps on a staircase, or back lighting drawers.

LED strip lights do not cost a lot of electricity compared to traditional incandescent lights. However, note that the consumption is directly determined by the length of the strip light.

It’s been shown that the electricity used over the lifetime of a single incandescent bulb costs 5-10 times the original purchase price of the bulb.

Because of its inefficiency, most countries like Australia, China, Japan, and India have banned or phased out incandescent bulbs.

This decision was made as an effort to reduce the nationwide energy consumption.

Overall, it is a good step in the right direction.

The Next Generation of Lights

Even if you’re not living in a country that has banned incandescent bulbs, you should definitely make the decision to switch to LED bulbs.

LED bulbs have many advantages that make them a superior choice.

For one, they last way longer(7,500 – 15,000 hours) than incandescent bulbs(700 – 1,000 hours).

If you were to use an LED bulb for 10 hours a day, it could last for 4.1 years!

An incandescent bulb, in comparison, will only last 100 days.

There is a third option, which is the compact fluorescent(CFL) bulb. Still, it’s really just a minor improvement over the incandescent bulb. A CFL bulb has a lifespan of only up to 10,000 hours – a massive jump from incandescents, but LED has it beat in lifespan and other areas.

LED lights are durable as they do not use filaments. They are much more forgiving to drops or bumps.

LED lights are free from mercury, which is highly poisonous. A CFL bulb breaking would release mercury into the air and can be a danger to children.

LED lights do not get extremely hot. You don’t have to worry about your Christmas tree decorations burning down your house.

And as you’ll see in the next few sections, LED bulbs are also superior in cost-saving.

Does LED Use a Lot of Electricity?

Now, we’ve shown how LED bulbs can save you money just by having to buy fewer light bulbs over time.

But what about the energy cost of having one of these screwed into the ceilings of your home?

The electricity used by a light bulb is measured by KWh. An LED bulb uses 127.5KWh over its lifespan of 15,000 hours. An incandescent bulb used for 15,000 hours (for theoretical purposes; an incandescent bulb cannot last that long), will use up 900KWh of electricity.

Now, the cost of electricity per KWh will depend on the area you live in.

For example, it costs 7.4 cents/KWh in Washington and 16.7 cents/KWh in California, with the national average cost of electricity per kWh in the United States coming up to 10.67 cents. Across the pond, it costs 15.5p/KWh in London.

Let’s use 10 cents/kWh for our example.

So, with that rate, the cost of electricity for an LED bulb is only $12.75, while an incandescent bulb would cost $90!

How Much Power Does an LED Strip Light Use?

LED lights use very little power in general.

For an illumination level of 450 Lumens, an LED bulb requires only 4-5 Watts, while an incandescent bulb requires 40 Watts.

For an LED strip light, the answer depends on the length of the strip light.

The right way for you to know is to check the Wattage and Power Consumption attributes listed on a product page, or in the product manual that comes along with your strip light.

Another essential thing to know is the voltage of the strip light. Strip lights run at either 12V or 24V.

This information is essential for later on when you have to pick a power supply.

How Long Can You Leave LED Strip Lights On?

An LED strip light can be theoretically left switched on for 24/7 if you want, but I don’t recommend doing that.

While doing that would cost less than doing it with an incandescent light strip, you’d be using up a lot of the transformer’s life hours.

A transformer would have a longer lifespan if it had time to cool down in between use.

So if you use your strip lights for just 5 hours a day, you will have a transformer that would last much longer.

How To Calculate LED Strip Power Consumption?


If your strip light provides the Wattage but not the Power Consumption, here’s how you can find out for yourself.

Power Consumption is measured in W(watts)/m(meters) or W/foot.

If your strip light is 5 meters long and draws 24 Watts, then your Power Consumption is 4.8W/m.

This can also be reversed to find the Wattage if only power consumption is provided.

If power consumption is 4.8W/m and your strip light is 6 meters, then its Wattage is 28.8

This information is vital when you need to buy a power supply for your strip lights.

When picking a power supply, remember that it’s okay to get a power supply that is capable of providing more than what the power supply needs.

In this case, a 24W or 36W power supply can be used.

But never use a power supply that provides less than what your strip light needs, i.e., a 12W power supply

Final Words

So there you have it — LED Strip Lights do not cost a lot of money to install.

They are way cheaper than incandescent and CFL to run. While it might cost you a little more to buy, it is worth it. Think of it as an investment.

And besides, they are very much in demand, which means the price is getting more and more lower.

LED Strip Lights look cool and unique. Use them for accent lighting or festive decorations, and you won’t regret it.

Share your plans for LED strip lights below in the comments section.

6 thoughts on “Do LED Strip Lights Cost a Lot of Electricity?”

    • Hi Eric,

      Wow, I can imagine having a ceiling strips controlled over the phone and Alexa. I bet he is well happy.

      Thanks for sharing

  1. This was very informational my mom was complaining about the strip lights potentially being a nuisance and adding on to the electric bill.The ones that I’ve set up are relatively short being about a 2-5 meters.So I’ll just show her this article!!

  2. Hey my question is that if you turn off the LED from the remote and its still plugged in does it take electricity. If so how much.

    • Hi Oscar,

      Thanks for your question. I have an article about the topic of smart lighting and its energy consumption while the light is off, since you are talking about remotely controlled LED strips, I assume they are smart so check it out here.


Leave a Comment