Do LED Strip Lights Use a Lot of Electricity?

Smart LED strip lights are taking over walls everywhere! Some people use them to spice up the festive season by outlining their buildings’ roofs and wrapping up holiday decorations, all to celebrate a joyful time of year. Others use them to add a modern feel to their spaces by backlighting drawers or placing them along cornices.

But do LED strip lights use a lot of electricity? And how much is it to have them light up your home?

Turns out, the lights’ power consumption isn’t as high as you might believe, as you’ll learn from my comprehensive guide.

LED Lighting: The Next Generation of Lights

Even if I weren’t in a country that has phased out incandescent light bulbs, I would still switch to LED lights. Light Emitting Diode (LED) light bulbs offer numerous benefits that make me consider them the superior alternative.

First, LED lights have a longer lifespan than traditional lighting bulbs. The strips can serve you three to five times longer than CFL (compact fluorescent lamp) lighting and about 30 times longer than the conventional incandescent light bulb.

Second, LEDs release very little heat compared to CFLs, which convert about 80 percent of energy to heat, or incandescent bulbs, which use 90 percent. So I never have to worry about my decorations or lighting catching fire and burning down my house.

Finally, LED strip lights can emit various colors and are mercury-free; hence aren’t as poisonous as a broken CFL bulb. They also don’t use a filament, hence are durable and much more forgiving to bumps and drops.

As you’ll learn in the following sections of the article, a typical LED strip light is also highly energy-efficient, hence an incredible way to save on and reduce your bills.

Do LED Strip Lights Use a Lot of Electricity?

LED strip lights don’t use much electric power compared to typical incandescent bulbs. However, the strip light’s length and its light density directly determine its power use.  

How to Calculate LED Strip Power Consumption

LED strip bulbs can indeed save you lots of cash through energy savings and longevity. But how much power does a standard LED strip consume on average?

A strip light’s power consumption is measured in kilowatt-hour (kW h), and LED strips are available in the following categories:

  • 2.4W/m or 0.73W/foot
  • 4.8W/m or 1.46W/foot
  • 7.2W/m or 2.19W/foot
  • 9.6W/m or 2.93W/foot
  • 14.4W/m or 4.39W/foot
  • 19.2W/m or 5.85 W/foot
  • 24W/m or 7.32 W/foot, etc.

To calculate the annual power consumption, you’ll multiply the wattage per meter by the strip’s length, daily hours, and days of the year.

For instance, if you have a five-meter long LED strip in the 4.8W per meter category working 12 hours every day, how much power will it use in a year?

Based on my example, the calculation will be:

4.8*5*12*365 = 105.120 kW h 

Do LED Strip Lights Waste Electricity?

No, LED strip lights don’t waste electricity.

They’re designed to be incredibly energy-efficient, and you can even install them without an adjustment switch to regulate the amount of light emission. Each LED may consume way less energy per watt than a conventional incandescent light. Furthermore, the strips emit more actual light while also generating less heat.

Therefore, don’t expect a higher electricity bill after installing the revolutionary lighting system.

What’s The Average Cost to Run LED Strip Lights

Generally, I found it way less costly to run LED strip lights, and the U.S. Department of Energy estimates echo the same sentiments.

According to the government agency, you’ll spend about $4.80 every year to run a 60-watt incandescent light. On the other hand, a 12-watt LED emitting the same amount of light as the 60-watt traditional light will cost you $1.00. This consumption is approximately 75 percent less than the older-generation bulb and 72 percent less than the typical 43-watt halogen light. 

How Much Electricity Do LEDs Use?

A standard LED bulb consumes 127.5 kW h throughout its 15,000-hours lifespan. On the other hand, a similar incandescent bulb running for the same duration (theoretically, because it can’t last that long!) will utilize 900 kW h.

Now, the average cost per kW h depends on your residence. For instance, U.K. citizens pay an average of £18.9 per kilowatt-hour.

So based on this rate, an LED bulb will cost you only £2,409.75 over its lifespan, while its incandescent counterpart would cost £17,010, almost seven times as much!

Notably, power usage varies across the different LED light varieties. The warm white LED light is perfect for your office space or home, but there’s a risk of developing eye strain if you use it for long. 

LED Strip Lights Vs LED Bulbs

LED bulbs and strip lights are usually placed in the same class when discussing energy efficiency, but the two have several striking differences. Let’s jump in!

  • Stativity vs mobility – With a typical LED bulb, you’ll just screw it to your preferred position, then leave it there. But strip lights offer greater flexibility, hence more room for creativity. They allow you to move the lighting based on the situation or mood. 
  • Task lighting vs mood lighting – LED bulbs are perfect for task or overhead lighting, and you can use them across the entire space to meet any lighting needs. On the other hand, smart light strips are great for building out accent and mood lighting.
  • Pricing – LED strip lights and LED bulbs also differ in pricing. The strips are relatively costlier to acquire, mainly because they’re like a niche solution. This doesn’t mean you can’t get an affordable strip light, but you’ll spend proportionately more than on an LED bulb on a like-for-like basis.

Are our LED Strip Lights Cheaper to Run?

Yes, LED strip lights are cheaper to run because you’ll save your cash in two ways. First, you’ll use less electricity whenever you turn on your strip lights. Second, these lights run longer than most other electric light sources, so you’ll save more on maintenance costs and replacement. 

LED Strip Lights Vs Traditional Lighting

Just a while ago, the primary consideration when buying light bulbs was wattage. But in recent years, technology has enabled more energy-efficient lighting. LED strip lights and CFL bulbs outshine traditional lighting in many ways apart from the brightness.

Here’s a comparison of the three light bulb varieties in terms of their design, light emission, and energy consumption:

LED Vs Incandescent Bulbs

The incandescent is among the worst in energy efficiency. The bulbs last a mere 750 hours, way less than the longer-lasting CFL bulbs and LED strip lights.

The most remarkable difference between LED and incandescent bulbs is light emission. The typical incandescent bulb must heat a wire filament to a particular temperature to generate heat and light. Around the wire is a glass bulb full of inert gas.  

LED strips don’t use filaments and have entirely different functionality. A diode is basically an electrical device comprising a pair of electrodes, a cathode, and an anode, which allow an electric current through. Electricity enters through the anode, and then leaves via the cathode, like a battery.

LED strips are constructed from a semi-conductive material wrapped in plastic. They emit light (or photons) when the current passes the two electrodes and the semi-conductive material. This is way more efficient than incandescent bulbs that release over 80 percent of their energy as heat.  

LED lights consume over 75% less energy than their incandescent counterparts. The difference is even more significant at low power levels. The typical LED flood lamp uses between 11 and 12 watts to create its bright light output compared to a 50-watt incandescent light bulb.


LEDs and CFLs are the most popular lighting options available. But how do the two compare? To understand the two alternatives better, let’s explore how they differ.

First, LED stands out in energy efficiency because very little power is lost as heat, and most of it is concentrated on light production. On the other hand, CFLs are better than incandescent bulbs, but they also waste 80 percent of electric power as heat. Apparently, the LED holiday strip lights you buy now will brighten the season forty years from today.

Second, LED lights have a longer life span than CFLs. The former has over 15,000 hours of life, handily beating the latter’s 1,200 hours. Still, CFL’s hours of life are much more than the incandescent bulb, which averages 8,000 hours. 

Electricity Bill Savings Switching to LED Strip Lights

You’ll make significant electricity bill savings if you switch to LED strip lights. You already know that doing away with incandescent bulbs and replacing them with LED strip lights could lower your downlight wattage use by over 75 percent. The percentage is directly proportionate to the electricity bill savings you’ll make.

For instance, assuming you always spend on average 15% of your electricity bills on lighting using CFL bulbs. In this case, moving to LED strip lights means you’ll save around $225 per year. All other things are equal. The saving is greater if you’re switching from incandescent bulbs to LED.

Verdict: Do LED Strip Lights Use a Lot of Electricity?

So there you have it – It’ll cost you way less to install and run LED strip lights than the traditional incandescent bulbs or CFLs. LEDs are more economical and long-lasting than their counterparts, and buying them isn’t just a purchase but a lifelong investment–they are genuinely worth it.

Apart from being reasonably priced, they’re also fashionable and in high demand. You may consider them to illuminate your workplace and home in the coming holidays or install them creatively as your primary lighting system.

The strip lights have added glamour to my space while being friendly to my wallet. You’ll just make a one-time investment and take utmost care when using them. It’s time to begin saving money. 

FAQ’s LED Strip Light

Here are the most common questions about LED strip lights: