That is right – free LED downlight bulbs in your home. All you need to do is pay a $33 booking fee, and the State Government covers the cost of the lights and installation.
Note – update December 2020. This is an old post and the free LED replacement programs have largely finished.The the point remaisn the same. Replacing a 60W halogen with a 5W LED is easy, cheap and can save up to 90% of power bills. For an update on LED lights read here.
I just had 38 halogen downlights replaced with free LED downlight bulbs – it took about an hour, and my energy consumption plummeted from 2000 watts per hour to 200 watts per hour – that is a 90% reduction (figures based on all my lights being on).
Its all part of the #Stop the energy rip-off campaign that GadgetGuy has been waging against too higher electricity prices. And what is not to like about free LED downlight bulbs?
BTW apart from using 90% less power LED lights can last a decade or more. The free offer is to swap a standard 12V halogen two-pin bulb for a 5W LED bulb replacement using the existing transformer. If you have dimmable or non-standard downlights, you can still access the free Light scheme, but there may be additional hardware costs.
So, let me tell you more about free LED downlight bulbs and how you can get them
First, the State Government-backed scheme for consumers is not in every state. You could search for Free LED downlight bulbs replacement and your state.
In NSW, I used Accredited Power Saver (that ironically are based in Victoria and cover that State as well). It also offers a similar scheme for offices, factories, warehouses, car parks, retail, institutions, schools, body corporates, but we won’t cover that today.
What do they replace?
My Halogen lights are the standard circular 2-pin 12V/50W cool
white, 450 lumens, 60° beam that run off a 12V ‘Possum’ style transformer.
The LED replacement are plug-compatible MR16, 12V/5W, warm white, 60° beam, and produce about 500 lumens. You can buy these at Woolies for about $5 each, so my bulb savings were about $190.
Update: Only 5W or lower LEDs work with existing transformers.
An A-grade sparky comes out and checks everything. Around an
hour later its all done, and I hand over $33 (credit card only). To summarise –
no falling off ladders, dropping bulbs and bulb disposal as well – professionally
They also included two GU10 LED bulbs to replace the Halogen bulbs in my stove rangehood. They will also replace outdoor Para floods with a 25W, 120° beam that produces 2500 lumens. You can chat about changing non-standard bulbs as well.
If you want dimmable LEDs, you can purchase a recessed light
fitting and transformer (round hole only) for $19.95 each. These are 5W, 90°
beam, and 512-539 lumens.
GadgetGuy’s take – Free LED downlight bulbs for NSW and Victoria (at least)
It is a no-brainer, so do it. A typical home with 20 downlights
could save $600 a year – with nearly 40 in my place – double that. These are
also warm white, so they remove the blue light issues that can affect sleep.
LEDs also last very much longer – 10-20 years so they are ideal for placement on the older high or vaulted ceilings and impossible to reach places over stairs etc (although the poor sparky may have to charge a little more to swap these out).