LEDs are one of the best lighting solutions available, whether you’re buying for the home or for commercial use. They're more environmentally friendly and last longer than their incandescent predecessors. Better still, LEDs can also save you money when you apply for an LED light rebate.
In this post, we'll cover everything you need to know about LED rebates. What are the different types of rebate? What paperwork do you need to be approved for them? And how much can you expect to get back?
But before we jump into the details, let’s start with the basics.
What are LED light rebates?
LED rebates are incentives offered by local and federal governments, as well as your electric company, to encourage consumers and businesses to switch to LED bulbs — a move otherwise known as an “ LED retrofit”.
In more plain terms, an LED rebate allows you to receive a sum of cash in exchange for using LED lighting. You can get this cash even though you aren't buying the bulbs directly from the group sending the rebate.
The reason organizations are willing to pay you for buying LED bulbs is simple: they save money when you move to LED, too.
Lighting places a great deal of demand on the grid, making up to 50% of some businesses' power bills. LED can cut this cost by 90% and an LED light bulb rebate is a small way to encourage you to make this switch.
How much can you get from an LED rebate program?
The amount you receive for an LED rebate will vary substantially depending on where you live, which entity is offering the rebate, and what kind of LED lighting you're receiving a rebate for.
For typical in-home light bulbs, you can expect anywhere from $2 to $35 in rebates, with an average payout of $11. On the other hand, high bay fixtures (the type you find in warehouses and supermarkets) can earn you rebates of up to thousands of dollars.
When researching your LED rebate, you’ll quickly see that the figures are proportional to the cost and consumption of the bulb being purchased. So if you spend a little on a bulb, expect to get a little back, and vice versa.
The different kinds of LED rebates
With an understanding of what LED rebates are and how much you can expect to earn, it's time to get into how you receive your rebate. At the moment, there are three primary kinds of rebates you can apply for, each with its pros and cons.
Prescriptive rebates are the most straightforward of the three. The utility company will offer an official rebate amount, dependent on which type of bulb you purchase.
You then buy the bulb first (for the full price), go through the application process to prove that you purchased the bulb and, after a waiting period, your rebate will be sent to you. The only drawback? This waiting period can take some time, which we’ll go on to explain in just a moment.
Custom rebates are for bulbs beyond the remit of prescriptive tariffs (i.e. the government or electricity company has no predetermined amount that you apply for).
In these cases, you’ll typically be offered a discount per kWh of electricity consumed within a year of usage. This means you can get a significantly higher amount back than a prescriptive rebate might offer. However, the process is longer and more convoluted, so only go this route when the payoff is significant (i.e., warehouses, stores, and parking garages).
When claiming a point-of-sale rebate, you go through a local electric retailer (rather than through the government or utility provider); a much simpler, and arguably quicker, process.
How does it work? Let's say your utility company offers a $5 rebate on $13 bulbs. When you purchase these bulbs from the retailer with evidence of your utility provider's rebate, they'll only charge you $8, which is the net-of-rebate price.
This saves you the hassle of applying for the rebate but limits the control you have over what you receive. Additionally, these rebates tend to be brand and retailer-specific.
3 things to remember when applying for an LED rebate
1. LED lighting rebates vary by state
First things first, you'll want to know what offers are available in your state and from your utility company. You can use tools, like this one, to see what rebates are available in your zip code.
For the most part, anyone in the U.S. will have access to at least a few rebates from the federal government. From there, the rebates will depend on what's available from your utility company as well as your local government. As a simple comparison, Houston has fewer local government rebates than Los Angeles, but more utility company rebates than LA.
2. It pays to be prepared (so do your homework first!)
Going over budget is never anyone’s plan. The solution? Check what rebates are available before you buy, make sure the model you’re buying is covered, and then make your purchase.
Not sure if the bulbs you’re looking at are valid for a rebate? We can help you out. Just drop our customer service team a message, and we’ll point you in the right direction.
Again, the specific documentation you need will depend on where you live and who you’re claiming from, but anyone going after an LED bulb rebate should be familiar with the Energy Star,UL and DLC lighting requirements and certifications. Look for the following logos when choosing your LEDs:
Of course, if you're reading this after already having purchased LED lights, don't worry! There's still a good chance that rebates are available to you.
3. Your rebate may take some time to come through, but the wait is more than worth it
While rebates are a great incentive, you’ll need to be patient to see that money come back around. In the worst case scenario, it could take six months for your rebate to be finalized, and that’s a considerable amount of time to wait for a payout.
But as they say: “good things come to those who wait”, and you could be in line for a very rewarding rebate indeed. If you’re in any doubt at all, many these figures will help you make up your mind:
- Rebates on standard rectangular, recessed LED fixtures — the style used in interior spaces, like homes, retail and office environments — range from $6.00 to $8.00 per kilolumen. Depending on the size of your space, this could net out at around $40-50 in savings.
- Rebates on outdoor fixtures — say in parking lots, gas stations and public gardens — can be between $40 and $200 per fixture. Retrofitting even three or four, and you could get $800 back in return.
Ready to switch to LED?
Hyperikon is one of the leading online retailers for consumer and business-grade lighting. This makes us the perfect one-stop-shop for all of your LED needs. Check out our catalog of certified LED products and contact our team at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions about planning, claiming, or following up on rebates.