OK, Our smart Lightify Garden Spot RGB lights look great, are versatile, and easy to set up and use. But, will they break the bank, running them every evening?
Not a chance!
Lightify GardenSpot RGB Lights are Really Eco-Friendly
There’s one thing you won’t have to worry about as you light up your yard with the the GardenSpot RGB Lights – and that is having your electric meter spin!
I’ll explain in detail below, but based on my measurements let’s say that even if you are putting out really bright colors, you are likely to spend between $1.00 and $4.00 a year for the complete kit. To get up near $4.00 you must be paying the highest electric prices in the US (That would be based on the highest tier pricing here in southern California.)
You electric meter will barely budge. When I first read a spec sheet it was a European version. It stated 4.5 watts for the lights (ok, EU style it reads 4,5 watts).
Note that the EU versions are 200-240V, not the 100-120V used in the US. Here in the US, therefore, that works out to about 9 watts. That lines up well with my measurements which never exceeded 10 watts draw.
I decided to check out the power consumption using one of my Belkin WeMo Insight 2 outlets, (I don’t know how precisely accurate it is.) that lets me read actual power draw or monthly usage. I plugged in the Lightify’s power brick into the Wemo, and started measuring. The math is below.
Depending on the color you select, you will be using one or two or even all three RGB color LEDs. The maximum power draw will be when you want to produce white light at maximum brightness. The WeMo indicated that the draw then – the maximum was between 9 and 10 watts.
Now consider the various pictures in this review. Of all the different color setups shown on images in this review, at 100% brightness, not one draws more than 4 watts. At 70% brightness, depending on the color, the WeMo shows from <2 watts to 3 watts (the Wemo starts measuring at <2), so that’s the lowest I can measure. At 50% or below brightness settings none of the colors measures over 2 watts. At the 17% to 65% brightness that I typically use, I figure my power consumption is from less than 1 to no more than 3 watts!
Even the brightest usage seen in any of these pictures will draw 4 watts or less, but most likely you will be using less than 2 watts. Unless, of course, you want less intense colors – essentially adding white to them.
Thus, an entire run of these GardenSpots will typically no more than an old style night light. (1-2 watts)
What will it really cost you? Translated into real money: Appliances etc. are required to post how much a year they cost to run (at least here in the US). (e.g, a refrigerator might be $127 a year). To come up with the dollar amount the US government requires they use $.11 per kilowatt. Now here in California, with tiered electric rates, a heavy user can be slightly more than 3X that… Still:
At 4 watts of draw, x 8 hours a day = 32 watts a day. And most folks wouldn’t even run them for 8 full hours a day.
32 watts X 30 days = 920 watts – lets’ round up to 1 kilowatt.
Thus, these lights doing the brightest colors are going to use about 12 kilowatts a year.
Folks, that works out to about $1.31 a year to power one entire Lightify with 9 lights. Now if you use the maximum California tiered rate, then you are talking the big bucks – about $4 a year!
I didn’t figure in the wifi hub, which measures less than 1 watt, but can support multiple strings of lights. Even at the highest billing rates in California, still no more than $5 a year for this color and brightness.
Full on max brightness (white) would still be under $10 a year at California’s highest residential rate.
Our GardenSpots doing this bright orange green shown here here, at “official” US rates ($.12/kw, 8 hours a day) would be about $1.00 a year. Sweet!