Noob question alert. Electrics have always been my weakness.

If you have a 6 bulb ceiling light, with 6 LED bulbs each with 5w, and you remove 3 of them, does this half the energy usage when the light is being used?

I guess this can also be re worded to ask whether, if you remove the LED bulb from a light fitting and it is switched on, does it use any electricty?


Edit to add some background: We are renovating our house and we have a room with 6 bulb ceiling light. It's far to bring for the replaced LED bulbs. We will replace the fixture in the future and my thoughts were, if removing bulbs still uses as much electricty, then I will change the fixture sooner. If it uses electricity relativing to only bulbs attached (ie no "Dripping electricty", good ref) then changing the fixture is not a priority.

  • 2
    I assume we're dealing with consumer products: screw-in bulbs which are designed to replace incandescents, but use LED tech internally? If we're dealing with actual LED components (the things inside that make the light), the answer could be different because of the way drivers work. Jan 13, 2020 at 16:39
  • it doesn't save very much because LED bulbs don't use very much.
    – dandavis
    Jan 13, 2020 at 19:22

2 Answers 2


Yes, that will cut energy use in half, though the type of bulb (LED, CFL, incandescent, one that's not invented yet) does not matter.

Of course, you also get half the light.

A bulb which is removed does not use any electricity whether or not the fixture is switched on (James Thurber's Grandmother notwithstanding, for the literarily inclined.)

  • Nice Thurber reference....
    – gnicko
    Jan 13, 2020 at 13:04
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    And there was me thinking bulbs were dark suckers, see web.mit.edu/kolya/misc/txt/dark_suckers
    – Solar Mike
    Jan 13, 2020 at 14:02
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    In very old houses, the illumination gas lines were often repurposed as electrical conduits. People who were aware of this (and who knew nothing of the nature of electricity) could easily believe in electrical "leakage" from unfilled sockets. Jan 13, 2020 at 18:47

Regarding running costs, at a price of 11.5 cents a kilowatt hour a 1 Watt bulb left on all year would cost $1.00. So assuming you only have the light on when its dark, say an average 8 hours a day throughout the year then removing the 3 LED bulbs would save you about $5.

  • Hello, and welcome to Home Improvement. Thanks for the answer; keep 'em coming. And, you should probably take our tour so you'll know how best to contribute here. Jan 14, 2020 at 13:58
  • I would deffo rather spend £5 on something I want than to just waste it on electricity I don't want. Even if it's cheap, wasted money is wasted money.
    – abdnChap
    Jan 30, 2020 at 10:09

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