Energy saving light bulbs
Lighting accounts for 8% of a typical household’s energy
bills: cutting your lighting bill is one of the easiest ways to
save energy and money in the home.
Whether you rent or own your property, or live in a house, flat
or bungalow, you can save money today by changing the way you use
your lights and by fitting new energy-saving lights.
if you replace a traditional light bulb with a compact
fluorescent bulb of the same brightness you will typically save
around £3 per year, or £50 over the life of the bulb. If you
replace a halogen downlighter with an equivalent LED you will
typically save around £4 per year, or £14 0 by the time you have to
replace the bulb.
As mlightbulbs are produced, manufacturers will be able to
make them more efficiently so energy saving light bulbs will become
even cheaper. Already we are seeing bulbs available in a
wide range of shapes so the only difference you'll notice is a
drop in your electricity bills.
The following generic types are available:
- Compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs) - these are the most common
energy saving light bulbs and come in stick shape, candle shape,
small or medium screw and bayonet fittings. They use 60%-80% less
energy than incandescent bulbs, the most widely available and
cheapest energy saving light bulbs.
- Energy saving halogen light bulbs - a good option if you have
halogen lights in your home. They consume around 30% less
electricity than standard halogen bulbs.
- LED lights - these have progressed rapidly in recent years and
can now be used to replace existing halogen spotlights.These are
the most expensive but also most efficient types, but can last for
25 to 30 years and use 90% less energy than
incandescents. They are much cheaper than they used to be and
can now be found for around £10.
More information about the range and technical specification of
bulbs is available from the
Energy Saving Trust.
Many homes today use a mixture of standard light fittings and
halogen downlighters or spotlights (mainly in kitchens and
bathrooms). There are low-energy alternatives for both these types
- Compact fluorescents (CFLs) – these are what most people think
of as an energy-efficient light bulb. A cost-effective option for
most general lighting purposes, and now widely available.
- LEDs – even more efficient, and the ideal replacement for
halogen downlighters. More expensive than CFLs but save even more
money in the long term.
Of course, the easiest way to save on your lighting bill is
simply to turn off the light when you’re not using it. You will
ALWAYS save energy if you turn the light out when you leave the
room, even if it’s only for a minute or two.
Bulbs suitable for use with dimmers
There are a number of different types of dimmer switches. A
lamp’s suitability for use with dimmers, or with some types of
dimmer, should be mentioned on the box.
Frequently asked questions
Don't energy-saving lightbulbs take a long time to light
Originally they did, but most modern energy saving bulbs take
little more than a few seconds to warm up to full brightness.
Producing an energy-saving bulb must take more energy in
the first place than making a standard bulb. At the end of the day,
doesn't that make it inefficient?
An energy saving bulb may indeed take more
energy to make than a traditional bulb. But the energy saved by the
bulb over its lifetime far outweighs this energy consumption. This
applies even more to LED lighting where bulbs can last for 50,000
hours, 50 times as long as incandescent bulbs
Don't traditional bulbs give a better quality of
The light quality of CFLs and LEDs does vary. If you want
a light that looks the same as a traditional bulb, buy a "warm
white" or "soft white" bulb, with a Colour Rendering Index (CRI) of
at least 80. You should find the CRI somewhere in the small print
on the packaging.
More information visit the Energy
Saving Trust website