Your Guide to Energy Saving Lighting

Lighting within the home currently accounts for about 8% of energy bills in the UK. Incandescent and tungsten bulbs have been a standard feature of electrical use since the 19th century, but are gradually being phased out in favour of more energy saving options that save consumers money and benefit the environment. A number of different options are available from online electrical wholesalers or high street retailers, from energy saving bulbs to compact fluorescents, LEDs and dimmers that can help to cut costs and generate more efficient energy. Moreover, these bulbs can be combined with a number of simple energy saving practices that can be followed within the home.

Types of Bulbs and their Benefits

Early incandescent and halogen bulbs relied on a tungsten filament, and remain the norm for most homes. Halogen bulbs are more efficient than incandescent forms, but still lag behind energy saving bulbs in terms of efficiency. The UK Government have promoted schemes to gradually phase out the use of older bulbs, while encouraging a switchover to energy saving lighting options. Energy saving bulbs and lights remains fairly expensive compared to older bulbs, but have the benefit of lasting longer, and reduce electricity bills.

A basic energy saving bulb is 5 times brighter than a standard bulb, and uses 80% less power. If used responsibly, some energy saving bulbs can have a 10 year life span. This length is based on using certain bulbs for three hours a day in parts of the home, and can be an ideal solution for rooms that are not used very often. Energy saving bulbs can result in 75-80% energy savings, and use 4 times less of the wattage of standard bulbs.

Other energy saving bulb options include compact fluorescents. These bulbs use an alternative gas charging method to standard bulbs, and use 20 to 25% less electricity. Again, higher costs for initial purchases can be offset by their long lasting potential and greater energy efficiency.

Another option is to invest in LEDs, or light emitting diodes. These represent strips of about 36 to 48 lights, which when installed can generate 50,000 hours of capacity. Representing 50 times as much capacity as a standard incandescent light, small LED arrays also act as a stylish alternative to hanging fittings, bulbs and lamps within rooms, and are particularly recommended for kitchens.

These lights emit less carbon dioxide than standard incandescent lights, and can consequently help conserve energy and the environment. When looking for energy saving bulbs always check for an Energy Saving Trust Recommended label, or an Energy Related A tag. Energy saving bulbs can also be recycled, and form part of the EU’s Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment Initiative.

Other Tips

As well as investing in energy saving bulbs, you can also follow some simple steps when using lights in the home. The most basic solution remains turning lights off when they are not being used. Moreover, try to use lights for particular roles, with bulbs being turned off when watching a brightly lit television or computer. If reading, a single lamp is more efficient than keeping a whole room’s lights on. Dimmer switches are also useful in this regard for regulating the amount of light in a room, and can result in 4-9% of electricity savings.

About the author
Serena is a copywriter for a leading supplier of energy saving discount electrical supplies at Discount Electrical. In her spare time she writes various other blogs online on numerous other subjects such as automotive, health and the theatre.