Replacing old light bulbs with low-energy lighting is one of the easiest things you can do to save energy and save money.  Modern technology now provides equivalent light quality with a fraction of the energy consumption. 

Incandescent bulbs are the traditional type of bulb with a filament.  Most of those still available are halogen bulbs but even these are very inefficient.   Most incandescent bulbs are being phased out, but there is little reason not to replace them immediately with low-energy bulbs.

Compact fluorescent (CFL) bulbs are the original low-energy bulbs, available as sticks or spirals (shown here). Whilst efficient they are fragile and were originally slow to reach full brightness. When fitted in enclosed lampshades they can tend to overheat and may not last as long as claimed.  Some people are also not keen on their light quality, although the well-known brands are reliable in this respect. 

Light-emitting diodes (LED) bulbs offer outstanding energy efficiency along with long life (typically 15-25,000 hours or 15-25 years) and excellent quality of light.  They also have the significant benefit of providing full output the instant they are switched on and many can be dimmed with modern dimmer switches.  Just as importantly, they are even more efficient than compact-fluorescent bulbs and use only around 15% of the power of an old-fashioned incandescent bulb.  Stick to known brands for the best reliability.

Costs and savings

LED bulbs cost around £5-£10 and CFL bulbs around £3-£5 – each saves around £5 a year on your electricity bill compared to an incandescent bulb.



Home Energy – Lighting (L1)                                                    WinACC November 2014


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