Energy saving light bulbs

According to Government figures, the average annual electricity bill is £679. Simple changes like switching to energy-saving light bulbs can help reduce your electricity consumption and keep your energy bills lower.

According to Government figures, the average annual electricity bill is £679. Simple changes like switching to energy-saving light bulbs can help reduce your electricity consumption and keep your energy bills lower.

Peter Earl
From the Energy team
3
minute read
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Posted 18 DECEMBER 2020

How can switching light bulbs save energy?

Traditional light bulbs, known as halogen bulbs, work by passing an electric current through a metal filament. When the metal gets hot enough, it produces light. However, a lot of the electricity used to light the bulb is lost as heat.

Energy saving light bulbs use a lot less electricity to light your home – anywhere between 25 and 80 percent less. Typically, they also last far longer than standard halogen bulbs, meaning you shouldn’t have to replace them as often.

This means that not only can a switch to energy saving bulbs reduce your energy consumption and, thus, your lighting bill, you can also spend a lot less on replacement bulbs in the long run.

What are the different types of energy saving light bulb?

There are two types of energy saving bulb:

  • Compact fluorescent lamps (CFL): This is the most common type of energy saving bulb and can be recognised by its distinctive curly tube shape.

    In a CFL, an electric current passes through a tube containing argon and mercury vapour. This generates UV rays, causing the phosphor layer on the glass tube to light up.
  • Light-emitting diodes (LED): Electricity passes through a semi-conductor or ‘diode’, making the electrons produce light.

    LED lights are up to 30% more efficient at turning electricity into light than a standard halogen bulb. Less energy is lost through heat, which could translate to savings on your energy bills.

How bright are energy saving light bulbs?

Energy-saving light bulbs can produce as much light as halogen bulbs using significantly less energy.

To replace your halogen bulbs with energy-saving bulbs of similar brightness, you’ll need to match their ‘lumen output’.

Lumen output refers to the amount of light your bulb produces. This is different to wattage – the amount of energy used to light the bulb.

Incandescent halogen bulbs usually need a higher wattage to produce the same amount of light as an energy saving bulb.

Check the packaging before you buy, to make sure your new energy-saving bulb has comparable lumen output.

How long do energy saving light bulbs last?

Energy-saving light bulbs can last up to 25% longer than a standard halogen bulb.

Using a dimmer switch can also help extend your bulb’s lifespan.

How can I get energy saving light bulbs?

You can find energy saving bulbs in any good hardware store.

Here are a few things to consider when comparing your standard bulbs with an energy-saving alternative:

  • Fitting: Make sure your new bulb has the right fitting for your lights (that might be screw or bayonet)
  • Shape: Decide which shaped bulb would best suit your light fixtures
  • Brightness: Check that your new bulbs have a similar lumen output to the bulbs you currently use
  • Temperature: Decide whether you want a warm yellow light or cooler white light
  • Cost: Remember that a good value energy-saving bulb will last a lot longer than most halogen bulbs

How else can I cut my energy costs?

Switching electricity tariffs or providers could take pounds off your bills. Compare now and see if you could save.

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