Home > In the Home > Energy-Saving Light Bulbs

Energy-Saving Light Bulbs

By: Scott McBride - Updated: 29 Dec 2012 | comments*Discuss
 
Energy Saving Light Bulb Planet

Time to See the Light

How many people does it take to change an energy saving light bulb? Well, one person can do the job and in the process will save money and help save the planet. It is by far the simplest way to reduce energy consumption in the home -literally as easy as changing a light bulb - yet the savings can be considerable.

It's true that it costs a little more to buy an energy saving light bulb - the average price is about £3 - than an ordinary bulb, but the extra outlay will be recouped within a year. That's because energy saving bulbs use less than a quarter of the electricity of traditional bulbs, so a 25-watt energy saving bulb can replace an ordinary 100-watt bulb.

A single energy saving bulb can cut harmful carbon dioxide emissions by 26 kilograms and save up to £7 a year. As it will last 10 times longer than a standard bulb, the savings can add up to £60 in the bulb's lifetime. If every bulb in the home is changed to an energy saving one, it can cut bills by around £600 in the lifetime of the bulbs.

What a Bright Idea

If these energy savings were applied to every home in Britain, it would help the Government achieve the reduction in carbon dioxide emissions promised when the UK signed up to the Kyoto Protocol. Perhaps that is why there is a proposal for a voluntary phasing out of ordinary light bulbs by 2011. The timescale would give retailers and manufacturers time to develop additional products to replace traditional bulbs.

Standard light bulbs are incredibly inefficient, so much so that £140 million is wasted every year in the UK by people leaving lights on unnecessarily. They work by passing electric current through a wire, which heats up and produces light. The problem is that 95 per cent of the electricity used is lost as heat. Energy saving light bulbs are different. They utilise the same technology as fluorescent lights, so electric current is passed through gas in a tube causing the tube's coating to glow. And, because energy saving bulbs are more compact than fluorescent lights, they use even less energy - up to 80 per cent less than a traditional bulb.

Pros Outweigh Cons

There are down sides to low energy bulbs. For technical reasons, the glass used has to be opaque and that produces a soft light, whereas traditional bulbs can use clear or opaque glass. Also, due to the way they work, low energy bulbs take a few seconds to reach full brightness. They contain a tiny quantity of mercury, which is a pollutant, but the electricity they save means the environmental benefits far outweigh the detriments. After all, burning fossil fuel to create electricity pumps a lot more mercury into the atmosphere.

There have been major advances in energy saving bulbs since they were first introduced to the marketplace, but products are still improving, both in terms of efficiency and performance. They now come in a wide variety of shapes, sizes and fittings, and there is even an energy saving bulb that can be used with a dimmer. The introduction of soft tone bulbs means low energy bulbs have a warm glow rather than the cold light often mistakenly associated with them. Halogen bulbs, while not as energy efficient as energy saving bulbs, are another option, and low voltage varieties use a third less energy than traditional halogens.

You might also like...
Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice..
Why not be the first to leave a comment for discussion, ask for advice or share your story...

If you'd like to ask a question one of our experts (workload permitting) or a helpful reader hopefully can help you... We also love comments and interesting stories

Title:
(never shown)
Firstname:
(never shown)
Surname:
(never shown)
Email:
(never shown)
Nickname:
(shown)
Comment:
Validate:
Enter word:
Topics
Latest Comments
  • Dudz
    Re: Grants Available For Your Business
    I run a small social club, non profit making run by volunteers. The Building consists of two bar areas back to back and a…
    9 August 2022
  • Char K
    Re: New Build Grants and Funds
    Hi there, We have recently bought a house that needs a complete update. We have our plans approved to extend and renovate fully and…
    29 July 2022
  • Spence
    Re: New Build Grants and Funds
    Hi We have class q planning to convert a barn into a dwelling in the countryside in Devon, are they any grants available to us???
    13 June 2022
  • Doug
    Re: New Build Grants and Funds
    Please contact me asap
    4 June 2022
  • Franco
    Re: New Build Grants and Funds
    I am about to develop a brownfield site into 11 dwellings and wonder what grants might be available to assist me in reducing the…
    6 May 2022
  • PP PP PP PP PP PP PP
    Re: Eco-School Grants and Funds
    PP PP PP PP PP PP PP PP PP PP PP PP PP PP PP PP PP PP PP PP PP PP PP PP PP PP PP PP PP PP PP PP PP PP PP PP PP PP PP PP PP PP PP PP…
    28 March 2022
  • IXL IS SHIT
    Re: Eco-School Grants and Funds
    This app is bullshi* and the cun* that made this should die This is absolute bullshi* and the retar* that made this crap can go to…
    27 March 2022
  • Rossco
    Re: New Build Grants and Funds
    Hi iam hoping to be granted planning permission for a self build in November. The plot will be in a 5 acre plot on the outside our…
    2 October 2021
  • AMS7
    Re: Grants Available For Your Business
    My company currently operates from a small workshop space with corrugated roof and no ceiling, looking at foam insulation…
    6 September 2021
  • sludgebuster
    Re: Are There Any Grants for Water Treatment Systems?
    I live in a barn that was once part of a farm and found out yesterday that our outlet for drainage (we…
    6 September 2021