Lighting accounts for approximately 14% of a typical household’s electricity bill. Installing energy saving bulbs can help reduce your electricity bill. There are two types of energy saving bulb, both of which are cost-effective options for most household lighting needs. They may be more expensive to buy than ‘standard’ bulbs, but will last much longer – a standard bulb will last for around 1 year.
- Light Emitting Diodes (LEDs) will reach full brightness immediately, and will save you more energy and money over their lifetime than CFLs. LED bulbs have a life expectancy of around 12-25 years.
- Compact Fluorescent Lamps (CFL) are what most people think of when the term ‘energy saving bulb’ is mentioned. They are well known for their delayed warm up time, but will still save you money and energy over a standard bulb. CFLs should last around 6-10 years.
Energy efficient bulbs do not need to be as powerful as standard bulbs to deliver the same amount of light. If you’re replacing a standard 40W bulb with LED, you will only need a 6W bulb to give you the same amount of light.
Things to consider before making a purchase
To maximise your savings, replace as many bulbs as you can with either CFLs or LEDs – you can find bulbs for most light fittings at DIY stores. You may want to do this over time, as your old bulbs wear out.
- Type of bulb.
- Type of fitting.
- Brightness – this is measured in Lumens – the higher the value, the brighter the light
- Type of light, warm or cool. This may be called the ‘temperature’ of the light and is measured in Kelvin. Around 2,700K is warm light, 3,500K to 5,000K is cool and 5,000K or more is daylight.
Appliances that generate heat tend to be the worst offenders for using lots of energy. This includes appliances such as electric showers, immersion heaters, kettles, tumble dryers, ovens, and irons.
Fridges and freezers tend to have a lower power rating than the appliances above, but because they are always on they also end up being high energy users.
The EU energy label
The EU energy label provides information about how energy efficient a product is. All products are rated from A+++ to D. The higher the rating the more energy (and money) you will save. All new appliances will have an energy rating sticker on them somewhere. You can find out more about the energy labels and what they mean on the European Commission website (external link).