Energy saving light bulbs

The world of lighting is changing – traditional light bulbs are disappearing from the shelves to be replaced by new means of energy-saving lighting.

The eagle-eyed customer will also have noticed that these bulbs are more expensive than in the past, so it’s understandable that you’ll want to understand the differences between new and old.

One key component is the potential of these new bulbs to represent a saving – by being more energy-efficient and cutting the CO2 consumption.

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Why the move to energy saving lighting?

Governments across the EU are making efforts to meet carbon reduction targets and one particular area of focus was inefficient light bulbs.

Many bulbs in the past used a considerably large amount of energy – often more than is required – so finding more energy-saving methods was seen as a priority.

As a result, more traditional bulbs have been gradually phased out, the main reason why only energy saving lighting can be found on supermarket shelves.

It is still possible to purchase older types of light bulb, but it is unlikely that they will be found in widespread supply.

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What do you need to know about energy-saving light bulbs?

The new energy-saving bulbs come in three main types: compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs), halogen bulbs and light-emitting diodes (LEDs).

All three have slightly different properties and will work in vaguely similar ways. CFLs are the most common and bear the nearest resemblance to more traditional bulbs.

Halogen bulbs will cost more and don’t tend to last as long, whereas the most expensive are LEDs – although they are the most efficient and will last for the longest period of time.

Can energy-saving lighting boost your home’s energy efficiency?

The simple answer to this question is ‘yes’. If CFL bulbs are used as a replacement, they have the potential to use up to 75% less energy than more traditional bulbs.

A CFL bulb usually lasts for around 8,000 hours – depending on usage that could represent a period of between seven and 12 years, meaning the bulbs need to be changed less frequently.

Meanwhile LED bulbs could represent an energy saving of around 80%, which will reduce bills and cut CO2 consumption at the same time.

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Do you stand to save money by using energy-efficient bulbs?

Again, the answer to this is yes, with savings dependent on the number of energy-saving light bulbs that are used in the home.

Replacing a traditional 25 watt bulb with a 5 watt CFL bulb could see a saving of €5.10 annually based on an average usage of four hours per day.

It’s possible to save nearly €22 per bulb annually if 105 watt bulbs are replaced with 21 watt CFLs while a 1 watt LED, replacing a traditional 20 watt bulb, could represent an annual saving of €4.90.

Given that these bulbs will last for a considerable period of time, it means savings across the lifetime of each bulb can quickly add up.

By swapping all bulbs to energy-efficient ones in an apartment or small house, it could be possible to save more than €2,200 during the lifetime of those bulbs.

This figure increases to more than €3,100 for an average three bedroom house and up to nearly €4,900 for a larger property. Pubs and shops meanwhile could stand to save more than €8,000.

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