Energy Efficient Lighting: How Lighting Choices Save You Money
As the winter solstice draws nearer, the days get shorter, the nights get longer and your
energy usage increases. Energy bills always seem to be going up these days. Although you
can change providers, the companies all seem to hike their bills up at the same time, meaning
the best way to make savings is often through changing the way you use your energy.
One option for cutting your bills is to simply use less electricity around the house, and one of
the best ways to do this is to switch to energy efficient lighting.
According to Uswitch, lighting accounts for between 10-20% of a households overall electricity
bill. In real terms it means if you spend £100 a month on electricity you are spending between
£120 and £240 a year on lighting your property
What Is The Difference Between
The Different Types of Light Bulbs?
Incandescent Light Bulbs
Up until fairly recently, the most popular light bulbs used in the home were traditional
incandescent bulbs. However, the technology behind these is old – over a century old. Although
they work well, the problem is that they only convert a very small amount of electricity into light –
the vast majority is converted into heat. To put it in to perspective they use 5 times more
electricity than a low energy light bulb.
In addition, they are not particularly long lasting. They require replacing when they burn out, which
costs you money and from an environmental perspective they have a bigger carbon footprint.
Another type of slightly more efficient lighting is halogen lighting which
costs approx. 25% less to run than a standard incandescent bulb.
However, this still converts lots of energy into heat rather than light, so
they are not the best option.
The other form of energy-saving lighting is Light
Emitting Diode commonly known as LED lighting.
These have numerous advantages over other types
of lighting in that they are bright, use far less energy,
are long lasting, durable and very versatile. The only
downside is that they are more expensive, but you
will almost certainly save money in the long run
because you won't have to replace them so often,
and you will lower your energy bills.
There are two key types of energy efficient lighting
that you can use. The first is CFLs, which stands
for compact fluorescent lamps. These are bulbs
that contain a gas that glows when it is charged
with electricity. These use a lot less electricity, they
last longer than traditional bulbs, and they also
come in a wide range of colours and sizes.
According to data from The Energy Saving Trust
swapping a traditional light bulb for a CFL of the
same brightness will save you approx. £3 per year,
or £45 over the lifetime of the bulb. Therefore, if an
average sized family home swapped 10
incandescent light bulbs for CFLs it would mean a
saving of £36 a year. Think of what you could do
with that money – got to the cinema 4 times,
download 3 iTunes albums or buy a new outdoor
light for your home.
Save Money ... and the Planet
One of the main advantages of changing to more energy efficient lighting is that you can save energy,
which is great if you want to reduce your carbon footprint. However, the financial savings can be
excellent as well.
If you replace a traditional bulb with a CFL, this could save you a lot of money over its lifetime. LEDs
could save you even more because they are even more efficient. If you change all the bulbs in your
home, that could lead to some significant savings.
Changing Your Lighting
Changing your lighting is one of the simplest ways to save energy and
cut household bills. There are many ways to cut your energy usage, but
starting with your lighting is a great idea because it is cheap, quick and
And of course, if you really want to maximise your energy savings, turn
on your lights less often. Remember to turn them off when you go out of
the room, and check whether you really need all the lights on in your
home in the first place. Try to become more aware of how much you are
using, and you can maximise your savings.