Energy saving lighting FAQs

Do I have to use energy saving lighting?

Regulations brought in from September 2016 mean that (once existing stocks run out), halogen bulbs are banned from sale in the UK. You may still be able to pick them up in shops for the next few months – or you may have a stash at home, but once they’re gone, that’s it! To be honest, it shouldn’t be a loss to consumers. Although not everyone knows much about LED bulbs, their popularity has been steadily rising over the past few years.

What makes LEDs different?

A light-emitting diode uses a semiconductor to convert electricity into light. LED bulbs are far, far more energy efficient than halogen bulbs or even CFLs. Traditional incandescent bulbs work by passing an electric current through an extremely thin filament which becomes very hot, thereby emitting light. Only a tiny percentage of all the electricity that goes through the lightbulb is given off as light – the remainder is wasted as heat.

Are LEDs more expensive?

LED bulbs are slightly more expensive to buy (although prices are falling) – most cost £5-10. They are, however, much cheaper to run. They use 90% less energy than halogen bulbs. LEDs are also resistant to breakage. They can also last 25-30 years, unlike normal bulbs which often break after a year. It’s therefore worth a little investment at the beginning for the savings you’ll get in the long run.

Do LEDs come in different shapes and sizes?

Yes – the range is more or less the same as halogen bulbs, from standard bulbs to spotlights and floodlight bulbs.

Are LED bulbs as bright as halogen bulbs?

Yes- high quality bulbs should be just as bright. In fact, a lower wattage LED bulb will give out the same amount of light as a higher wattage halogen bulb. This is because the LED does not need to get white hot in order to give off light.

Are LED bulbs available in normal shops?

Yes – supermarkets, hardware stores… Anywhere you would normally buy a bulb!

Are LED bulbs better for the planet?

Yes! Aside from the fact that they use less energy, they have a smaller environmental impact than other bulbs because they contain less mercury.

Is energy saving lighting easy to install?

Yes, they work like normal bulbs – they are available with screw or bayonet fixings.

Can I still use CFLs?

CFLs – the common ‘energy saving’ lightbulb- are still available for the time being, but General Electric announced the phase-out of CFLs at the beginning of 2016. This is because their price was becoming more comparable with (more efficient) LED bulbs. One LED bulb lasts as long as eight CFLs and uses a quarter of the energy over its lifetime. Unlike CFLs, LEDs give off light instantly, as it is not dependent on temperature.


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