The Green Room: Episode 7 – The Energy Cost of Lighting


The Green Room: What happens when you put two sustainability experts in a room and ask them if the smart meter rollout is really worth it? In this episode Nick and James talk smart meters; pros & cons of having one installed, and some of the challenges being experienced in the current government roll-out. Later, they tackle the curse of the cold conservatory and how to retrofit some warmer solutions.

How do LED bulbs differ from other light bulbs?
LED bulbs are an energy efficient alternative to standard light bulbs. Traditional incandescent bulbs work by passing an electric current through an extremely thin filament which becomes very hot, thereby emitting light. LED bulbs are far more efficient than traditional light bulbs, which give off most of their energy as heat. In fact, LEDs use 90% less energy.

How much can LED bulbs really save me?
The Energy Saving Trust estimates that the typical halogen uses £11 of electricity a year while a replacement LED would use only £2 worth. Halogen bulbs also typically fail after about two years, while LEDs should last for around 15 to 20 years on the same usage.

The halogen light ban
Halogen lightbulbs are disappearing from the UK following a ban made by the European Union. Retailers now have to replenish their stocks of halogen lightbulbs with more energy-efficient alternatives, such as LEDs or compact fluorescent bulbs.

Cold Weather Payments
£25 are paid to those on certain benefits to help with energy bills when the temperature plummets to zero degrees celsius or below for seven consecutive days. You’ll get £25 for each 7 day period of very cold weather between 1 November and 31 March.

Read more:
An introduction to LED Lighting
Cost Comparison: LED spotlight versus Halogen spotlight
Government’s postcode checker for Cold Weather Payments