Climate change and global warming are very much at the forefront of people’s minds at the moment. But apart from recycling, what else can we do, as individuals, to make reduce our carbon footprint? One of the easiest things that we can all do is to replace our existing light bulbs with energy savers - a quick and easy way, not only to help the environment, but to save money too!
Lighting on average accounts for around 20% of the electricity bill in most homes. If every household in the UK were to replace 3 bulbs with energy-saving bulbs**, we’d save enough energy to light all the UK’s street lights for half a year! The average house has in the region of 25 light bulbs, so there’s a huge potential for us to really make a difference.
Energy-saving bulbs consume a fifth of the electricity of a traditional bulb. Just one energy saving bulb could save up to £9 a year. Use energy savers including LEDs throughout your home and you could, potentially, save up to £1,010 over the lifetime of the bulbs.
The traditional style of bulb that we all know is nearly all phased out. Traditional light bulbs are a very inefficient way of providing light, as 95% of the electricity is lost as heat, whereas energy savers use 80% less electricity and virtually all of the energy is converted into light.
Things have come a long way since the humble fluorescent tube that lit kitchens in times gone by. In the early days, compact fluorescents or energy savers as they have become known were unpopular as they were expensive, heavy and produced an unattractive, cold, greenish tinged light. Nowadays, they’re compact and come in all different shapes and sizes, start at £2.50 and give a soft, warm, flicker-free light. Within one minute they’ve reached their full brightness and they last a lot longer too - up to 10 times longer than a traditional light bulb (that’s around 22 years).
However, if you’re not quite ready to make the change to fluorescent energy savers, there’s a complete range of classic style, clear halogen bulbs which look the same as a standard bulb but consume 25% less energy, are fully dimmable, and give instant, bright light.
A third option is LED bulbs (Light Emitting Diodes). These have no filament and create light electronically. LEDs are very economical to run, even more so than fluorescent energy savers, and consume a tenth of the energy of a comparable traditional bulb. Although they’re more expensive, they have a lifespan of around 32 years and so the initial cost is recouped many times over. Another benefit is that they don’t get hot and consequently are safer to use around children or anyone infirm.John Lewis has a range of lamps available which use LEDs . The Leo clip spot and task lamps such as Harley, Anglepoise Type C and Flos Tab (also in a floorlamp).
All energy savers can be recycled at your nearest recycling bank which can be found at http://www.recycle-more.co.uk/ (opens in a new window). Most of the lights sold by John Lewis are able to use fluourescent energy savers, but you’ll need to look at halogen bulbs for dimmer switches.
** Based on replacing three 40W incandescent bulbs with three 9W energy saving equivalent bulbs