Guest Post: Understanding Lighting for Green Outcomes
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Sustainability is poised on everyone’s lips from the government right through to individual homes. Protecting the environment is becoming impossible to ignore what with the new methods of waste disposal and recycling etc. Therefore energy saving lighting is just an extension of this. Follow this explanation to understand all-things associated with energy saving lighting. Energy [...]
Sustainability is poised on everyone’s lips from the government right through to individual homes. Protecting the environment is becoming impossible to ignore what with the new methods of waste disposal and recycling etc. Therefore energy saving lighting is just an extension of this. Follow this explanation to understand all-things associated with energy saving lighting.
Energy saving light bulb wattages and brightness
In order to understand energy saving lighting, it is necessary to know how light is measured and the terminology.
- Watts are a measurement of power i.e. how much power a light bulb draws not how bright a bulb is.
- Lumens are the unit used to measure light output, or brightness. So this is the figure you need to have in mind when buying a new light bulb.
- The general rule of thumb is the greater the wattage the greater the lumen output and the brighter the light.
Types of energy-saving light bulb
There are three types of energy saving light bulbs; Compact Fluorescent Lamps (CFLs); Halogens; Light-emitting diodes (LEDs)
- Compact Fluorescent Lamps (CFLs) are the most common type of energy-saving light bulbs
- They use 60%-80% less energy than incandescent bulbs, the most widely available and cheapest energy saving light bulbs.
- Unfortunately with this kind of bulb, few can be used with dimmer switches,they can also be slow to emit a good level of brightness
- Halogens are similar to old-fashioned incandescents in having a tungsten filament, but these have halogen gas surrounding the filament, extending the bulb’s lifetime.
- They use 20-30% less energy than incandescent
- They get hot in use
- Light-emitting diodes (LEDs) are the most expensive but also most efficient types
- They can last for 25 – 30 years
- They use 90% less energy than incandescents.
The Benefits of using energy saving light bulbs
In short, using low energy light bulbs not only uses less electricity therefore preserving the environment, but it also realises a cost saving on energy bills.
- Energy saving light bulbs use up to 80% less electricity than standard bulbs but are capable of producing the same amount of light.
- Using less energy to power your lights means that our homes produce less carbon dioxide emissions which are harmful to our environment and are one of the main causes of climate change.
- Traditional bulbs waste over 90% of the power consumed through radiated heat, with less than 10% converted into light.
- Low energy bulbs use 75% less energy than traditional bulbs, and last up to 10 times as long. With energy prices constantly rising this delivers a saving of £5-7 per bulb, per year in electricity costs.
- With energy efficient bulbs using less electricity, there is less demand on power stations so less CO2 is produced.
- Approximately 30% of the electricity used in the UK is for lighting, therefore switching to energy efficient bulbs is an easy way to save energy and money.
- Many energy efficient bulbs will last up to 10 times as long as a traditional bulb. With a traditional bulb costing around 80p and the average energy saving bulb costing around £10, then over the lifespan of an energy efficient bulb you would have spent £8 on standard bulbs.
- A low energy bulb with a life of 10000 hours would last around 7 years in the average home, over which time you would have saved over £40 in electricity compared with a traditional incandescent bulb.
How to achieve the same level of brightness
Low energy saving bulbs doesn’t have to mean less light. A 60 watt bulb is the most commonly used bulb in our homes and offices and has an output of 600 lumens. Although many energy efficient bulbs have a lower output, meaning that these bulbs will appear to emit to less light, the BioBulb 60W is a great solution.
The BioBulb 60W produces over twice as many lumens as a standard bulb, at 1250 lumens. Therefore the light produced by the BioBulb is brighter than a traditional filament bulb.
Ways to save energy through light fittings or luminaires
Finally, it’s possible to employ additional tactics to save energy in the home by considering your light fittings or luminaires.
- A dark lamp shade absorbs more than half the light output of a bulb before it can light up your room. Therefore save energy and money by using more light or transparent shades so the light can spill out directly.
- Being able to see the light bulb is a great way to identify the most efficient fitting.
- Fittings e.g. spotlight fittings which have a reflective inside to direct as much of the light as possible to the required direction are by far the most energy efficient.