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The straightforward guide to energy saving light bulbs

Posted on 27 October 2016

Upgrading to energy efficient light bulbs is a quick and easy way to reduce your carbon footprint and save money. Below, we give you all the information you need to know to make the switch and start saving money today.

Did you know, your lighting accounts for around a fifth of your home’s electricity bill? This means, if you’re trying to save money, looking at your lighting is a great place to start. With a few small changes, you can reduce your energy consumption and make some big savings.

When it comes to energy saving light bulbs, however, it can sometimes be difficult knowing where to begin. There are an increasing number of options to choose between, with different colours, shapes, levels of brightness, fittings and more for you to think about.

To help make things as simple and straightforward as possible, we’ve created the below guide, which should give you all the information you need to know about energy saving light bulbs.

How much money can I save with energy efficient lighting?

Energy efficient light bulb

Let’s get the big question out of the way first – just how much money could you save by switching to energy efficient lighting? The answer depends on a number of factors, including what type of bulbs you switch to and how many you have in your home.

Replacing a traditional bulb with a CFL (Compact Fluorescent Lamp), for example, could save you around £5 per year, or around £70 over the bulb’s lifetime.

With LEDs (Light Emitting Diodes) you can save even more - replacing all of your traditional bulbs with LEDs could save you around £35 per year. When you take into account the increased lifespan of LEDs – some can last up to 20 years – the savings soon start to add up!

Not only will switching save you money, you’ll also be reducing your carbon footprint. Switching to LEDs throughout your home could save around 120kg of carbon dioxide each year.

But aren’t energy efficient light bulbs really expensive?

This is a common misconception about energy saving light bulbs, and one that puts a lot of people off the idea of switching. It’s true that energy efficient bulbs are more expensive than traditional bulbs, but they are getting cheaper by the day.

You can now find LED bulbs for less than £5, and when you look at the money you’ll save on your electricity bill, they’ll pay for themselves in next to no time. You can now buy LED lightbulbs over at Co-operative Energy Saving.

Find out more with our 6 reasons to switch to energy efficient LED light bulbs

Which type of light bulb is right for me?

CFLs and LEDs are the two most popular type of energy efficient light bulbs, but your decision doesn’t end there.

All energy efficient light bulbs come with a lumen value, which is a measure of how bright the bulb will be. Traditionally you’d look at watts to work out how bright a bulb would be, but because energy saving bulbs use less watts than traditional ones, we have to look at the lumen value instead.

In case you’re feeling a bit confused, here’s a simple breakdown of how lumen values relate to traditional wattage levels. 

Traditional light bulb vs energy efficient light bulb

What else can I do to save energy and money?

We’ve already established how easy it is to reduce your energy consumption and save money by switching to energy efficient light bulbs, so what next? Here are 5 simple steps you can take to start saving even more energy and money.

  1. Remember to switch the lights off whenever you leave the room.
  2. Don’t have more lights on than you need.
  3. Install dimmer switches for lights in frequently used rooms.
  4. Install motion sensors for external lights.
  5. Make the most of natural light and keep your curtains and blinds open.

If you want to take things even further, check out our top tips on how to save energy and reduce your bills.

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