Bright Ideas

How the Right Lighting can Save You £££

If you haven’t shopped for new light bulbs in a while, you might not be familiar with the advances that have been made in lighting technology and how they can benefit you – and your bottom line. On average, lighting accounts for 18% of household expenses, so finding the right lighting solution for your home or office can have a significant impact on your finances.

Whether you’re replacing a blown bulb or upgrading to energy efficient lighting, there are a couple of things that you need to look for in a new bulb:

  1. Efficiency
  2. Lifespan
  3. Heat output

There are also a few things you should keep in mind about different types of light bulbs in order to see savings – keep reading to discover these tips. Let’s start by taking a closer look at what you should look for in a new bulb:

1. Efficiency

The more efficient a light bulb is at generating light, the less energy it wastes and the cheaper it will be for your electric bill. Some light bulbs, such as incandescent bulbs, waste up to 90% of their energy producing heat alone!

Every type of light bulb has its strengths and weaknesses. You might be willing to compromise on efficiency for another feature, such as warmer colour temperature that can be more flattering or a softer level of brightness, but you may be surprised to find that there are greener alternatives that offer that coveted feature.

You are more likely to see significant savings with certain types of bulbs – check out this comparison from the Telegraph of four equivalent 700 lumen light bulbs:

Time

Incandescent

Halogen

CFL

LED

24 hours/day£84.15£63.12£21.04£16.83
6 hours/day£21.04£15.78£5.26£4.21

The energy-efficient nature of LEDs means you’ll use less much energy to light your space, which means lower energy bills.

2. Lifespan

There are also some key differences in the longevity of various light bulbs. Some bulb types have a significantly longer lifespan than others, which will impact the return on your investment and the cost of the bulb over time.

average rated lifetime hours lightbulb light bulbs

Picking up a light bulb with a longer lifespan means they’ll need to be replaced less often, which means more money stays in your pocket.

3. Stay Cool

The heat a light bulb produces can impact how often your air conditioner needs to run, which can drive up energy costs. For instance, LEDs produce very little heat compared to incandescents and halogens, so they don’t warm the space around them. This means your air conditioner won’t run unnecessarily and rack up high energy bills during the warmer months. While incandescent bulbs are capable of producing noticeable heat, it isn’t an efficient or cost-effective means of heating one’s home in the winter.

Decisions, Decisions

Now that you know some of the important factors that go into choosing a lighting solution that can save you money, which type of bulb should you choose? Here’s a quick overview of the most popular bulb types:

 
Incandescent
Halogen
Fluorescent & CFL
LED
On/off Tolerant
Long Lifespan
Cost-efficient, Long-term Use
Stays Cool
Range of Colour Temperatures

Incandescent

These light bulbs are popular because they produce a warm, yellowish light, but because of their energy use and inefficiency, they are in the process of being phased out, so you’ll only be able to pick them up for a little while longer. Manufacturers have developed more energy efficient incandescents over the years, but they still have the shortest lifespan and use the most energy, converting a large percentage of it into heat instead of light, which results in a higher cost overall.

Still in love with incandescents? Shop our full range.

Halogen

Halogens are a type of incandescent bulb, so they are on their way out too. They are, however, more energy efficient than standard incandescent bulbs, and the halogen gas that gives them their name makes them last longer. These bulbs can produce a lot of heat, which can be nice if you have a chilly room, but aren’t efficient when compared to an actual heater and will cost you more in air-conditioning in the warmer months.

Popular Products

Browse our full selection of halogen bulbs.

Compact Fluorescent (CFL) & Fluorescent

Fluorescent bulbs and CFLs are one of the most energy efficient options available.

These bulbs got a bad rap in the early 1990s because of their slow warm up time and cool colour, but they have made great strides over the years. Fluorescent and CFL bulbs are now available in a variety of colour temperatures and turn on much quicker, making them an attractive and efficient alternative to incandescent and halogen bulbs.

These types of bulbs are best placed in areas where they will be left on for longer than 15 minutes. Frequently turning them on and off can, in some cases, decrease the lifespan of the bulb more than simply leaving it on. However, because they convert more energy to light than either halogen or traditional incandescent bulbs and last much longer, leaving them on won’t run up your electricity costs, making them perfect for rooms you spend a lot of time in.

Popular Products

Pick out CFL bulb that suits your needs by browsing our entire selection.

Popular Products

Find your ideal shade in size in our full range of fluorescent tubes.

Light Emitting Diode (LED)

LEDs are the longest-lived and most energy-efficient lighting option. Since they can use up to 90% less electricity than traditional incandescents, they are one of the most practical purchases you can make.

While LEDs can still cost a bit more upfront than their counterparts, their cost has come down significantly and will likely continue to do so. Additionally, their technology has improved, resulting in a wider range of colour temperatures that make them more aesthetically appealing and causes them to appear near-identical to incandescents. The lowered expense combined with their long-term savings makes them the best choice for upgrading your light bulbs.

Popular Products

Choose the right LED for any room from our full selection.

Interested in learning more about light bulbs? Check out our guides, tools and resources.

Lighten your Financial Load

People have different needs and wants when it comes to lighting, and the “right” lighting for someone else might not be the right lighting for you. Some may want to hold on to their incandescents a little while longer, but with the advances in lighting technology, it’s important to remember that sacrificing pocket money for appearance is no longer necessary. You don’t have to choose between savings and aesthetics, and you will see the most savings if, the next time you have to replace your light bulbs, you pick up an LED.

For more tips on making the switch to LEDs, try our guide to phasing out incandescents.

Learn more about LEDs with our Ultimate Guide to LEDs.

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