Page last updated at 15 June 2015 at 14:57
Energy efficient lighting technology has improved massively over the past few years with the introduction of LED lights. Like for like replacements have been developed that represent savings in running costs of up to 95% leaving the alternatives in the shade.
If you tried early types you may have been put off by the blue hue and the associated price tag but it is time to take a fresh look. They have developed bulbs that are as good, if not better, than existing alternatives and they come in a myriad of colours for different uses.
They still cost a little more to buy but this is dropping all the time and they last a lot longer so you really have no reason not to go LED.
Real savings you can make
A common bulb found in a lot of homes is the Halogen GU10 similar to the bulb in the picture above and these are generally rated at between 35W and 50W. They are fairly cheap and cost around£1.50 but in my experience blow fairly often. The equivalent LED costs around £9 but they last a lot longer and cost much less to use.
Below is a table showing the running cost of both the Halogen and equivalent LED bulb. It indicates the cost of the LED bulb is recovered in less than a year, about 9 months, and this doesn't take into account the likelihood of the Halogen bulb needing replacement during this time.
|| Running costs for 1 year*
*The lights are assumed to be on for 6 hours a day on average and the unit cost of electricity is 12 pence.
Download a copy of the LED Cost Calculator and plug in your own values.
Choosing the right light
There are a vast array of LED lights out there and it can be a minefield to find the right one for you so before replacing them all, experiment to find the right one for you.
As a guide to comparing lights check for the following:
- Lumens. This is the light output so the higher the number the brighter the bulb will be.
- Colour Temperature. Measured in Kelvin (K) this defines the colour of the light. Around 3000K is a warm white which is considered to be similar to traditional lights. Over 4000K and the colour is a white white which is a good clear bright light but not often considered for domestic situations.
Once you decide, try one first before you invest in changing all the lights and concentrate on the lights used most, where you will make the biggest savings.
Compact Fluorescent Lights (CFL)
CFLs have had their day. They were good for a while because they represented an 80% saving in energy costs, but they had their problems, most notably the time it took to warm up to full output. With the revolution in LED lighting I would not recommend these any more.
Download our top tips for saving Electricity.
To find out more, contact Giles Gooding on 023 8068 8274, email firstname.lastname@example.org, Twitter @EcoEastleigh