Switch to LED’s or CFL’s
You can get LED’s bright enough to replace halogen spotlights, as well as regular low energy bulbs (compact fluorescent lamps or CFL’s). According to the Energy Saving Trust, the average household can replace all their remaining old fashioned bulbs with low energy bulbs for a cost of about £100 and save about £35 a year on bills.
Turn off lights
This may seem obvious, but the Energy Savings Trust tells us we can save around £15 a year on our energy bills by switching off lights when not in use. If you switch a light off for just a few seconds, you will save more energy than it takes for the light to start up again, regardless of the type of light.
There are a number of myths about low energy bulbs which originated with the earliest bulbs on the market:
- A good quality eco-bulb labelled ‘Warm White’ will give you a pleasant warm yellow light. You don’t have to put up with a ‘cold’ tinge anymore;
- CFLs do contain mercury, but so do tins of tuna – the fish having absorbed sea water pollution caused by coal-fired power stations. According to research, if on breaking a bulb you immediately air out the space for 15 minutes and clear up carefully with a brush – never a vacuum, your mercury exposure will be the same as if you ate a single flake of tuna! Even if you were trapped in a confined space with the broken bulb, you’d only be exposed to the same amount of mercury as you’ll find in an average tin of tuna.
- You can use certain low energy bulbs with dimmer switches. These are more expensive and less efficient than standard low energy bulbs.
- Eco-bulbs can be re-cycled. Your local recycling centre will accept all eco-bulbs for recycling.
Want to find out more?
Some useful information on the EU ban on incandescent and halogen light bulbs may be found in this article, written by a local supplier.