Energy saving lightbulbs
With global warming being such a huge concern and with saving money on energy bills being high on most peoples' agendas, energy saving lightbulbs have become more popular. Not only are they now cheaper to buy than they were in the past, the EU are also now working to phase out the use of traditional, inefficient light bulbs, to reduce our impact on the environment, and to us save money. There are two types of inefficient light bulbs which are slowly being taken off the market; traditional incandescent lightbulbs, and halogen lightbulbs, which are the least efficient type.
There are many factors to take into consideration when you're thinking of buying new lightbulbs. This can be quite complicated with a lot of variation available on the market, which is why we have put together this short guide to help you find the right energy efficient lightbulb to suit your needs.
What fitting do you need?
Before you think about buying your energy saving lightbulbs, you'll need to understand which type of fitting you're looking for. There are hundreds of light fittings to choose from, so to ensure you don't head to the shops without this critical piece of information, we've listed the most common types of fitting which you're likely to have in your home below. The letters represent the type of fitting needed and the numbers represent the diameter of the fitting in milimeters.
What bulb shape do you want?
The shape of your bulb isn't just about looks, it also affects the way the bulb will light your room. Energy efficient light bulbs are available in a variety of different shapes and sizes. The shape of bulb you choose will affect the direction of the light, so it's important to pay attention to the type of bulb you're fitting and ensure it suits your needs. There are a huge variety of shapes available to do this, the most popular being:
A Lumen value is a measurement of how much light a bulb will give out. Low energy bulbs have a lower watt usage than traditional bulbs, so the brightness of these bulbs can't be measured by the wattage. It's important to pay attention to the Lumen value when deciding which bulb to buy, so to help understand this measurement we've created a table to see how the values of traditional light bulbs (Watts) compares to LED/CFL light bulbs (Lumens).
Incandescent light bulbs: Create electric light through heating the filament inside the bulb.
LED light bulbs: Create light using light emitting diodes. These are more environmentally friendly than incandescent light bulbs.
CFL light bulbs: A compact fluorescent light bulb is a is a fluorescent light bulb, compressed into the size of a standard-issue incandescent light bulb.
Do you want cold or warm light?
This may sound odd, but there are different shades of light, which you may want for different rooms. This is measured in terms of 'kelvin', with blueish light (similar to daylight) measuring around and above 5,000K, and warmer, orange light (similar to a candle) having a much lower number of kelvin, around 1,500K. Usually lightbulbs that are described as 'soft white' or 'warm white' produce a similar light to the traditional bulbs, and so are best for general household purposes. However, for rooms where you'd perhaps like to have a brighter light perhaps for use in the workplace, a lightbulb that is labelled as 'cool white' or 'pure white'.
Overall, there are many factors that need to be taken into consideration when choosing the right energy saving lightbulbs, whether this be the type of light, or how much light the lightbulb needs to give off. It may all sound rather complicated but you only need to learn details about the lightbulbs you're after, and hopefully this guide has made things a bit clearer for you!