A Guide to Energy-Saving Lightbulbs

24 January 2017

What is the difference between energy-saving lightbulbs and traditional lightbulbs, and how much will you save by using them? This guide has the answers.

Types of Bulb

There are two main types of energy-saving lightbulbs:

  • Compact Fluorescent Lamp (CFL) – These bulbs sometimes take a few minutes to brighten. They are four times more efficient than traditional incandescent bulbs.
  • LED – This is the most energy efficient type of bulb available. They are 90 percent more efficient than incandescent bulbs (using a business electricity price comparison), and they can last up to 25 years.

Fitting

There is a wide range of lightbulb fittings available. To make sure you get the right one, the easiest thing to do is take the existing bulb with you when you buy a new one.

The most common fittings in the UK are as follows:

  •          Bayonet - B22 and B15
  •          Screw - E14 and E27
  •          Other - GU10 and MR16

Brightness

The brightness of a lightbulb is measured in lumens. Lumens measurements have replaced watt (W) measurements. In simple terms, more lumens mean a brighter bulb.

How bright will the lightbulb be though? Here is a guide:

  • 20+ lumens – This is a similar amount of light to a 25W standard incandescent lightbulb. The watt measurement for modern bulbs with 220+ lumens is: 4W for LEDs; 6W for CFLs; and 18W for halogen.
  • 400+ lumens – This is a similar amount of light to a 40W standard incandescent lightbulb. The watt measurement for modern bulbs with 400+ lumens is: 6W for LEDs; 9W for CFLs; and 28W for halogen.
  • 700+ lumens – This is a similar amount of light to a 60W standard incandescent lightbulb. The watt measurement for modern bulbs with 700+ lumens is: 10W for LEDs; 12W for CFLs; and 42W for halogen.
  • 900+ lumens – This is a similar amount of light to a 75W standard incandescent lightbulb. The watt measurement for modern bulbs with 900+ lumens is: 13W for LEDs; 15W for CFLs; and 53W for halogen.
  • 1,300+ lumens – This is a similar amount of light to a 100W standard incandescent lightbulb. The watt measurement for modern bulbs with 1,300+ lumens is: 18W for LEDs; 20W for CFLs; and 70W for halogen.

Colour

The colour of a lightbulb is measured on the Kelvin (K) scale. The lower end of the scale (around 1,500K) gives a very warm light like that emitted by a candle. The warm and yellow light emitted by old incandescent bulbs is around 2,700K, and this is the colour that many people want in their homes.

Most businesses, however, opt for a more natural light, i.e., something that is more like daylight. This starts at around 3,000K and goes up to about 5,000K, the latter being close to the colour of light you get from the midday sun.

Shape

The wide range of shapes available determines the aesthetics of the bulb (how they look in the fitting) as well as the spread of light. The most common shapes are traditional, spiral, candle, spot, downlight, reflector, globe, and stick.

As you can see, there is a dizzying array of energy-saving lightbulbs to choose from. This means that with a little research, you can get exactly the type of bulb you want.

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