Energy Saving Light Bulbs, Are They Really Worth It?


cfl energy saving bulb

Last year I took the plunge to replace all of the bulbs in my house to energy saving bulbs; this may not seem like such a radical decision as a lot of people are now using energy saving bulbs. I already had the odd CFL (Compact Fluorescent) bulb, but many of them were the traditional incandescent or halogen type. I thought to myself how much energy must these bulbs be wasting?

Lighting apparently accounts for 8% of the average households electricity bill, this may not sound like a great deal but some energy saving bulbs can save up to 80% electricity use.

This is what I had in my house:

22 Incandescent bulbs of around 60w each

10 Halogen bulbs of around 50w each

I decided that I would replace all the incandescent bulbs with 12w CFLs, but first here are few facts about CFLs that you may not have known;

  • Older CLF bulbs did take time to warm up and flickered for a few seconds before giving a constant light. However new bulb designs use rapid start circuitry and you do not notice any delay.
  • Early bulb designs gave out a harsh light due to what is called a high colour temperature, this made the light look like it had a blue tint which was perceived as cold. New CLFs now give a warmer light which you may see referred to as “Warm White” which is similar to traditional bulbs.
  • CLFs will fit almost any fitment type, they are also now much more compact than they used to be instead of being very long and poking out the top of your lamp shade (which wasn’t ideal).

I replaced 4 of the Halogen bulbs with 8w LED bulbs due to the current price of LED bulbs, this may come down in the future as CFLs did but it was no viable to replace all the halogen bulbs with LED.

The advantages of LED bulbs are;

  • The life of the bulb is between 20,000 – 50,000 hours vs 1000 for incandescent bulbs, 2000 for halogen bulbs and 8,000 for CLFs.
  • LEDs are even more energy efficient than CLFs
  • They are now even more compact than CLFs

Although I did not replace all of the halogen bulbs I did also remove 2 bulbs from the kitchen which had 4 as I thought that this room was over lit and did not need so many bulbs. People have a tendancy of over using halogen bulbs for spot lighting when they are often not needs.

All together I am very happy with the new lights in my house, the performance of them is the same as traditional bulbs so I have not had to make any sacrifices. Although it cost some money to initially replace all of the bulbs I have estimated that the pay back will be less than a year, plus as we have seen CLFs and LED bulbs last much longer than traditional incandescent bulbs. If you are thinking doing the same but can’t warrant spending so much at once then consider doing a room or two at a time or even just replace each bulb one at a time with an energy saving alternative. The most inspirational thing about energy saving bulbs is the amount of energy they will save society as a whole, this is why the government is so keen on them and why they are becoming much more common.

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