A bright idea for your pocket and the environment
The government, retailers and energy companies are working together to phase out inefficient light bulbs in accordance with regulations adopted by the European Commission.
As of 1st September 2009, the following requirements were introduced :
- Clear lamps equivalent to 100W incandescent lamps, or above, must be rated a minimum C- class under the EU energy rating labels (ratings A-G. A being the most efficient, G the least efficient)
- Non-clear (frosted/pearl) lamps must be a minimum A-class.
- Criteria regarding startup time, lamp lifetime and a warm-up time of Compact Fluorescent Lamps (CFLs), non CFLs and LEDs.
In January 2010, all traditional bulbs higher than 40W were phased out. In 2011, all remaining 40W and 25W A-shape GLS (General Lighting Service) bulbs, as well as 60W GLS candles and golf balls, were phased out.
As the phase-out of traditional bulbs progresses, you will begin to see ‘lumens’ printed on light bulb packaging.
- The wattage of a bulb actually tells you how much electricity it uses.
- Lumens is used to describe the light output of a bulb.
A traditional 60-watt bulb will consume 60 watts of electricity and provide light of around 700 lumens. An energy saving bulb might only consume 12 watts to provide the same level of light.
The light quality of energy saving bulbs can’t be directly compared with that of a clear traditional bulb, as they have to be translucent (not transparent). However, compare them to soft tone traditional bulbs, and you won’t see any difference.
Energy saving light bulbs available are:
- Compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs): these are the most common – available in stick shape, candle shape, small or medium screw and bayonet fittings. Dimmer switches require special dimming energy saving light bulbs.
- Energy saving halogen light bulbs: a good option if you have halogen lights in your home. They consume around 30% less electricity than standard halogen bulbs.
- LED lights: are progressing rapidly and can now be used to replace existing halogen.
100w bulbs waste up to 95% of energy as heat? Fit one energy saving light bulb and save on average £3 a year – change all your bulbs and save up to £45 per year.