Like lavatory rolls, our parents would often buy light bulbs in large quantities and store them in the cupboard, using one after the other in relatively quick succession as they fulfilled their brief purpose and then dutifully expired. The redundant bulb would be thrown into the dustbin, and another would be clicked effortlessly into its place.
We didn’t really understand in those days that energy was finite, neither did we appreciate the role we each had to play in conserving it. We took the empties back to the off licence because there was a financial incentive, but our (very heavy) litter bins were filled with tin cans, newspapers, plastics and all sorts of materials that could have been recycled rather than serving no purpose other than to take up valuable space in landfill sites.
We know better now of course. Low energy bulbs not only help us to protect the environment, but they also save us money as they last many times longer than the incandescent lighting of old.
The one objection that was sometimes heard when low energy home lighting began to establish itself was that the new bulbs were ugly and intrusive. Rather than the old pear shaped bulb that we all knew and loved these things were tubular and they hung long from the socket, often protruding some way below the lampshade. They took a bit of getting used to. Some, particularly those who were accustomed to the older shape of blub, would say they looked weird.
Today’s low energy bulb is far more sympathetic, its appearance being based as far as possible on the older form of bulb. As well as being environmentally friendly, these low energy home lighting options are safer to use, devoid of acids for producing a frosted finishing on glass covers and confining shattered glass and mercury in the event of breakage.
Where low energy alternatives do differ significantly in appearance from the traditional incandescent lamps they will often come encased in an outer cover that is specially designed to suit. Take a look at this modest but stylish lighting option that is suitable for under-shelf illumination, small closets, hallways, staircases or display units.
Typically a low energy bulb will have a lifespan of at least 10,000 and often over 15,000 hours. That is up to two years of use even if the light is left switched on for 24 hours per day, 7 days per week. Which is truly wonderful.
Image courtesy of Flickr.
The current problems in the housing market mean that many homeowners are giving up trying to move house, and deciding to extend their existing house instead. If you are one of them, you will have realised that, however big or small your extension is going to be, you are going to need an electricity supply in there. If more than one room is involved, it is likely that a major wiring upgrade will be needed.
Low Energy Fittings
In case you are tempted to try doing any of the electrical work yourself, remember that all new building work, including extensions, is subject to building regulations, which include electrical work. As well as requiring that all work should be done by a qualified electrician, another provision is that at least one room in three in a new build should have dedicated low energy light fittings installed. Dedicated low energy fittings are fittings which will only take low energy bulbs.
LED or CFL Bulbs
There are various types of low energy bulb, the two main ones being CFL, or compact fluorescent lamps, and LED bulbs. CFL bulbs are considered the better choice for rooms where plenty of light is required, as they are brighter, as well as using up to 80 per cent less power than incandescent bulbs. In addition, they never reach high temperatures.
LED lights, on the other hand, have an incredibly long lifespan — in fact, once you have installed an LED bulb there is a good chance you may never have to replace it. Many LED bulbs come in two different colour choices — warm white and cool white. Warm white bulbs give a more natural, atmospheric light, which provides a pleasant illumination for bedrooms and living rooms, while light from the cool white bulbs is whiter and crisper, for rooms like the office or kitchens where brighter light is required. However, most users feel that LED lights on their own are not really bright enough to light a whole room on their own, and are more useful for effect lighting, such as highlighting a shelf display.
Plan Out Your Requirements
If your extension is a bigger one, with several rooms, you are of course going to need extra lighting circuits, as well as additional mains power loops. At an early stage in your planning, you need to plan out the extension, in your mind or on paper, and work out where the lights are going to be. You should decide whether you want wall lights or central lighting, or both, and whether low voltage lighting is an option. An idea that is becoming popular is a separate circuit for all table and standard lamps, working from a single switch.
Although finances are tight in the current climate, remember that it is most unwise to carry out this work yourself. This is not just for safety reasons, but because under the building regulations, work done by yourself is most unlikely to receive a certificate. By all means work out your plans and ideas beforehand, but it is essential to get an electrician to put them into practice.
If your home is located in London, contact Expert Electrician, for a friendly north London electrician service at competitive rates.
Most people don’t realize that the technology behind the traditional light bulb hasn’t changed much over the years. In fact, the traditional light bulbs used in most homes today are very similar to the very first bulb made at the turn of the 19th century. With all of our other appliances and technology undergoing change and improvement, it is finally time for the light bulb to get improve.
There are two popular types of energy efficient light bulbs in the market: Compact Fluorescent Light Bulbs (CFL) and LED bulbs. Using these light bulbs in your home could make a significant difference to your carbon output.
CFL’s are the most energy efficient light bulbs. They consume about 70-80 percent less energy than other light bulbs. Because they use less energy, they last ten times as long as normal light bulbs and also minimize the amount of light bulbs you have to buy each year. Another popular and efficient type of energy saving light bulb is an LED bulb. Although it has weaker longevity than the CFL, it is a great alternative to a traditional light bulb and maximizes the use of energy.
Although the initial investment for an energy saving light bulb may be a bit more than a regular one, the cost and environmental benefits greatly outweigh the cost. Over time, you’re electricity bill will decrease providing you with much needed savings in your monthly budget. It is said that every energy efficient bulb saves you about $50. This is a great reason to encourage you to replace all the light bulbs in your home.
Some people may worry about the quality of the energy efficient light bulb but with the increasing market for this type of lighting, there are also increasing options to buy too. Light bulbs are available in all shapes and sizes. You can even get them in different colors. With the wide array of options, replacing the bulbs in your different light fixtures should be relatively simple.
To ensure that you are getting optimal results from your energy saving lighting, look for light bulbs with the ENERGY STAR symbol. These types of bulbs give you the best guarantee using ¼ of the energy as a regular light bulb. They will also last thousands of hours longer than an old one.
Choosing to replace your old light bulbs is a great way to save money and help protect the environment.
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Low energy lighting is very much the thing in the world of home lighting now, both for the environmental benefits it offers as well as the cost savings. With lighting being one of the most energy intensive functions within a domestic home, most of us are keen to find ways to use it more efficiently!
The government and industry are working together on this to phase out the old fashioned incandescent home lighting over the next few years. You’ll see these old light bulbs already starting to phase out in the shops and become replaced by energy saving versions and the good news is that the technology has greatly advanced from the earlier models of some years ago.
Modern energy saving lightbulbs are far brighter and quicker to fully light, compact in size and available in a growing range of shapes and finishes, such as colour shades and tints and lighting finishes. You’ll really notice a drop in your bills as you replace the home lighting bulbs within your home! In fact, if you fit just one of the energy-saving lightbulbs, you’ll save around £3 every year. Swap all the old lightbulbs in your home and you’ll suddenly be saving a very attractive £55 a year.
As well as the impact on your wallet, you’ll be making a real difference to the environment and helping to cut inefficient energy usage.
Where can I buy energy efficient lightbulbs from?
The low energy usage bulbs can be bought from the same places you’ve always bought bulbs from; the internet, DIY stores, specialist lighting retailers, supermarkets and even the local corner shop! You’ll find they may cost more than old-fashioned incandescent bulbs, but this is because they last longer – up to seven times longer than old-fashioned glass bulbs in fact. They are also far easier to install and dispose of without the risk of shattering glass. You may also be able to get subsidised or even free low energy lightbulbs from your utility provider, as many of them offer these bulbs under customer schemes. Look on your electricity provider’s website to find out more.
You’ll also find that these new lightbulbs are automatically built into the current range of home lighting on the market, particularly the more innovative new designed lights and models on offer. LED lights are a popular alternative to bulb styles and these are also energy friendly and provide a fantastic bright light. You can also buy energy efficient lights for outdoors, such as solar lights that run purely from the light of the sun and can be used to mark out drives, highlight water features, string around trees and patios and generally provide useful sources of illumination for outdoors without any of the cost or mains electricity usage.
With a little planning, thought and creativity, you’ll find that you can replace your home lightbulbs to brighter, safer, more modern, more energy efficient and cheaper to operate lightbulbs in one fell swoop – a great return on a very quick job!