Energy-efficiency is very much a buzzword these days, and rightly so. While the technology exists to make home and businesses not only more eco-friendly but also more cost effective, many are still using outdated appliances and lighting that consume high amounts of both electricity and money.
With the recent ban on 75w bulbs coming into force this month, it is important to know the reasons they are being faded out and what effect this will have on the planet.
The Government hopes to completely phase out all incandescent light bulbs by 2012 to meet with the EU’s current climate change targets.
By replacing the old fashioned bulbs with newer more efficient bulbs it could reduce domestic energy consumption by 60 per cent which is the equivalent to saving 30 million tons of C02 pollution each year.
Why are ‘normal’ light bulbs inefficient?
Normal incandescent light bulbs work by passing electricity through a thin filament. As the electricity passes through it meets resistance, and this generates heat within the filament. This heat causes the filament inside the light bulb to glow white hot, thus providing light.
However this method is highly inefficient, due to the fact that much of the electrical input is wasted on creating a significant heat output, something unnecessary for the purpose of a light bulb. So, over the past couple of decades there have been significant moves towards creating lighting which is far more energy efficient, and these are now widely available on the market, from manufacturers such as Thorn Lighting.
As standard incandescent light bulbs are gradually phased out it is becoming necessary to upgrade to more energy efficient forms of lighting.
Types of energy-efficient light bulbs
LED lights – Unlike traditional incandescent lights, LED’s (light emitting diodes) do not use a filament to produce light. LED’s have been in use for decades in clocks, watches, electronic games, remote controls and even televisions, but it is only comparatively recently that their potential for providing homes and businesses has been realised. While incandescent bulbs waste a substantial amount of energy in the form of unnecessary heat production, LEDs produce light directly from electricity, making them a far more efficient option. Newlec’s range of super-bright LED lamps use as little as 0.8w of electricity, and because LED lights do not contain a fragile filament, they are more durable and longer lasting.
Energy-saving halogen bulbs – Halogen bulbs have a filament like conventional light bulbs, but they are smaller and produce more light at a lower energy cost. Due to a unique chemical reaction between the halogen gas contained within the bulb and the tungsten filament, a recycling process takes place which extends the lifetime of the filament inside. The latest energy-saving halogen bulbs are up to 30% more efficient than older models.
Compact fluorescent lamps – Fluorescent bulbs are at least four times more efficient than standard incandescent bulbs. Rather than utilising a filament to produce light, they rely on a series of chemical reactions within the fluorescent tube, with the end result being that the phosphor coating inside the bulb lights up.
Fluorescent lighting is the most popular form of energy saving light bulb due to its relatively low cost and high efficient rating. Thorn Lighting makes a wide range of fluorescent lighting solutions including the Arrowslim Thorn Fluorescent Batten in a variety of sizes. The Thorn Switchstart Fluorescent Batten is coated with special highly reflective paint to increase energy efficiency even further.
Upgrading to energy efficient lighting solutions can produce significant financial savings over time, as well as protecting the environment and conserving limited natural resources.