The Case For Low Energy Light Bulbs

It’s not only because of recent EU Regulations for the phasing out of traditional incandescent bulbs that we should be considering using low energy light bulbs / energy saving light bulbs / (CFLs).  Making a more positive contribution to the environment, and saving money are two good sound reasons for making the change in your home.

Low energy light bulbs are likely to use 80% less energy than traditional bulbs – they use a fifth of the wattage to produce the same amount of light. This could means that your household electricity consumption from lighting could be a quarter of the usual amount, bringing obvious savings when the electricity bill arrives e.g. between 20 and 30 low energy bulbs in your home could save you over £40 per year.The higher purchase price of these bulbs compared to incandescent bulbs is more than offset by the fact that the energy saving bulbs last ten times longer.

Polluting the atmosphere and environment with carbon (in CO2 form) and mercury is something that causes concerns with traditional incandescent bulbs. International Energy Agency figures show that over the next 25 years more than 15 tonnes of carbon could be prevented form entering the atmosphere by switching to energy saving bulbs.  These low energy light bulbs / CFLs are much more energy efficient than traditional incandescent bulbs e.g. incandescent bulbs give of 95% of their energy as heat, whereas low energy bulbs use smaller amounts of energy, the vast majority of which is given off as light.  Where mercury is concerned, traditional incandescent bulbs emit much more than energy saving bulbs, and energy saving bulbs are also easily recyclable (unlike traditional bulbs), thus reducing the risk of further environmental pollution.  In fact power plants themselves are massive mercury polluters.  It stands to reasons therefore that with low energy bulbs needing less power / energy to be produced, this will reduce mercury pollution from the power plants themselves, as well as from individual bulbs.

Despite some adverse news reports of cases of migraines and other health problems allegedly related to low energy light bulb use, the word from Defra is that they’re not a danger to the public.  Some rare skin conditions e.g. where there is extreme photosensitivity would require the use of LED lights anyway.

Art Icklewright is an author specialising in lighting and light bulbs of all kind including low energy light bulbs, energy saving light bulbs and G9 bulbs.

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