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With the ever growing need to save energy and the slow phasing out of incandescent lighting, we find ourselves having to find alternative lighting.

When I recently moved home I realised that the new house had a lot of lights – for example the kitchen had 6 45Watt down-lighters for the ceiling alone. That’s 270W every time you flick the light switch. So, the hunt was on to fit the new house with new lighting. I already had a number of cheap “standard” energy efficient bulbs but there were some requirements – like the kitchen – for something more specific.

First stop, I went online and equipped the kitchen and both reception rooms with Megaman bulbs. The reception rooms needed candle style bulbs, which Megaman produce. Instead of a glass surround, they have a rubbery exterior in the candle shape.

All of these, I have to say, exhibit the old issue with energy efficient lighting – they take a second or so to initially come on and then take some time to get to full brightness. Having said that, though, when coming downstairs in the morning it’s a blessing to not flick a switch and be blinded by the result 😉

Soon afterwards a bulb in the utility room blew. These are GU10 bulbs and I went to The Lamp Shed in Derby. After initially trying to sell me some LED versions at £15 each (I needed 4 in total) I bought some Bell low energy versions. Sadly, these didn’t fit into the fitting due to having a slightly different shape to the standard GU10, so I put 3 into the office, where I also needed some, and returned 1 for a refund. Sadly, the Bell ones aren’t very good. The have a very yellow light and emit a low whine.

After a tip-off from a forum, I headed to eBay where I purchased 4 Phoenix LED GU10. At £6.79 these were a lot more palatable – I purposefully went for the bright white variations as these were for the utility room. And these are really excellent – instant on and a superb output.

So, yes, some low energy bulbs take a moment to come on and then take a good few minutes to get to full brightness. But, you have to get over it – we can’t keep using energy in the way we have done in the past. If that means minor inconveniences, then it’s certainly a price worth paying. However, if you can afford to, look at the LED variations which don’t have any of the downsides, and on eBay you can get some real bargains.