Moving to low energy lighting at home

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.


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