Energy-efficient lighting

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 Content Editor

Using your lighting more efficiently, both at home and at work, is easier than it sounds. A few small changes to the way you do things can result in big savings to your electricity bills and also help our environment. If you want to adopt a more energy conscious approach to life, here are a few tips to help you see the light.

Simple ways to use less lighting

Get into the habit of switching off the lights when you leave a room or pass by a room that nobody is using. This is a good practice to pass on to others around you, too.

We live in a sunny place so try to use natural light where possible during the day; if you install insulating glass windows it will allow the brightness from outside to enter your building.

When natural light isn’t an option, a great way to reduce your electricity usage is to use energy efficient lamps and bulbs. You can also decorate your walls using brighter coloured paint, which will reflect light and illuminate the room.

Energy saving light bulbs

Compact Fluorescent Lamps (CFLs)

People in the know are replacing traditional (incandescent) light bulbs with energy saving bulbs (fluorescent), which use a lot less power even though they give the same amount of light. The difference can be a saving of up to 80% when comparing 60 or 100 watts bulbs – typically used in the home – with their low-energy equivalents that only use about 9-11 watts.

The lifespan of a power saving fluorescent lamp is 8 times longer on average than a normal bulb; working for about 8,000 hours compared with a standard lamp, which usually only lasts between 750-1,000 hours. And, although they cost more to buy, this is outweighed by their longer life and huge energy saving over time. They produce less heat, too, so your AC doesn’t have to work so hard.

Light Emitting Diode Lamps (LEDs)

LED bulbs are small, durable and use very little energy. They’re being adopted more and more for use in the home, because of their extended life – they can last up to 25 times longer than traditional incandescent bulbs, and 2-3 times longer than CFLs – and the low levels of heat that they produce. Available in a variety of colours, they have lots of different applications, like desk lamps or outside lighting, and can be easily used with dimmer switches and motion sensors.

Impact on the environment

Using less power means that low energy light bulbs don’t release so much carbon dioxide into the air, making them better for our environment. However, CFLs are made using a small amount of mercury, which isn’t a problem when in use but means they must be disposed of very carefully. If possible, you should recycle your used bulbs, as it’s not ideal for them to end up in a landfill.

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