Lowering our energy bills and reducing our impact on the environment is a major concern of many homeowners and, in recent years, has become more practical than ever. The modern household, with Internet-connected computers, high-definition televisions, electric stoves, microwaves, etc. consumes a rather large amount of electricity.
In light of all the more high-tech equipment being use in U.K. homes, it may be surprising to find that over 18% of household electricity consumption, on average, is attributable to lighting. Cutting lighting expenses is actually one of the quickest and easiest ways to save on your monthly electric bill.
Part of the reason why running your lights is so inefficient is that ordinary light bulbs, general lighting service (GLS) bulbs, utilise 100-year-old technology. In fact, only five percent of the electric power that a GLS bulb consumes ever translates into actual light emitted.
Low-energy and high-efficiency light bulbs can make you a better steward of the earth and significantly lower your annual electric expenditures simultaneously. But you may be wondering, “How much money do low energy lights actually save households each year?” While the answer to that question will depend heavily on how many lights and how many light-use hours are involved, we can still get a general idea of the potential savings.
There are numerous alternative light bulbs these days, and many of them do not even require specialised lamps and fixtures. Saving money can be as easy as changing a light bulb. The two main competitors with GLS are LED and CFL bulbs.
Light emitting diode (LED) bulbs are a little more expensive than GLS but are much more efficient. They are fairly commonly used, and easily pay for themselves several times over before they need to be replaced. LEDs often are used in spotlights to replace halogen bulbs that burn much brighter than is necessary and waste money. A single LED in a spotlight can save you as much as £30 ($46) a year. In other contexts, the savings would be more modest though still significant.
Compact fluorescent lamp (CFL) bulbs use 75% less electricity than GLS and last about 10 times as long. They are incredibly efficient, if also quite expensive. They are not as widely used as LEDs, but they sometimes replace GLS bulbs for a savings of about £3.00 ($4.60) per year.
One can combine the use of lower-energy and higher-efficiency lights with things like the following:
- Avoiding dark-colored lamp shades that absorb half the lamplight emitted
- Installing outdoor light sensors and timers
- Using light fittings with a reflective interior that boosts efficiency
- Making it a habit to never leave a room without turning off the lights
The total savings could easily amount to £100 ($150) a year. That kind of a reward will make it all worth the effort.
Getting the help of professional lighting experts can also pay dividends. Abbey Gate Lighting, for example, specialises in installing low-energy lighting systems that make the most out of high-efficiency bulbs. There are plenty of choices for both outdoor and indoor lighting, so there is no need to sacrifice the aesthetic aspect as you seek to cut down on energy waste.
Part of the reason homeowners do not take advantage of modern low energy use lights and bulbs is that they simply are unaware of the potential savings. They may not even realise that their present lighting choices are so inefficient. In reality, the total energy-cost savings are significant and relatively easy to obtain.