Frequently asked questions
Are compact fluorescent lights suitable for use throughout the house?
Compact fluorescent lights can replace incandescent lights in most cases. They are not recommended for enclosed light fittings, as heat can build up within the fitting.
Compact fluorescent lights are best for frequently used rooms where the lights are on for at least three hours at a time. They are great for difficult to reach fixtures as they won't need to be replaced as often.
Are halogen lights energy efficient?
Halogen lights provide a beam of light and therefore don't spread light very well. This may mean that several quartz halogen lights will be required to adequately light a room. Four halogen down lights will give the same amount of light as one 100-watt globe in the middle of a room.
Halogen lights consume additional energy because they require a transformer. They can also reduce the efficiency of ceiling insulation, as holes need to be cut in the insulation to provide a 25mm gap around each light (covering down lights with insulation creates a fire risk).
How can I save on my lighting bill?
- Replace incandescent light bulbs with compact fluorescent lights.
- Turn off lights when not required.
- Do not leave outdoor lights on all night, or during the day - use timers or sensors.
- Use the lowest wattage light needed to adequately light an area.
- Use task or special purpose lighting to supplement general lighting wherever possible.
- Keep lights and fittings clean (dusty or dirty globes and fittings can reduce light output by up to 50%).
- Avoid using down lights (a number are needed to light a room, they can also lead to heat loss through the holes in the ceiling and the insulation).
- Avoid using multiple globe fittings, as this is an inefficient form of lighting - around six 25-watt globes are required to produce the equivalent light output of a single 100-watt globe.
- Avoid having several lights activated by one switch - use separate switches for each light.
- A room with light coloured walls will appear brighter and better lit than a room with dark surfaces.
Page last updated: 27 February 2011