At home

Light bulbs and lamps

Updating your lighting products can save energy and money - especially if you are still using traditional incandescent bulbs, which are widely being replaced in homes by compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs) and light emitting diode (LED) lights.

A traditional incandescent light bulb can use four times as much power as an energy efficient type.

A 15-watt CFL will provide the same amount of light as an old-style 75-watt incandescent bulb, and LED lamps can offer even larger savings.

Compact fluorescent lamps

Compact fluorescent lamps are more expensive than traditional incandescent bulbs to buy, but much cheaper to run, with each one saving you around $50 over its lifetime and lasting 10 times longer (between 8000 and 16,000 hours). CFLs are ideal where lighting is required for long periods of time, such as in living rooms or kitchens. If frequently turned on and off, such as in a bathroom, their lifespan can be somewhat reduced.

Tubular fluorescent lamps

Tubular fluorescent lamps - sometimes known as tube lights - are available as straight or circular tubes. Cheap to run, they last for 8000 to 16,000 hours, and are ideal for kitchens, garages and workshops.

Halogen lamps

Halogen lamps are a type of incandescent lighting, lasting up to 2000 hours – twice as energy efficient as traditional bulbs - though are more expensive to buy and usually require a transformer. They provide a beam of light, so several are needed to adequately light an average-sized room, making them unsuitable for general lighting but ideal for highlighting features, such as a painting on the wall. Remember to maintain a 50mm gap between recessed downlights and any bulk ceiling insulation, and a 200mm clearance between downlights and any combustible building element.

Light emitting diode lights

Light emitting diode lights are the newest form of highly efficient lighting, using up to 85 per cent less energy than traditional incandescent bulbs and halogen lamps, with a lifespan of 20,000 to 40,000 hours. As with halogen lights, LEDs provide a beam of light rather than general lighting. More expensive to buy, the initial outlay is offset by significantly cheaper running costs.

Solar lighting

Solar lighting is the most popular non-mains powered form of lighting - very useful for driveways and gardens. It runs on energy collected and stored by solar panels during daylight hours, providing up to eight hours of lighting if installed in a sunny location.

Traditional incandescent bulbs

Traditional incandescent bulbs are the most inefficient and expensive form of lighting, lasting only 1000 hours, with high running costs. Though cheaper to buy (when they can be found), they cost far more over their lifetime and are the most detrimental to the environment.

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Page last updated: 16 May 2016