Energy efficient lighting is one of the easiest ways of saving on your energy use and power bills, given around 10% of energy used in homes is from lighting. There is now plenty of choice in bulb shape, colour and dimmability, to suit different settings and aesthetic considerations. Learn more below.
Replace incandescent & halogen bulbs
Incandescent and halogen bulbs are highly inefficient and expensive to run, with very little of their energy use converted to visible light, and a lot to heat.
The Building Research Association of New Zealand (BRANZ) suggests that only lamps with an efficiency greater than 40 lumens/watt is used in homes. So all incandescent and halogen bulbs should be replaced if possible. This also reduces the fire safety risk from halogen down lights, which produce heat close to insulated ceiling areas. Not having to have gaps in the insulation around your downlights if they are efficient LEDs (which produce no heat) also means you save on leaked heat and heating costs.
Install efficient bulbs
Whilst energy efficient lights generally cost more upfront than incandescent or halogen lights, over their life the energy savings make up for that many times over. You can also expect them to last much longer, saving you getting up a ladder to replace them so often!
LED and fluorescent-style lamps are both more energy efficient and longer lasting, and are dropping in price. They also come in a wide range of styles, bulb types, colours, brightnesses, beam angles and fittings, to match your light type, surrounding decor, preferences, and the light needs of the room.
Modelling by BRANZ shows that upgraded lighting across a house when lit by CFLs (80%) and LEDs (20%) instead of incandescents (46% of the total lighting energy), halogens (42%), CFLs (10%) and fluorescents (2%) resulted in a 51% reduction in energy use as well as a 50% reduction in total costs.
Note that LEDs can be much brighter than CFLs, so you may need less lights installed. Get advice from local suppliers such as:
We know it’s obvious, but to get energy savings from efficient lights we also need to use them efficiently, turning off lights in empty rooms and when we leave somewhere. Maybe you can make your kids ‘monitors’, or give an occasional prize for the best light switcher!
If you know of other stockists/retailers/suppliers/services or all round fantastic sustainable sources please let us know so that we can include them here.