LED lights: save energy and join the ‘revolution’
If you're keen to improve your home's energy efficiency, swapping out your traditional incandescent or halogen bulbs for super-efficient LED lights should be high on your to-do list.
A Loop survey revealed that a third of households are missing out on potential savings by not making the swap to LED's .
They cost as little as £1, are far more efficient than the alternatives - they use 90% less energy - and all you need to do is change a lightbulb!
Wasted energy makes up 30% of the average energy bill - do something about it! Get more from your smart meter with Loop.
The first important thing to know is that LED, or light-emitting diode, lighting is an evolving technology. In the past, some people have dismissed LED lights for being overly expensive or not powerful enough, but they now offer comparable or better light quality than traditional bulbs and are getting cheaper all the time.
Part of their appeal is that they’re long-lasting. Some of today’s LED light bulbs claim a lifespan of as much as 25-30 years. They’re also more durable than other bulbs, as they aren’t made of glass and don’t have a filament.
They’re also compact, easily maintained, and can focus the light in a single direction – ideal for under-cabinet kitchen lighting, for example.
Quality LED lights cost more than other types of lighting, but it’s a price worth paying. Lighting makes up 11% of a typical household's electricity bill. Don't wait until your traditional bulbs stop working, you could. Our survey discovered that 32% of households are facing higher bills by waiting for old halogen bulbs to fail before switching.
An LED’s longer lifespan means fewer need to be produced, so the emissions and pollution associated with the production and distribution are lower. Their production doesn’t involve mercury, unlike compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs), another type of energy-efficient light that pre-dates LEDs.
What about flickering?
In the past, one of the problems people have found with LED lights is that they can flicker if the electrical current doesn’t remain constant. However, this is often because they’re being used with old dimmer switches which were designed for incandescent light bulbs. There are now dimmable LED bulbs available, so opt for one of these instead.
In our survey, 30% hadn't made the swap due to LED confusion, admitting they didn't know which to choose or where to buy.
LEDs: The Options
While you should definitely swap out your traditional bulbs for LEDs, before you do, it's worth considering all the options as not all LEDs are the same. Consider if you are prepared to pay a little extra for a long lifespan and cheaper running costs. Or, whether you want the extra flexibility of being connected. Here are the options:
- The cheapest. Swapping a halogen or incandescent bulb for a simple LED replacement will provide cheaper running costs, longer life, and a fast return on investment.
- The most useful. Swapping to a connected LED (i.e. a smart bulb) is more expensive but more flexible. Being able to remotely control or schedule your lighting is a useful feature and can lead to energy saving. There's also the added utility of multi-coloured bulbs.
- The most efficient. A new generation of ultra-efficient A-Class LEDs consume 60% less energy compared to standard LED bulbs and have a longer lifespan of 50 years!
An LED ‘revolution’
LED's aren’t just used to light up homes. They’ve become standard in mobile phones, televisions, and computer monitors.
They also have some unusual uses: some fridges contain blue LED lighting as it helps fruit and vegetables stay fresher for longer, and a special type of LED lighting is even being used to disinfect germs in hospitals.
Some scientists say this is just the start and that, thanks to LED lighting, “a revolution in energy-efficient, environmentally-sound, and powerfully-flexible lighting is coming to businesses and homes”.
Tips to use your lighting efficiently
- It sounds simple, but remembering to turn your lights off when you leave a room can save you £20 a year!
- Whilst having lots of lights on in a room can create a nice ambiance, consider how many you really need.
- Make light switches easily accessible and consider investing in smart plugs to give you better flexibility.
- Try using sensors for external lights and replace any over-sensitive outdoor security lights - they could be costing you £60 a year!
- Clean lamp shades and fittings regularly to help rooms stay brighter when lights are in use.
So, if you’re considering how to cut energy use in your home – and beyond – LEDs are a good place to start.
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