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September 2015
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Lighting Explained

The average household will spend around 10% of its energy budget on lighting. Switching to energy-efficient lighting is one of the fastest ways to cut your energy bills. Timers and motion sensors save you even more money by reducing the amount of time lights are on without being used and literally burning money.


You have many choices for energy-efficient lighting.

For 130 years Incandescent Lamps ruled the world but their time has come to an end and in its place there are 3 contenders.

The most popular light bulbs available now is the inexpensive halogen incandescent next in the evolution came compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs) and now we have arrived at light-emitting diodes (LEDs). Although they can initially cost more than traditional incandescent bulbs, during their lifetime they save you money, because they use up to 90% less energy.

Here is a little information on each type.



Halogen incandescent light bulbs are simply energy-efficient incandescent bulbs and can last up to three times longer than traditional incandescent light bulbs. Halogen incandescents come in a wide range of shapes and colors and can be used with dimmers.

CFLs ( Compact Fluorescent Lamp )


use about 75% less energy and last up to 10 times longer than traditional incandescents.

CFL bulbs last about 10 times longer and use about one-fourth the energy of traditional incandescent bulbs. A typical CFL can pay for itself in energy savings in less than 9 months and continue to save you money each month.

You can buy CFLs that offer the same brightness and colors as traditional incandescent bulbs. Some CFLs are encased in a cover to further diffuse the light and provide a similar shape to traditional incandescent bulbs.

CFLs contain a very small amount of mercury and require special handling if they are broken. CFLs should be recycled at the end of their lifespan. You may have heard of the Weee directive which is a goverment levvy in the UK for distributors like ourselves to dispose of such lamps.

The downside to CFL lamps has always been the warm up time as CFL lamps can take up to 60 seconds to reach full brightness.



LED –  The Modern Solution

LED bulbs offer similar light quality to traditional incandescents, last around 25 times as long, and use even less energy than CFLs. 

LED bulbs are rapidly expanding in household use. LEDs use only about 20%-25% of the energy and last up to 25 times longer than traditional incandescent bulbs. They come in a variety of colors, and some are dimmable or offer convenient features such as daylight and motion sensors.

In addition to standard screw-in bulbs, you’ll find LEDs in applications such as recessed downlights, desk lamps, kitchen undercabinet lighting, and outdoor area lights.

LED Lamps while more expensive than the others have the benefits of long life and instant 100% light output when compared to the 60 second warm up on CFL it makes the LED lamp a fantastic alternative to halogen in the home.


  • By replacing your home’s five most frequently used light fixtures or bulbs you can save £40 each year.
  • Call us on 01506 859722 or email rmelect@btconnect.com and let us know what lamps you have in your home or business and we can advise alternatives and the energy saving figures
  • When remodeling, look for recessed light fixtures or “cans” which are Fire Rated to meet modern regulations
  • When replacing incandescent bulbs from recessed light fixtures, use energy-efficient bulbs that are rated for that purpose. For example, the heat buildup in downlights will significantly shorten the life of spiral CFLs and cheaper non branded LED lamps.
  • If you are replacing lamps being used on a dimmer you will need to ensure that the new lamp is capable of being dimmed on your existing dimmer
  • Controls such as timers and photocells save electricity by turning lights off when not in use. Dimmers save electricity when used to lower light levels. Be sure to select products that are compatible with the energy-efficient bulbs you want to use.
  • A simple one here but keep your curtains or blinds open when you can making the most of natural daylight as it wont only save you money on lighting it will help your mood and well being  , we will look at S.A.D ( seasonal affective disorder ) in another blog.


Most homeowners use outdoor lighting for decoration and security. A variety of products are available from low-voltage pathway lighting to motion-detector floodlights.

LED works well indoors and outdoors because of their durability and performance in cold environments. Look for LED products such as pathway lights, step lights, and porch lights for outdoor use. You can also find solar-powered outdoor lighting.


  • Because outdoor lights are usually left on a long time, using CFLs or LEDs in these fixtures will save a lot of energy. Most bare spiral CFLs can be used in enclosed fixtures that protect them from the weather.
  • CFLs and LEDs are available as floodlights.
  • These models have been tested to withstand the rain and snow at IP65 so they can be used in exposed fixtures.
  • Outdoor lighting can usually be linked to timers and photocells for additional savings

Here is a very handy tool for calculating just how much energy and money you can save by changing your lighting. The Bell Lighting calculator is very easy to use and if you need any assistance please do not hesitate to contact us on 01506 859722 or email at rmelect@btconnect.com


Hope you found some of this useful , please follow us for more blogs and information about the Electrical Wholesale Industry.

See you soon !


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