By selectively replacing inefficient lamps with energy efficient lighting in the home or office you can reduce running costs and significantly reduce the amount of CO2 generated. But thanks to new technology you do not have to compromise on style as many more products are available that use less electricity.
The basis of lighting efficiency is calculated in lumens per watt. This figure varies between different lamp types but all the lighting listed here has energy efficient lamps that will reduce running costs and reduce your carbon footprint.
What are the energy efficient lamp types?
An incandescent lamp bulb provides 10-15 lumens per watt. There are many types of lamps that are more efficient than this and some have been around for many years. Here’s a list with the highest lumens per watt first …
120 to 180 lumens per watt - Sodium lamps
Sodium lamps have been used for a number of years in street and road lighting. The low pressure sodium lamp gives a yellow light that is monochromatic – it is very difficult to recognise a colour. High pressure sodium lamps are used in built-up areas and at junction in roads. It is slight less efficient than low pressure sodium but gives a better colour rendering allowing different colours to be recognised.
Sodium lamps have a long lamp life but you should only consider high pressure sodium lighting for floodlighting and lighting of car parks and footpaths. Low pressure sodium should not be used - anywhere
65 & 115 lumens per watt - Metal Halide lamps
Metal Halide lamps give a whiter light and can happily be used for floodlighting, garden lighting, architectural lighting and are already extensively used in retail. The lamps have improved since their introduction and now do not tend to display the pink, lilac and mauve shades as the quartz or ceramic arc tubes contain and circulate the gasses (halides) more effectively than earlier types. While metal halide lamps are now used more in architectural wall mounted uplights, projectors and wall washers users should be aware that these lamps are not dimmable so their use in domestic settings should be carefully considered. Metal halide lamps have a long lamp life (ten times longer than incandescent lamps) and provide between 65 & 115 lumens per watt. The lamps are available in different colour temperatures and coloured variants for floodlighting trees and buildings.
40-100 lumens per watt – Fluorescent lamps
Fluorescent lamps are harder to direct because of their larger size. Fluorescents are effected more by temperature and T8 fluorescent lamps perform optimally at approximately 25C and T5 lamps peak at 35C. That said they provide excellent coverage as a general lighting source and their use in offices will continue for many more years. In domestic setting house builders restricted the use of batten fluorescent to the kitchen and the utility room. But with some great new designs the fluorescent is coming out of the garage with some funky, practical and energy efficient
40 - 80 lumens per watt – Compact Fluorescent lamps (CFL’s)
Either with integral ballast (wire wound or electronic) or with a push fit base for remote gear, the compact fluorescent lamp is quite a common occurrence in domestic, retail, and commercial spaces and are being used in more where their original large shape made their use unlikely. While still not available in versions that dim easily this technology is not far away and the end result will be a lamp that looks like a GLS bulb, gives the same amount of light as a GLS bulb and dims on a rotary dimmer just like a GLS bulb.
35-58 lumens per watt - Mercury vapour lamps
Mercury vapour lamps have long life, but are not as energy efficient as metal halide and their large size makes their use in a domestic setting difficult. Mercury vapour lamps are still used in residential street lighting. Mercury vapour lamps are not as efficient as other sources giving 35-58 lumens per watt.
Lastly, LED lights sources are making some impact on the market. With lumen outputs of 150w per watt of electrical input, these low heat, low energy, light emitting diodes will change the face of lighting. But not until the low output, poorly coloured and narrow beam LED pushed onto the market are sidelined. Currently an end user would find it hard to know the difference between one cheap LED MR16 lamp retro fit of 90p and a £10.00 unit. However the difference will be seen when the lamps are switched on. A little education is required so please if you would like some assistance contact us for more information.
The Lighting Association
website gives further information regarding the phasing out of "traditional" lamps.
The Energy Saving Centre
provide tips and advice to UK consumers looking to save money and reduce their impact on the planet.