14 Dec 2009

Time for LEDs

Well done Gloucestershire County Council for replacing the halogen lamps in traffic signals with low energy LEDs. This move, welcomed by Greens, will reduce carbon emissions by 600 tonnes a year, save £180,000 of tax payers’ money and reduce energy consumption by up to 74% for the 291 traffic signals.

Cartoon - apols for poor quality borrowed from 'First' magazine

Meanwhile the EU are planning to include spotlight and downlighter bulbs in those bulbs banned next year - see Sunday Telegraph a while back here - this is expected to include those traditional spotlights and some kinds of halogen downlighters used in kitchens and bathrooms.

Low energy halogen bulbs use 25 per cent less electricity than the normal varieties while energy saving compact fluorescent lamps consume up to 75 per cent less power. LEDs, as noted before on this blog, can save up to 95% in energy - infact I am trialling a couple in my kitchen at the moment - good light but slightly yellow tinge - they have come a very long way recently and provide a much greater range of lighting options than in the past - I still find it difficult to understand why not more is made of these lamps locally - am sure more folk would want to purshase them. See useful summary re compact fluourescent lamps here - indeed they have also come a long way from that dreadful lighting of the past - the sad thing is, it is usually the grotty light ones that have been given away or sold cheaply - so giving them a bad name.

Meanwhile as we know the first of the European rules aimed at phasing out traditional incandescent light bulbs has already come into force with manufacturers and retailers being banned from importing frosted incandescent bulbs and clear incandescent bulbs of 100 Watts or above. Over the next three years the regulations will be extended to ban 60W, 40W and 25W incandescent bulbs.

It is perhaps not surprising that use of energy saving lightbulbs is up 5% on last year - a house fitted with compact fluorescent lightbulbs (CFLs) is likely to save up to £37 a year, and £590 over a 10-year lifespan of bulbs fitted throughout the house. This can impact not just on those in fuel poverty and of course save emissions.


Philip Booth said...

Just got sent this comment which maybe useful:

As with many things once sales become
important, the "value" of energy saving bulbs has been overplayed.
There's a number of reasons:
1. The equivelant wattage they claim takes no a/c of;
a) the clear glass used in prev bulbs
b) the energy efficient bulbs deteriorating brightness over time
c) cheaper versions which aren't as bright as more expensive ones
d) their's a techy reason why they use slightly more power per watt than
In many cases the energy saving averages more like 25% than 80.
2. Life expectancy is calculated by a 3 hours on 20 minutes off test
routine. Once the hours are totalled, some manufacturers make
assumptions about use hours per day to convert to a life expectancy in
years, which is often not achieved.
3. Cheaper versions provide too many DOA's & infant mortalities.
4. At 25% saving they dont provide the customer comparable value.

Andrew Cotterill said...

In each of the last three years we have purchased two of the latest LED bulbs. They have gradually been improving but are still too dim. I am looking forward to bulbs being rated in something like Lumens rather than watts which is a true measure of light output. When manufactures say they are equivalent to so many watts of a halogen or tungsten bulb - they never seem to be.

We note that LED bulbs are at last appearing in standard light fittings (they are usually fittings such as GU10 etc). Sadly the ones now appearing in the shops are not as powerful as the ones you can buy on line.

See you on the 5th Jan.