Sunday, April 09, 2017

A lightbulb moment ...

Eleven years today I blogged here about the lower electricity costs and environmental benefits of using Low-Energy Lightbulbs.

In the past fortnight I have replaced most of the surviving second-generation low-energy lightbulbs in the house dating back to that time with LED bulbs which require even less energy.

If the earlier low-energy bulbs were a double win - they helped the environment by using less electricity and your own finances for the same reason and because they last longer - there are now LED bulbs available which are a triple win.

They use even less energy for the same notional light output, they also last vastly longer than the old standard bulbs used to, and they don't take any time to produce the full amount of light, while some of the earlier generations of low energy bulbs took a while to "warm up."

I see that some shops are trying to sell off their stock of older light bulbs at bargain prices - in one of two cases even making an advantage of the "last chance to buy" varieties of lightbulb which it is no longer legal to manufacture or no longer legal to import.

Unless it is for a light which is hardly ever turned on, buying these older bulbs at bargain rates is an extreme example of being "penny-wise, pound foolish." The previous generation of low-energy bulbs used about a quarter of the energy for a similar amount of light: LED lights use between 15% and 10% of the amount of energy. No matter how cheap an old-style bulb is, you don't have to leave it switched on for very long before it costs you far more in electricity than you saved buying it,


Jim said...

when I bought my house on Mirehouse, I acually replaced a lot (but not all) of the 2nd generation low energy bulbs for first generation ones.

now thats not a case of being penny wise or pound wise or anything, its a case of "the 2nd generation bulbs are insufficient for my needs" - meaning they took an age to warm up, and when they did, provided the 'wrong type of light'. I know 'the wrong type of light' can sound daft, but its very true.

In other words, its not about being penny or pound wise, its about, "this is the price of what you want. do you want to buy it? - my answer then was yes.

Since then, and whilst still at Mirehouse I replaced all of them everywhere with LEDs. As these do provide the light i wanted, and are cheaper to run.

when i bought this new house (this is good) in every room there was nothing but a rose, a wire and a second gen bulb. so for 3 weeks solid i done pretty much nothing but replace lights (not just bulbs) all over this house. There has not been a bulb in the house since a month after i moved here in June 14.

I guess the real point I am making is not about how you should do this because it will save you money, its about being wise enough to GET WHAT YOU WANT, at the cheaper price.

Why buy a 12oz ribeye steak, when a rump steak in this restaurant is £4 cheaper?
- Erm, Coz i want a ribeye

Chris Whiteside said...

Obviously you have to look at the capabilities of the lights concerned and yes, there will be occasions when a more power-hungry or otherwise expensive light is necessary to provide the light you need.

It did irritate me that cheap power-guzzler lights were, and are, being wrongly represented as a bargain, and I wouldn't need to be an economist to know that this is nonsense. That was the point I was making about penny wise and pound foolish.

I do appreciate what you mean about the wrong kind of light. One of the things I like about LED bulbs is that they appear to provide more effective illumination for the same nominal Lumen measure. I think that's another way of saying they provide more of the right kind of light.

Sounds like we agree about LED lights being preferable to the earlier brands of low-energy bulb anyway.

Jim said...

yeah too right. I would recommend anyone swiches from bulbs to LEDs, they are great.

Jim said...

i even swiched the bulbs in the cooker hood extractor for LED ones, there are 2 of them, the old ones were 40W, the new LED ones are 3W.

its a double win, far cheaper to run and I now get a far better view when i am burning the dinner to a crisp.

Chris Whiteside said...

LOL. Exactly!