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Energy Efficient Lighting – How it works’

The installation of energy saving lighting measures is one of the simplest and cost effective methods of reducing energy bills and CO2 consumption in a home or business.

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Homeowners and business looking to access renewable energy grants such as Feed in Tariffs, and the Renewable Heat Incentive, or are looking to sell their properties, will need to look at the energy efficiency of their lighting for the Energy Performance Certificates (EPCs). An EPC level of D or above is a proven requirement of energy efficiency funding, and as such will make the resale of a property more attractive

Incandescent lamps waste 95% of the energy they consume as heat. If that wasn’t a sufficient reason to look at alternatives, the fact that the EU plans to ban GLS lamps from 2009 is going to force the issue. There is, in fact, already a huge demand for energy efficient compact fluorescent lamps (CFL) to replace incandescents, which is bringing the price down.

There are still many misconceptions about low energy lamps: people often think they take too long to light up, they can’t be dimmed or they flicker and that they are more expensive. While that may be the case with older or cheap products, good quality brands now deliver lamps that will last up to 15 times longer than conventional incandescent lamps and consume up to 80% less energy. Aesthetics are improving all the time and there are now low–energy alternatives to fit all lights with E14 and E27 type lamps.

Getting lighting right is important for the energy efficiency of a building and the well-being of its occupants. Up to 40% of a building's electricity use is accounted for by lighting, while the right level and quality of light improves the alertness and wellbeing of those living and working in it.

Ways to improve lighting include:

  • Occupancy sensors: By dimming or switching off lighting when there is nobody in a room, occupancy sensors can reduce electricity use by 30%.
  • Daylight sensors: Adjusting the artificial lighting according to the amount of natural light in a room using daylight sensors or photocells can reduce electricity use by up to 40%.
  • Maintenance plan: By regularly cleaning windows and skylights you can reduce the need for artificial light. Cleaning the fixtures that contain lamps, known as luminaires, will improve their performance.
  • Energy-saving light bulbs: Incandescent (traditional) light bulbs have now been phased out, so energy-saving bulbs are fast becoming the only choice. But there are three entirely different types to choose between - and a big difference between the best and worst performing bulbs.

Types of energy-saving light bulb

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Compact Fluorescent Lamps (CFLs) - These are the most common type of energy-saving light bulbs and are smaller versions of the familiar fluorescent lamps used in offices or car parks. They use 60%-80% less energy than incandescent bulbs, the most widely available and cheapest energy saving light bulbs. Common problems with buying this kind of bulb are that few can be used with dimmer switches and they can be slow to emit a good level of brightness.

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Halogens - These are similar to old-fashioned incandescents in having a tungsten filament - but these have halogen gas surrounding the filament, extending the bulb's lifetime. They use 20-30% less energy than incandescents, but get hot in use.

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Light-emitting diodes (LEDs) - These are the most expensive but also most efficient types, but can last for 25 to 30 years and use 90% less energy than incandescents. They are much cheaper than they used to be and can now be found for around £10.

CTS Renewables are able to provide a full on site lighting survey, followed by design, installation and savings calculations for commercial customers. Domestic customers can access a telephone advice service.


For more information of the cost and benefit on Energy Efficient Lighting Click Here or alternatively contact our office Click Here