Lighting accounts for 10 to 20% of the average UK household’s energy consumption. If you’re looking for ways of saving energy at home, using energy efficient light bulbs and following some simple tips could be an easy way to reduce your bill.

Traditional bulbs such as incandescent, or filament bulbs, only convert about 5% of the electricity they use into light, meaning energy is wasted. Switching to newer types of bulbs, such as CFLs, LED bulbs and halogen bulbs will help you cut your energy usage.

Typical spiral-shaped compact flourescent lamp

Compact Fluorescent Lamps (CFLs)

CFLs use about 75 to 80% less electricity than traditional light bulbs. They also last up to ten times longer and are available in a variety of shapes, sizes, and colours. They’re great for replacing home light fittings, but spotlight bulbs of this type are not widely available and are usually more expensive. If you want spotlight bulbs, LEDs are a better option.

Typical bulb-shaped LED bulb

Light Emitting Diodes (LED bulbs)

LED lights use about 20 to 25% less energy than traditional incandescent lightbulbs and last 25 times longer. LED replacements are available for most light fittings, and are particularly suited for replacing spotlights and dimmable lights. LED prices have come down over the last few years and currently offer the best value for money.

Typical bulb-shaped halogen bulb

Halogen bulbs

Energy saving halogen bulbs lower energy usage by 20 to 30%, when compared to incandescent bulbs. They’re also the cheapest energy saving bulbs available. They’re a good choice if you don’t want to spend too much on a bulb that you don’t use often. However, most halogen bulbs have a higher level of energy consumption than CFLs and LEDs. Their lifespan is much shorter too, so they may not be the best option for lights that are used frequently.

Other ways to save energy on lighting

You can also be energy efficient and save electricity at home by thinking about when you use your lights. Below are some tips on saving energy:

  • Turn off any lights you’re not using, even if it’s just for a few minutes. Make sure you still have enough lighting on stairs and hallways.
  • Keep your lampshades and bulbs clean. They give out less light if they are dirty.
  • Use lighter lampshades where possible. Darker lampshades give out less light, so you might need to use a higher watt bulb.
  • Spotlights can be more expensive to run than other lighting, so avoid leaving them on for a long time if possible.
  • Fluorescent tubes give out more light and are the safest and most efficient light in kitchens.
  • Consider how much light you need and see if you can take out one or two bulbs from a multiple light fitting. A small hallway may only need one 60 watt bulb instead of three. Make sure you turn off the light first and take care not to hurt yourself when removing the bulb.

You can also find more information below on how to save energy within your home.