Low Energy Light Bulb

Low energy light bulb A low energy light bulb used to be very expensive, but the price has now dropped and savings can be made in both the amount of energy used and how frequently your light bulbs need to be changed.

One low energy saving light bulb could save up to £7 per year and last up to 15 times longer.

Traditional light bulbs are to be phased out by 2011 as part of government plans. The aim is to save 5 million tonnes of Carbon Dioxide by 2012.

Low energy saving light bulbs also known as Compact Fluorescent lights or CFL's.

How do low energy light bulbs work?

Low energy light bulbs are made up of fluorescent tubes, which have been shaped so that they are the same size as a standard light bulb.

The tube contains mercury and a noble gas. When the bulb is turned on, electrons collide with the mercury creating flashes of ultraviolet light. This light is then absorbed in a phosphor coating on th inside of the tube. The light is then re-emitted as visible wavelengths.

How do I know the wattage bulb required?

Low energy saving light bulbs uses between a quarter and a fifth less electricity to produce the same light.

Ordinary bulbsEnergy saving equivalent

What low energy saving light bulbs are available?

Low energy light bulbs now come in all shapes including candles, spirals, globes and stick's. Most bulbs can be replaced with an equivalent style of low energy bulb.

The fittings available are Small Edison screw (SES), Edison Screw (ES), Bayonet cap (BC), Small Bayonet Cap (SBC) and GU10 LED bulb, which are used for small spot lights.

Can low energy saving light bulbs be used with dimmer switches?

There are now some low energy light bulbs which can be used with dimmer switches. Ensure the bulb you purchase states that it works with a dimmer switch.

How can I dispose of a low energy light bulb?

Compact Fluorescent Tubes are subject to the WEEE directive (Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment). Retailers have funded collection points at some civic amenity sites. This allows some of the Mercury to be recovered safely and not added into landfill sites.

Low energy saving light bulbs contain mercury are they dangerous?

Energy saving light bulbs contain up to 5 milligrammes of mercury, this is a small amount and is unlikely to cause any harm if the bulb is broken.

This is the guidelines from DEFRA if a CFL is broken - "Vacate the room and ventilate it for at least 15 minutes. Do not use a vacuum cleaner, but clean up using rubber gloves and aim to avoid creating and inhaling airborne dust. Sweep up all particles and glass fragments and place in a plastic bag. Wipe the area with a damp cloth, then add that to the bag and seal it. Mercury is hazardous and the bag should not be disposed of in the bin.

All local councils have an obligation to make arrangements for the disposal of household hazardous waste at a civic amenity site or household waste recycling centre.

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Did you know?

Technology has moved on for the low energy light bulb, they are now available in all shapes and sizes.

They now warm up quicker and are as bright as a standard bulb.

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