Old, inefficient incandescent GLS light bulbs have started to disappear from the shops and will be phased out completely over the next few years. Halogen spotlights will also be required to meet new energy efficiency standards by 2016, which will involve the phasing out of some types of halogen lamps. This means that lamps that you currently use may no longer be available and will need replacing with an energy efficient alternative.
Compact fluorescent lamps (CFL) and tube fluorescent lighting (TFL) are the most efficient alternatives that give the greatest savings, at around 80%. CFL’s are now available in a range of lamp types and fittings and are even available in dimmable versions.
I can’t tolerate fluorescent flicker!
For some people though swapping their traditional light bulb with any kind of fluorescent lamp is not an option due to the adverse health effects that can be experienced. The constant flicker of florescent can affect the sensory system in some individuals – some people’s sensory system can detect the flicker that others cannot. Some people also complain of headaches, migraines, eye strain and general eye discomfort from fluorescent lamps.
What are the energy efficiency alternatives other than fluorescent?
The good news is that as halogen lamps change to comply with new lighting regulations a new range of energy saver halogen lamps are becoming available to replace old phased out lamps. You can now replace your old light bulbs with equivalent halogen lamps that provide the same quality of light, and even look the same, just without the flicker.
LED lamps will save more energy than halogen lamps and provide a decent quality of light to create good ambient lighting. There is now a full range of lamps available to suit every type of light fitting. However, the lamps are more expensive compared to halogen and CFL lamps.
Colour Temperature refers to the colour variation of light (the colour of the light) and is measured in Kelvin. This scale ranges from the flame from a candle at around 1,000 K to deep blue sky at around 10,000 K. In simple terms the colour a bulb emits is red at low temperatures, blue at high temperatures and white in the middle.
For a bulb or tube to be classified as “daylight” it will have a colour temperature of between 4,000 K and 7,000 K. It is commonly accepted that a colour temperature of 6,300 K to 6,500 K gives the closest reproduction of natural sunlight. A standard tungsten bulb is around 2,700 K.
All types of lamp are available in various colour temperatures so it is always worth considering this as another option when trying to get the right lighting effect.
An illustration of two booths lit by different colour temperatures
Final energy saving tips
- Use energy efficient compact fluorescent lamps with high frequency ballasts which can help you save up to 80% electrical energy consumption for lighting.
- Only use low energy lamps marked with an energy label to ensure luminous efficacy. The energy label guarantees that the lamp can operate a long service life and illumination output is able to meet international safety standards.
- Use a timer control devices to limit unnecessary lighting in areas that are unoccupied.
- Maximise natural light whenever possible and practical.
- Ageing lamps or dirt on fixtures can reduce total illumination by up to 50%. Periodic cleaning can help increase illumination levels.
- Use the appropriate number of low wattage lamps to replace the use of high wattage lamps.
- Clean or repaint rooms with lighter colours to enhance light reflection.