How light bulbs can help you to save energy

By Energy Company Numbers on June 21, 2015 in Help and advice

The last century has seen incredible advancements in technology and science.  Unrecognizable a hundred years later, our day to day lives involve appliances and a standard of living unheard of earlier in history.  In addition, this past decade has seen a substantial amount of growth in green and renewable energy.  As the conversation begins to shift from what we can do to what we can do better, individual households across the United Kingdom are benefiting from the technologies created.

In particular the creation of better light bulbs has made a noticeable change when it comes to energy costs for the average family.

With that being said, lets take a moment to look at light bulbs and how they can help you save energy.  In particular, we will look at what kinds of bulbs to look for, when to replace your pre-existing bulbs, and most importantly, how to dispose of these bulbs properly.

Why Energy Saving Light Bulbs and Fluorescent Tubes

It is easy to take for granted how much we rely on light bulbs.  We put them on, and for hours they light rooms for us.  Sometimes we forget to turn them off and they run for days at a time.  A light bulb by itself does not use that much electricity.  However, a light bulb is constantly using a very small amount of electricity when running.  Given the large number of light bulbs in any given home or apartment, the cost of keeping the lights on quickly becomes noticeable on a monthly bill.

Energy saving light bulbs and fluorescent tubes tackle this problem straight on by decreasing the level of energy used when light bulbs are running.  These light bulbs are efficient enough to create real differences when viewing your energy bills and comparing before and after.  Just like with normal light bulbs, it pays to only use your lights when you are in the room, and to turn them off when you leave.

Cost and Supply

Over the past decade, the cost of energy saving light bulbs and fluorescent tubes have gone down dramatically.  This is because improvements have been made in the manufacturing of energy efficient bulbs.  In addition, the supply of these bulbs have gone up dramatically, finding their way into nearly every store that sells home lighting.  Energy saving light bulbs and fluorescent tubes also come it a much wider selection of shapes and sizes then they did before.  As a result of this and their energy saving design, a growing number of people are using them in their home.  Despite this however, energy saving light bulbs will usually be more expensive then their standard counterparts.


Energy saving light bulbs and fluorescent tubes are reported to last significantly longer then a standard light bulb.  This is reflected in their design and cost.  Many homeowners in the UK find themselves purchasing a larger pack of bulbs to save through bulk.  As the older light bulbs begin to burn out, they are replaced with these new energy efficient models.  While this is the best way to get the full life out of your previous bulbs, it makes comparing energy prices from before and after a bit more of a challenge.  You may want to compare prices from when you were only running with the newer bulbs to the cost of your energy a year ago to get a more accurate estimation of the saving you have gained by switching them.

The Proper Way to Dispose of Efficient Light Bulbs

Fluorescent tubes and energy saving light bulbs make use of a great deal of materials and technology that should not always be thrown out in general household waste.  This is why the UK government, as well as companies like British Gas, suggest that you do not put these kinds of light bulbs into general waste.  Instead, they suggest that you should recycle them according to your local Household Waste Recycling center.  They will be able to direct you towards the proper way to dispose of these light bulbs.

Why do we bother with special recycling?  Well, many of these bulbs contain very small amount of mercury.  Containing just enough to cover the tip of a ballpoint pen, this mercury is an essential component that must be disposed of properly.

Where Does That Leave Us?

Energy saving light bulbs and fluorescent tubes provide a great deal of energy saving for your home.  Designed into a number of shapes and sizes, these bulbs are only becoming more popular as time goes on.  By slowly replacing your burned out light bulbs with these, you can save yourself every year on energy usage.  Just remember that it is very important that you recycle these bulbs accordingly, due to their mercury content.

About the Author

Energy Company NumbersView all posts by Energy Company Numbers
Energy Company Numbers is a telephone number directory service dedicated to helping UK consumers keep in touch with their energy suppliers.


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