Thursday, 30 January 2014

Laughter and lightness...

Over Christmas and early January, we had two big family get-togethers in two different locations. 

At both of them, my Dad could be found on several occasions changing light bulbs. 

"Ooh that's strange!" I exclaimed. "We've had a few light bulbs go at ours this winter - I think it's because we fitted low energy light bulbs in several light fittings when we moved in and they're all starting to go at the same time." 

Dad, a retired maths teacher and very logical thinker, disagreed. "It's winter, your lights are on more, so there's a greater likelihood of a light bulb dying." 

I think he may be right. At this time of year you will sometimes find lights blazing in empty rooms here. Tut, tut! It would be easy to blame the kids, but I have a nasty feeling that I might also be guilty.

Fortunately it's the Citizens Advice Bureau's Big Energy Saving Week this week, which is a great reminder of ways to save ourselves money on energy, and help save the planet in the process. 


Big Energy Saving Week logo

In conjunction with the Big Energy Saving week, I was sent an infographic about light bulbs to share on the blog, in particular the benefits of LED light bulbs. I hadn't got a clue about different light bulbs, so I had to do some research. I knew the old incandescent bulbs = BAD (and are now banned in the EU), and that the curly wurly and traditional low energy ones (CFLs or Compact Fluorescent Lamps) = BETTER but I didn't know anything about LED bulbs. It seems they are more energy efficient than CFLs so probably = BEST. I imagined they might be brighter too, but I don't think this is the case, yet. LEDs have been more expensive than CFLs in the past but prices are dropping and because of their longevity, there are savings to be made in the long term.

There is an excellent report at the Ethical Consumer website, if you want to go into the whole area in more detail. As ever, once you start delving deeper, there are issues about the production of light bulbs when it comes to both CFLs and LEDs ('rare earths', readily available in China, are used in LEDs) and this is well explained in the EC article. 

Due to the materials used in any light bulb, you should always make sure that you are disposing of them responsibly. (In Wiltshire you can do this at the household recycling centres where the light bulbs are then transported to Cambridgeshire for processing).

Oh, and the 'Laughter' part of the blog title? I think it's got to be one for my Dad...

How many mathematicians does it take to change a light bulb?

Three: one to change the light bulb and two to figure out what to do with the remainder... 


LEDs - do you use them? How do you rate them? Favourite light bulb joke?!

Here's the infographic. (It came courtesy of LightBulbs Direct but please note I received no incentive from them for writing this blog post (not even a teeny tiny LED light bulb) - it just piqued my curiousity, and I'm always happy to promote energy saving.)




13 comments:

  1. Would love to change my gu10 spot lights to led. I know the energy saving would be significant, but I am nervous of taking the plunge due to the cost of each bulb. Cheapest I've seen is £4 in IKEA and I would need 9! Also they are for use in the kitchen where I need bright light - it us difficult to know if the light would be bright enough

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    1. From what I've read, it's not worth replacing existing low energy lights until they've run out. I don't know about LEDs in the kitchen but interesting comments below from those who are using them successfully.

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    2. Hi,
      I experienced the same problem.
      It's very hard to find affordable LEDs. (Although, you do save money in the long run. Which do make them cheapier in my opinion). I found some online, found a great deal on I think any-lamp.com, but when you search from bulk buys or cheap LED lights you can also find a lot of great deals. Good luck! :)

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  2. We used LED's for the under cabinet lighting we just put in our kitchen. They work well for that although they were expensive. Also, we have converted our Christmas lights to LEDs. We are slowly converting our incandescent bulbs to fluorescent as they burn out, but aren't that happy with them. We are finding several of them burning out in the same amount of time as the incandescents. Also, I don't like the light from them. They're pretty harsh when I have a migraine. I'm hoping soon the LED's come down in price because I'd like to start using them more.

    I love the mathematician light bulb joke. Just corny enough to get a big chuckle out of me.

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    1. There are lot of mathematician light bulb jokes out there - some of them not very comprehensible unless you're a mathematician - I went for one I could understand!

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  3. Gosh, I never knew light bulbs could be so interesting!
    I've got LED bulbs in my kitchen, and as 'my moneysavingjourney' says above, they aren't so bright - at least not at first - they do warm / brighten up, but still not quite the same - it has to be the way to go, though..!
    I loved the joke too - there's always a logical explanation to everything :-)

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    1. Thanks for sharing your LED bulb experience and glad you enjoyed the joke!

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  4. Also, we've got born-again our Christmas lights to LEDs. We tend to are slowly changing our incandescent bulbs to fluorescent as they blow, however are not that pleased with them. we tend to are finding many of them burning move into identical quantity of your time because the incandescent.

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  5. Homebase are currently selling an LED by TCP which is a warm white GU10 fitting for £5. It is very bright and we are using it in our kitchen. We have tried plenty of LEDs over the years and thrown a few £15 LED lamps away because the light was blueish or they just weren't bright enough. But LEDs are sooo much better now and the price has really come down, so I would really recommend them now.

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    Replies
    1. Thanks Judy for sharing that information and a rediscovery of your blog!

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  6. I like this info-graphic as what is explained regarding light saving tips is best as that helps to explore more about these Energy Efficient Lights Bulbs

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  7. Saving tips is definitely true with LED, very evident when you see your next bill.

    http://www.ledwholesaleuk.co.uk/

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  8. I have read the post and the information which you have shared that is really good and useful.

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