Category Archives: Environment

Regulations & information relating to the environmental impact of lighting.


Keep your school energy efficient with Easy Light Bulbs


When you’re ordering light bulbs for your school, you’ll probably try to find an option that promises great energy and cost savings. Easy Light Bulbs knows that responsible schools are currently trying to cut back on their energy consumption in order to lower costs, help the environment and demonstrate proper energy efficiency practices to the students themselves. We stock a great range of energy efficient lighting solutions, so that your school can accomplish those goals irrespective of the size of its budget.

If the school requires bulbs that come with both a low upfront cost and the promise of reduced energy bills, then you should consider our energy saving light bulbs. According to reports made by the Energy Saving Trust, these bulbs use as much as 80 percent less electricity than a conventional light bulb, while producing just as much light. We carry a comprehensive range to fulfil all needs, including candle, globe and spiral shaped bulbs, as well as strip lights.

Alternatively, you could invest in some of our halogen bulbs. These come at a slightly higher cost, but their longevity and energy saving credentials offer long-term affordability. Some schools have reported that the pure white light that halogen bulbs emit has a number of advantages in the classroom. The brightness reduces eyestrain, so children won’t become as tired during reading and writing exercises, while it’s also great for display lighting as colours appear more vibrant, perfect for showing off art projects or illuminating graphs and illustrations.

However, for the most reliable, long-lasting and energy efficient bulbs, LED technology can’t be beaten. Although more expensive than other options, these bulbs consume far less electricity and can last for up to 25 years! They also produce less heat than halogen lights and can be more easily arranged in various patterns. Feel free to check out our range of LED bulbs, strip lights, tubes and panels.

Of course, you might be teaching children about how lighting has changed over the years. Kids love examples, so if you want to show them how far lighting technology has come, try adding one of our antique filament bulbs to your main order. These have been created in Victorian and Art Nouveau styles and have been used in museums and restoration projects – a great way to bring history into the classroom.

Look no further than Easy Light Bulbs if you need to need to order more lighting supplies for the school year.

What are the UK’s electricity using habits?

The Energy Saving Trust’s report Powering The Nation is an unprecedented in-depth look at the UK’s electricity consumption and provides some of the richest information on lighting usage to date. Domestic energy use in the UK is currently responsible for a quarter of the nation’s CO2 carbon emissions and such reports are vital if we are to achieve the Government’s target of a 34% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2020 and 80% by 2050.

As part of the study The Energy Saving Trust surveyed 251 owner occupied households in the UK from 2010 to 2011. Twenty-six homes were monitored for a year and the other 225 for one month each on a rolling basis. The study was mindful to use a representative demographic and households spread nationwide.

The study observed households on a room by room basis in order to produce a targeted breakdown of electrical consumption. The table below splits households into six sectors taking into consideration both room use and product function. The living room tops the table with an average running cost of £70-£300, primarily for entertainment purposes. The kitchen was not far behind with a high running cost at an average of £150-£185. Although lighting electrical usage clocked in with one of the lowest top ended ranges of £84, it has one of the highest bottom end ranges at £60. This shows, as expected, that everyone relies on lighting in the home and unlike entertainment costs of the living room, lighting is an essential expense rather than a lifestyle choice.

Room/Product Function Running Cost (Typical Range £)
Kitchen Cooking 150 – 185
Utility Washing and Cleaning 32 – 130
Living Room Entertainment 70 – 300
Home Office/Study Computing/Telephoning 25 – 60
Lighting Light 60 – 84
Miscellaneous General 10 – 100
Total - 347 – 859

A breakdown of room/product running costs in the home.

Household Lighting 

Lighting is a significant contributor to energy consumption in the home with an estimated 17% slice of the household electricity pie. Although the uptake of new energy saving technologies has seen a reduction in electricity use in recent years, the report highlights the vast untapped energy saving potential of UK domestic lighting. This is put into sharp focus when remembering that in 2010 the UK consumed 13% more electricity than the European average and 36% more than Germany.

Firstly, consider the type of light bulbs found in the 251 homes surveyed.

Lamp Type Average number of light sources per type of lamp technology Light sources by share of installed wattage
Incandescent 12.9 lamps 49.8%
Compact Fluorescent (CFL) 7.9 lamps 6.7%
Low Voltage Halogen 5.4 lamps 11.2%
Halogen 5.1 lamps 27.2%
Fluorescent 2.0 lamps 5%
LED 0.2 lamps 0.1%

Information based on an average of 33.6 lamps per household.

Incandescent light bulbs account for 40% of bulbs found but consume nearly half of the electricity used; and are thus the most inefficient form of lighting in the survey. Whereas CFLs make up 20% of the bulbs but only contribute 6.7% of energy use; making them a fantastic low energy solution. Low voltage halogens and fluorescents also rate well in terms of efficiency but traditional halogens were found to be a high consumption option with a household average of 5.1 lamps using 27.2% of electricity.

Surprisingly 0.2/33.6 of light bulbs per household were LED. The explanation for this probably lies in the fact the survey took place from 2010/11 and since then improvement in reliability and falling cost has dramatically augmented LED sales. In addition, the findings are only from a relatively small sample size and anomalies diverging from the national trend, though unlikely, could occur.

From this information we can infer that in 2010/11 LEDs had failed to permeate the lighting market at a domestic level. Arguments such as high cost, limited recycling, poor colour rendering, restricted retro-fit ability and lack of consumer awareness are all valid reasons as to why this was the case. However, almost certainly if the study was to be carried out again today the LED sector would see the greatest change, particularly since the EU phase out of inefficient light bulbs has forced consumers to switch to low energy options.

2014-07-29 11_34_12-Powering+the+nation+report+CO332.pdf

Chart displaying electrical room lighting use in the home

Choosing the correct bulb type for a specific purpose is essential when trying to reduce lighting costs. Consider the chart above which shows the average wattage consumption per household room.

The report shows that as expected the greatest energy consumption comes from lamps in the kitchen and lounge with peak time occurring between 9pm and 11pm in the evening at a range of 130 to 200 Watts per household. The lowest wattage consumption rooms turned out to be office, store and circulation space where lights were switched off for long periods of time. Lighting continued to be used throughout the night in the majority of homes, but limitations with the study meant specific light sources were not recorded. The average electrical consumption for lighting over the year clocked in at 537kWh, the equivalent of £77 per household from a range of £60-£84. Compare this to an average estimated usage of 52kWh or £6 per year for a door bell or 166kWh or £24 for a desktop computer.

Although the report does not specify which bulbs were used in each room, clearly different bulbs have their own purpose. For example, although LEDs are generally the lowest wattage bulb type on the market, installing them in a store room which uses 40w per year on average or in a fridge light would not represent value for money. In fact, given the cost of the bulb, it would take years and years to recoup any energy saving benefits if at all. Whereas LED spot bulbs in a kitchen which consumes 249w per year are likely to yield a return through reduced electrical consumption in only a matter of months or a few years.

Although there is not a huge variation in lighting use across different household types, the use of lighting in single person households comes out slightly more than in multi-person households. There was a 33% increase in lighting spend between a single person pensioner home and a multi-person pensioner home. There was also a £5 per year increase spend between a single adult and a multi-person household with no children. Perhaps surprisingly a household with children came out with one of the lower lighting costs at 477 kWh or £69 per year.

What does this all mean for the future of lighting?

Unit cost and energy consumption are key considerations when looking to purchase an energy saving light bulb. Many people clearly still favour the traditional incandescent technology but market share of low priced energy saving alternatives is growing. The LED market is in a state of constant evolution but recent trends indicate a turn towards low energy technologies. LED is the future of lighting in those parts of the home that use lights all the time e.g. the kitchen, but until we get there there are plenty of energy saving products on the market such as CFL and halogen energy savers that can reduce energy consumption by 30-40% without compromising light output. The fact that such reports like Powering The Nation are published reflects an increased awareness of carbon issues and sustainability that can only be beneficial going forward.

As a result the National Grid estimates that electrical demand for lighting could fall by a half by 2020 from 12.5 terawatt hours down to 6 terawatt hours, even if the number of bulbs in use rises.

To view our full range of low energy light bulbs, please click here.

Other key conclusions from the report:

  • Households spend an average of £50-£86 per year on standby appliances which equates to 9-16% of domestic power.
  • Our TV watching habit is worse than feared! Instead of the assumed five hours of TV viewing per household per day this figure is likely to be nearer to six and thus an extra 10bn hours nationwide.
  • Use of appliances in single person households for lighting, cooking and washing is on average equal or higher than that of multi person households. The number of single person households increased from 7m in 2000 to 7.5m in 2010 a trend which if continued could augment energy consumption figures nationwide.
  • We run an average of 5.5 clothes washes per week, and those with tumble dryers use them to dry clothes 80% of the time.
  • ‘Two can live as cheaply as one’ when it comes to lighting electrical consumption.

The report claims that 76% of the nation ‘think about saving energy in the home’, but with increased awareness of electrical use that figure is certainly on the rise!

Our free online energy saving calculator is a great way to review your home lighting use, alternatively please call us on 01462 490066 or email we will be happy to provide energy saving advice.

Our lighting recommendations for the home are as follows:

Kitchen – LED GU10

Hall – CFL

Landing – CFL

Living Room – LED and Decorative Halogen

Bathroom – Halogen Energy Saver

Garage – Halogen Energy Saver

Utility – Halogen Energy Saver

Dining Room/Drawing Room – Decorative Halogen Energy Saver


Statistical information sourced from:

United Arab Emirates ban on inefficient light bulbs to take effect

Light Bulb BanFrom 1 July 2014 inefficient light bulbs will be banned from sale in the United Arab Emirates. The move is designed to cut carbon dioxide emissions by 940,000 tonnes, the equivalent of removing 165,000 cars from the road, and reduce energy costs by £106.8m annually.

As part of the UAE’s Indoor Lighting Standard focusing on efficiency, environmental and safety issues, the ban will target high consumption incandescent light bulbs. Imports will be further affected – all lamps will be subject to strict mercury control levels, any bulb whether it be halogen, fluorescent or LED found to exceed the mercury threshold will not be allowed to enter the country.

At present low-standard light bulbs make up 78 per cent of lamps in use in the UAE and citizens will be free to continue to use these while they last.

Incorrect lamp disposal could cost businesses up to £3m in fines

T8 TubeFrom the 1st July new guidelines directing judges to pass harsher sentences to businesses and individuals found guilty of contravening environmental laws, will come into effect.

The guidelines issued by the Sentencing Council for England and Wales, advice judges to penalise those who violate waste disposal regulations set out in the Environmental Protection Act 1990 and the Environmental Permitting (England and Wales) Regulations 2010. This includes the incorrect disposal of mercury containing fluorescent lamps and waste handling offences where pollution or harm to people’s health could occur.

Large companies who knowingly breach the law risk potential fines of up to £3m, and convicted individuals face up to three years in prison.

Nigel Harvey, Chief Executive of Recolight, said: ‘The new guidelines apply the highest offence category to hazardous chemicals. Given that waste fluorescent lamps are classified as hazardous, this means that all those collecting or transporting waste lamps should double check that they are following legal requirements. More importantly, the risks to any individuals or companies who knowingly fly tip or dispose of waste lamps inappropriately are now much higher.’

Read our safe light bulb disposal guide online here for further information and advice.

Time to go green and make do and mend

Green Lighting Banner

With rising energy prices and uncertain economic times, it has never been a better time to reduce the monthly bills by going green and adopting a ‘make do and mend’ philosophy.

The lighting industry offers a plethora of high quality and reliable low energy lighting options for customers to choose between. From LED and halogen energy savers to compact fluorescents and Halogen G9 adaptors, the range of different lighting technology is extensive and switching to energy saving bulbs could reduce your electrical consumption by up to 80%. By considering lamp life, wattage, voltage, colour temperature, shape, size and cap, customers can select the precise lighting solution to suit their requirements. For advice on choosing a certain type of light bulb, our in-depth online guides offer a comprehensive analysis of the pros and cons of each lighting type.

Before you consider switching to low energy bulbs, rightly you’ll want to know what the exact benefits are for you. So, to discover how much you could save in CO2 emissions and money by switching from your current lighting to energy saving bulbs, use our free online Energy Saving Calculator and see the potential for yourself.

As well as switching to low energy light bulbs, repairing your own appliances will not only cut your spending but it will reduce your environmental footprint. Silver Bullet Supplies is a family run company whose mantra is to help others make do and mend. Within their extensive range of over 21,000 products, one of the largest in the UK, they offer spare parts and accessories for washing machines, tumble dryers, dishwashers, vacuum cleaners, chain saws, lawnmowers and many more. Furthermore, to guarantee the highest quality products, they only supply respected brands such as Dyson, Vax, Miele and Bosch. So, next time you have a problem with an appliance, instead of heading straight to the shops and purchasing a replacement, consider the long term savings and install a spare part instead.

Switching to greener lighting and making do and mend is a great way to take control of seemingly out of control bills. To help customers, both The Lamp Company and Silver Bullet Supplies ship all orders over £12 (including VAT) free of charge and have an experienced sales teams on hand to help. Start saving today!