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Home > Light Bulbs (Halogen, CFL & LED) > Energy Saving Light Bulbs - FAQ's

Energy Saving Light Bulbs - FAQ's

Q - Do Energy Saving Light Bulbs Save Energy?

A - Quite Simply Yes...but let's discuss in more detail:

50 watt halogen bulb compared against 11 watt CFL bulb, compared against 6 watt LED bulb.

The wattges clearly show a difference and there is no doubt that CFL & LED bulbs are considerably more efficient than halogen bulbs. Over the coming years there will be a significant movement away from Halogen bulbs (In all Varieties) to CFL and LED. It is in our opinion that the strength of the LED bulb will over-shadow the CFL (Largely due to life hours) and will become the industry standard very soon (It already is in our office and has been since 2009 - customers catch up!).

Q - Can I dim CFL's?

A -Yes - please see our dimmable CFL range by clicking here

Q - Can I dim LED Light Bulbs?

A - Yes but make sure you choose your dimmable LED wisely, our range of dimmable LED bulbs will feature on this site shortly, but in the meantime, please make sure any dimmable LED bulbs are used with the Varilight dimmable LED dimmer switches, the V-Pro range, by clicking here

kWh – The term Kilowatt-hour is a unit of energy equal to 1,000 watt-hours. This is the amount that a 1,000w devise uses in 1 hour – alternatively what a 1w devise used in 1,000 hours. Your electricity bill is counted in these units.
CFL – Often referred to as energy saving lamps, compact fluorescent lamps deficiencies in colour, power and the time it takes them to reach full output.
PIR  - Short for passive infrared. PIR sensors are electronic sensors that measure infrared light radiating from objects in their field of view. It can detect heat from objects that is undetectable from humans. PIR is one of the main technologies used for presence and absence detection. To turn lights on and off when people are or aren’t there.
CRI – Short for colour-rendering index. CRI is the ability of a light source to show the colours of objects properly. Lamps with poor colour rendering will distort some colours. The higher the CRI, on a 0-100 scale, the more accurately the lamp will show colour.
Colour temperature – Colour temperature describes whether a light source appears warm or cool – indicated by the correlated colour temperature (CCT). Lamps with a warm appearance have a CCT of 2700-3000K and are considered appropriate for domestic setting. Cooler lamps might be 4000k and are used more often in offices and retail. The higher the colour temperature, the cooler the appearance.
LUX – Lux is the unit of illuminance – a measure of how much luminous flux (in lumens) is spread over a given area (in square metres). It tells you how much light is arriving at a surface. 1lm.m2 equal 1lx. Multiply an illuminance figure in lux by an amount of time in hours and you have a measure of exposure in lux hours.


Why Should You Convert To LED? Find Out Here!

There are generally 2 reasons why you want to convert to LED.

Reason 1: you want to lower your utility bill

Reason 2: you want to reduce your maintenance on your lights and the cost associated with that

So if your main reason is #1, then you need to look at the following rules to determine if the conversion makes sense

Rule 1: How many hours do you run the lights?

This is important because if you are only running your lights an hour a day, or a few hours a week, then it may not make sense. If your lights are turned on 12 hours a night (outdoor lighting) or 24 hours a day (production facility), then you should consider LED

Rule 2: What is you cost of electricity?

The cost of electricity varies across the country. We’ve seen rates as low as 0.05 kw/h and over .25 kw/h. And what your rate is, coupled with usage, can determine whether you can prolong your conversion to LED or should be thinking of doing it right now. Anything over 0.10 kw/h, and you should seriously consider converting to LED

Rule 3: Does your utility provide rebates?

In some locations, utilities give generous rebates to convert to LED. Since you are concerned with payback (the length of time the LED savings will pay back your investment), this can be dramatically reduced by the rebate provided by the utility company.

Putting it all together

Let’s say you run a warehouse, containing 400W Metal Halide. These are on 12 hours a day, 5 days a week. You cost of electricity if 0.12 kw/h. Your utility will rebate you £60 per fixture to convert to LED. This is a perfect scenario for converting to LED. Hours of use is relatively high, as well as cost of electricity. Rebates per fixture is pretty good too! Payback can be under a year, depending on the fixture you choose.

However, if your cost is 0.05 Kw/h, you run your lights 2 hours a day and you have no rebates, then there should be a better reason to convert because if you are hoping payback is what is going to.

What are Warm White, Soft White, Cool White, and Daylight Light Bulbs?

When we only had incandescent bulbs available for most of our household lighting, we were familiar with a warm look to our lighting. When CFLs came along, we started seeing lights that appear whiter and sometimes almost blue when compared to the warmth (think “yellow”) of incandescent bulbs. These whiter or bluer colours are considered “cooler” in appearance.

The warmth or coolness of light is known as its colour temperature. This has nothing to do with actual heat from a light bulb, but only with the appearance of the light. Besides using terms like “warm white,” “cool white,” and “daylight” to describe these colour temperatures, we also rate these in kelvin, which is a temperature scale.

It’s important to note that there is no absolute consensus on what kelvin ratings equate to what colour temperature descriptions. Visit different websites and you’ll get different answers. But the following is a good general guideline to what these descriptions mean. (Also see the image at the end of this post.)

A “warm white” bulb is usually considered to be below 3000K (3000 kelvin). This is the light colour provided by an incandescent bulb (2700K) or halogen bulb (2850K). As an incandescent or halogen bulb is dimmed, it becomes even warmer — slightly orange — in appearance. It may dip to about 2200K or below. The lower the kelvin, the warmer a bulb appears.

CFLs and LEDs can also provide a “warm white” appearance, and you’ll need to choose CFLs or LEDs if you want the other colour temperatures listed below.

Bulbs that provide light at around 3000K to 3500K may be considered “white” or “soft white.”

Bulbs that provide light at around 4100K to 5000K are considered “cool white” and these start to have a slightly blue feel to them.

Bulbs that provide light at around 6500K are considered “daylight bulbs” and these have a definite blue and cool sensation to them.

Take a look at the image below and you’ll get an idea of how different lighting can affect an office setting. Choosing between these types of light bulbs is a personal decision. In a household setting, you may like one colour temperature and stick with that throughout the home; or you may choose different colour temperatures to set a different feel for each room. For instance, you may want warm bulbs in dining rooms and bedrooms, white bulbs in kitchens, and cool bulbs in utility areas like laundry rooms and workshops. Again, it’s a matter of personal taste.


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