I hope you have had time to think about your energy use, especially at this time of Lent.  We have already looked at the use of insulation that can help.  Now we come to an area where a difference can be made for a only a tiny amount of effort, and it can have other benefits that will save money as well.

Why is it green?

An energy saving light bulb is upto 80% more efficient than a standard halogen bulb.  On average they last 12 times longer.  Not only are you using less electricity, but you are not having to go so often to your local (or not so local) shops to purchase new bulbs, and if you use a car, that is a further reduction in your carbon use.

The most common bulbs of this type are LED (Light-Emitting Diode), CFL (Compact Fluorescent Lamp) and HI (halogen incandescent).  There used to be a time lag between turning the switch and the light brightening up, this is no longer an issue with LED and HI, although CFLs still take a few minutes to get to maximum brightness.  They also used to be a very harsh bright light, and this has improved now with a range of colours and warmth there are dimmable bulbs and  even remote controlled coloured bulbs (although these are considerably more expensive)

What’s involved?

You only need to swap the bulbs over, the fittings are the same.  Ensuring that you use dimmable bulbs can further save energy, upto 20%.

Can you DIY?

Yes, of course!

How much does it cost?

Standard LED bulbs are available from about £2 each, although a dimmable LED will cost about double this and a remote controlled light changing bulb considerably more, about £10.  The bulbs are available in a wide variety of styles with screw, bayonet and push fittings.

Does it save money?

Yes, replacing all the bulbs in a three bed house with LEDs will save you about £35 per year, and they last longer.

Can it be done in a church?

Yes, it can.  It is simple to replace the bulbs and with the variety of fittings, including tube fittings, almost all lights can be replaced with low energy bulbs.  The new bulbs can look exactly like the old bulbs so there is no alteration to the look of the building.

Other Thoughts?

Please ensure the light is turned off before starting to change the bulbs.  If when you ‘flick the switch’ the bulb to be replaced doesn’t work, then you can’t be sure if the electricity is turned off at the fitting, so turn it off at the fuse board.  If you are replacing a standard bulb that has been on for a while, it will be hot!  A pair of strong gloves, not latex or plastic, would be useful.