Meet your new light bulb's

Buying a light bulb should be simple, so we've put together this quick guide to help you shop.

Now that the old incandescent bulbs that we were used to can no longer be manufactured, it's time to get your head around the new alternatives. There are plenty of advantages to these 'New Era' bulbs and you don't even need to change your light fittings to use them. Take a look through the options below and find out what's right for your home.

This technology was developed from splotlight bulbs and car headlamps, using a gas to produce a brighter light from less electricity.

You can adopt this technology to replace incandescent and standard halogen bulbs without the drawbacks associated with other energy saving technologies.

Pros

  • Cheapest of the 'New Era' technologies
  • Familiar warm light
  • Dimmable
  • Same look and size as traditional incandescent bulbs
  • Full brightness instantly
  • Uses 2-25% less energy than incandescent bulbs
  • Contains no harmful chemicals

Cons

  • More expensive to run than other 'New Era' technologies
  • Still inefficient (only 20% energy saving vs incandescent)
  • Short lifetime (approx 2,000 hours)
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Also known as Compact Flourescent Lamps, (CFL) this technology was government subsidised between 2009 and 2011 to encourage energy saving in UK homes.

Since the subsidy ceased, prices have risen but the benefits of the technology remain. Diall Energy saving bulbs are compact and light up quickly.

Pros

  • 80% energy saving over incandescent equivilant
  • Low running costs
  • Dimmable
  • Long lifetime - 10 x longer than incandescent bulbs (approx 10,000 hours)

Cons

  • Slightly harsher light than incandescent
  • Takes up to 2 minutes to reach 100% brightness
  • Most contain traces of mercury so require careful disposal
  • Bulbs tend to be larger than the incandescent bulbs so may not fit all light fittings
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LED is now the focus of all lighting manufacturers. The technology has existed in many forms for a long time but has only become a truly viable replacement for home lighting in the last 18 months.

Pros

  • Ultra low running costs (90% energy saving)
  • Up to 30 x longer than incandescent bulbs (up to 30,000 hours)
  • Full brightness instantly
  • No harmful materials
  • Familiar warm light
  • Dimmable options available

Cons

  • Not all equivilant wattages and shapes are available yet
  • Most expensive of the new technologies

Did you know?

Although the LED itself runs at a low temperature, the electronic circuit inside the bulb will heat up.

The heatsink is there to remove that heat; hence the bulb will still become hot to the touch.

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Lumens are used to compare the brightness of the old candescent bulbs to new technologies.

We use lumens because the wattage has previously been used as a short cut to describe brightness; whereas it's actually a measure of the energy used. These are the scales we use to show you how lumens compare to the old incandescent bulbs.

Incandescent Wattage Lumens - New era bulbs
25 249 lm
40 470 lm
60 908 lm
100 1521 lm

Directional type bulbs (GU10, GU5.3 reflector lamps etc...) also use lumens - however the scale is slightly different due to the focussed nature of their light output.

Halogen Wattage Lumens
25 217 lm
40 410 lm
60 702 lm
100 1326 lm
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