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Guide to low energy lighting

When it comes to easy ways to make your home greener and save you money, low energy lighting is a no-brainer. Whether it’s for ceiling lights, uplighters, lamps or outdoor lighting, there are lots of low energy lighting solutions available.

When it comes to easy ways to make your home greener and save you money, low energy lighting is a no-brainer. Whether it’s for ceiling lights, uplighters, lamps or outdoor lighting, there are lots of low energy lighting solutions available.

The most popular low energy lighting options are LED lighting and compact fluorescent lighting. Keep reading to find out more about what they are and why you need them.

What is low energy lighting?

Simply put, low energy lighting works using low energy bulbs that use less electricity than standard lighting solutions. You’ll most likely have seen LED or compact fluorescent lighting, which – thanks to advances in modern technology – now give excellent lighting for a fraction of the running costs.

Switching to low energy lighting in your home might involve an initial outlay for low energy bulbs, which tend to cost more than standard bulbs, but they’ll last a lot longer. That means low energy lighting options will save you money both through using less energy on a daily basis (so your electricity bills will be lower) and also not needing to be replaced so often. It’s a win-win situation.

Want to know how else you can reduce the environmental impact of your home? Check out these other green home ideas.

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Common low energy lighting solutions

If you’re looking for low energy lighting solutions in the UK, the two most popular choices you have are Light Emitting Diodes (LEDs) and Compact Fluorescent Lamps (CFLs). Both offer excellent quality, cost-effective options for most general lighting needs.

LED lighting vs compact fluorescent lighting

Low energy lighting solutionsBoth LED and CFL lighting will save you a few bob every year, especially if you replace all of your standard lighting with low energy alternatives. Here are a few points to think about if you’re trying to decide between LEDs and CFLs:

  • LEDs are generally considered to be more efficient than CFLs, and will save you more money in the long run
  • Nowadays, both LEDs and CFLs are good options for replacing bulbs for most types of household lighting
  • CFL bulbs tend to be cheaper than LED bulbs
  • CFL bulbs are what most people understand to be energy-efficient light bulbs
  • If you need a very bright single bulb to light a room, a CFL is more suitable than an LED
  • CFL bulbs usually take a small amount of time to reach full brightness

Interested in LED lighting? Find out more about prices in our guide on how much LED lights cost to run.

Low energy outdoor lighting

There are a number of low energy outdoor lighting options available so that your garden, patio, decking, paths and other outdoor spaces can benefit from energy-saving lights. You can even opt for solar-power outdoor lighting that will charge during the day using the sun’s rays, and then use the stored power to light up when it goes dark.

Low energy commercial lighting

Commercial lighting has historically been one of the worst culprits for energy-wasting, but all that is changing. Previously used incandescent or halogen light bulbs, which waste up to 95% of their electricity due to heat loss, are being replaced with low energy alternatives, like LEDs.

The EU has actually introduced regulations to phase out inefficient lighting in order to improve energy efficiency across Europe. This means that companies now have to replace their old energy-wasting bulbs with alternative low energy commercial lighting solutions.

Other low energy lighting options

If you’re ready to make the switch and replace your old inefficient light bulbs and lighting solutions, it’s good to know that you have lots of options for low energy lighting, including:

  • Low energy track lighting
  • Low energy high bay lighting
  • Low energy bathroom lighting
  • Low energy ceiling lighting
  • Low energy kitchen lighting

To find out more about exact costs, we recommend speaking to your local low energy lighting suppliers for their advice and quotes.

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Benefits of LED lighting

Standard bulb being replaced by LED light bulbHere are some of the reasons why you might want to start shopping for LED lighting for your home:

  • LEDs are the most energy-efficient bulbs on the market
  • They use 90% less energy than traditional incandescent bulbs
  • LED lights can last up to 30 years
  • There’s no delay as LEDs give out light almost instantly
  • LED lighting works well in low temperatures (unlike CFLs)


What is LED lighting?

LED lighting is a modern low energy lighting solution that was introduced to provide a more energy-efficient alternative to standard incandescent lights. LED light bulbs are generally more expensive than standard light bulbs and can cost up to £20 each for the brightest bulbs. That said, they’ll last a lot longer and will use a lot less energy – so you’ll save money in the long run.

How does LED lighting work?

LED lighting, or light-emitting diodes, produce light by using a semiconductor that emits light energy when an electrical current is passed through it. They work differently compared to standard incandescent light bulbs, which work by passing electricity through a thin wire filament.

How do compact fluorescent bulbs work?

When it comes to low energy lighting, compact fluorescent (CFL) bulbs work differently to LED lighting. Instead of using a semiconductor, CFL bulbs pass energy through mercury vapour to create UV light that glows when it’s absorbed by a phosphor coating inside the bulb.

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