As part of COP27, we are looking at how to turn some of our planet pledges into planet action. 1/4 of planet pledges had something to do with home energy efiiciency. With some small changes to your home, you can make big energy savings to bring energy bills down, while saving the planet!
Rebecca is a Hart resident and has decided to share her experience with us on replacing her lightbulbs with LEDs. She lives in a four-bedroom detached home in Hook and lives at home with her two young children and partner.
Planet pledge: Replace all lightbulbs with LEDs
Cost: £120 for 20 bulbs (equivalent cost is 20p a year per bulb on a typical lifetime of 30 years)*
Estimated savings: £98.40 per year (expected to be higher next year)*
Difficulty level: Easy
What did you do?
I replaced any non-LED bulbs in my house – about 20 lightbulbs in total.
How long did it take?
It took no longer than 90 minutes to audit what we had and put in new bulbs. Plus time to go shopping.
How did you go about it?
Once I had figured out how to identify what bulbs we had, I methodically went through each room, took out the bulb and labelled it with some masking tape so I knew where it came from. It was as easy as looking at wattage written on the bulb to help identify what it was:
- Anything 11W or under, these could stay as they were already most likely LEDs.
- Anything 23W/35W (or around that) I decided was an older type of energy efficient bulb, usually halogen and I decided to replace it still.
- Anything that was 60W or 100W needed to go straight in the bin! These are incandescent bulbs and are using x 10 the amount of energy they need to be.
When it came to buying, the things to look out for were size of lightbulb (smaller candle bulb or standard bulb), fitting (bayonet or screw), watts – the LEDs have an ‘equivalent’ W, e.g. 6.5w=60W, warmth of the light and whether it needed to be dimmable or not.
Why did you do it?
I did it because it was an easy measure, that didn’t require additional expertise so I could do it myself. I moved in two years ago, so I had no idea what we had already. It was a relatively low cost change that would have immediate results. In some rooms it has improved the lighting as we no longer have to wait for the bulbs to 'warm up'!
What would you say to anyone thinking of doing the same?
Just go for it! I’ve not noticed any difference in quality or colour of light and just made sure I took the old bulbs to the shop. I ended up replacing most bulbs (many of them were large globe shapes) with a standard round bulb that came in a pack of 3. Also don’t forget all lights – your garage, wall lights etc.! And once they’re done, you probably won’t need to worry about them for about 30 years which is nice!
What’s your next planet pledge?
I really want to get a retrofit assessor to look at the house as a whole so we can make plans for upgrades in the long term although realistically I’m probably going to look at what I can do myself first such as draught proofing and loft insulation.
What else can I do to reduce my lighting bill?
- Always turn lights off when leaving a room. The quickest way to start saving is just remembering to turn lights off when you don’t need them. The typical household could save almost £20 a year just by switching off the lights as you leave the room.
- Be aware of how many lights you have on in a room. If you have the main light on, do you need the lamp on too?
- Arrange light switches so it is easy to turn them off, for example, place switches for rooms at the door.
- Use sensors or timers on external lights, so they are only on when they need to be.
- Consider using transparent shades or fittings, as a dark lampshade can absorb some of the light a bulb emits.
- Ensure that you regularly clean any lamp shades or fittings to increase the impact of the light.
Independent Lighting advice from the Energy Saving Trust: https://energysavingtrust.org.uk/advice/lighting/
Savings and costs are based on typical values from the Energy Saving Trust: https://energysavingtrust.org.uk/
The words and experience are from real local residents, however names and other details are sometimes replaced at their request.