This guest blog comes from Mason Cole, MA Politics and Contemporary History student and Sustainability Champion Assistant (SCA), supporting the King’s Energy Team.
Okay, this story was run a few days ago so it’s technically not breaking news.
You may remember our article about lightbulbs, namely incandescent, halogen, fluorescent and light-emitting diode (LED) bulbs. Last week, as part of a series of climate change plans, the UK government announced that halogen bulbs will be banned in the UK from September, and fluorescent lights will follow shortly thereafter. This new ban builds upon EU-wide rules in 2018 banning old-fashioned incandescent lightbulbs.
Why are they being banned?
While halogen bulbs are one of the cheaper options on the market, costing on average £2, they do not compare favourably to other market alternatives in terms of energy. A halogen bulb uses 70W to produce 1600 lumens. That is 30W less than traditional bulbs, but around 6 times the energy usage of LEDs. Further, they have an average lifespan of just two years, so you can imagine the amount of waste generated.
Overall, halogens are no longer the most energy-efficient bulb on the market and this change will go towards helping the UK achieve its environmental goals. In fact, according to Department for Business, Energy and Industrial strategy, this move will cut 1.26 million tonnes of carbon emissions a year – equivalent to removing half a million cars from the UK’s roads.
What about Compact fluorescent lamps (CFL)?
CFL lighting will also be phased out in the new plans, by September 2023. While these were heralded for their energy efficiency when they were first introduced on the market (they are more energy-efficient than halogens, using just 25W for 1600 lumens), LEDs quickly swept in and took their place as most energy-efficient lightbulbs.
Keep an eye out when you return to the office as the CFL strip lighting may just have been replaced. Can you notice the difference?
How does this affect me?
The ban refers to the sale of the bulbs, not the owning of them – so don’t worry, your kitchen spotlights will not suddenly become illegal. Overall, the shift away from traditional lightbulbs will also save households across the UK money on their energy bills.
What is the alternative?
Our preferred alternative, and seemingly that of the UK Government, are LEDs. They use just 16W of energy to produce 1600 lumens, while they have a life span of 20+ years. Therefore, although the initial cost of LEDs can be high, they tend to save between £45 and £75 in energy over ten years. And if you’re saving money, using less energy and producing less waste, we at King’s Energy are happy.
As always, if you have any further questions or want to get involved with King’s Energy, get in touch!