The Ban The Bulb energy efficiency campaign is one of Dr Matt Prescott's environmental projects  | Contact BTB  
     Energy Saving Day (E-Day) | Oxford Earth Summit | Earth Summit Info | Environmental Rating Agency | "Heat" | 100 Years
                   Please contact Matt if you would like to support Ban The Bulb or next year's Energy Saving Day (E-Day) 
              A campaign to save money and help the environment by using energy efficient light bulbs

Monday, February 06, 2006

Suppliers of cheap CFLs
Ban The Bulb hopes that readers will find it useful to know that Light Bulbs Direct offer a wide range of CFLs for 99p each, that Asda stores offer Philips Genie bulbs for 47p each, and that Morrisons have recently had a 99p BOGOF deal. (Andrew)

ScrewFix have a very impressive range of energy saving bulbs, designed to fit many different light fittings and all budgets. (Derek)

B&Q currently offer a pack containing two 20w plus four 11w fluorescent bulbs (spiral design) for £8. (Simon)

IKEA have a good range of bulbs, sold in pairs, which are available for £5.99. IKEA will also take back your old light bulbs, so that the trace amounts of mercury in them (4mg per bulb) can be disposed of responsibly. (Joan + Nick).

Most CFLs are not designed to be used with dimmer switches. Special adaptors are available for larger bulbs and General Electric make Soft White dimmables which are available in the US but not the EU. LEDs might be the best bet if this issue affects you...

It has been projected that 10-watt Light Emitting Diodes units will soon be available with efficiencies of 60 lumens per watt. These devices will produce about as much light as a common 50-watt incandescent bulb, and will facilitate the use of LEDs for general illumination. At present, LED Online offer lights from £6.49 to £20.99. (John)

LEDs use 90% less electricity than traditional light bulbs, but are not quite ready to revolutionise domestic lighting in the way that they have already revolutionised traffic lights. At present, LEDs are most suitable as "night lights" or as replacements for halogen spot lights.

If you sign up to London Energy Green Tariff you get two energy saving bulbs for free. (Jessica)

Kennet district council can have two free low-energy light bulbs if local residents fill out one of their home energy checks. (Peter)

BTB has been told by a lighting expert at the UK's Building Research Establish that the mercury emitted by a coal-fired power station whilst illuminating an incandescent light bulb is likely to exceed the amount of mercury inside a CFL. CFLs have the distinct advantage that they can be disposed of safely.

I am also looking into the comparative levels of embodied energy in CFL and incandescent light bulbs. For the time being, I will point out that, over its lifetime, each CFL is likely to replace 6-7 incandescent bulbs, and that this comparison is not as simple as it may appear. The relevant facts and figures are proving rather difficult to obtain, but I will post more on this issue as soon as possible.

Please get in touch if you know of any suppliers who can match or beat the above offers.

My thanks to the readers who have provided this information.

This campaign does not endorse any company or guarantee availability.

Further reading:

DEFRA - Market Transformation Programme
> Domestic Lighting reports
> Variation of the Rate of VAT on Lamps

Oxford University - Environmental Change Istitue
> 40% House report