The technology used in energy saving light bulbs is fast changing and with a number of different types available; light-emitting diode bulbs (LED), compact fluorescent lamp (CFL) and halogen, it can be difficult to know which you should opt for.

Anchor’s Energy team have written this information to explain the key differences and help you decide which type of energy saving light bulbs are the best for you.

Light bulbs – the key numbers:

  • A 100w old style, incandescent tungsten filament bulb lasts around 1000 hours.
  • A 50w halogen bulb uses half the energy of a tungsten filament bulb to output a similar level of light and lasts around 2000 hours.
  • Compact fluorescent lamp (CFL) bulbs are the traditional energy saving light bulbs you are most likely to be familiar with. They don’t need to heat a filament like halogens do, so they operate at a much lower temperature and consume 9-20w. They last around 10,000 hours.
  • Light-emitting diode (LED) light bulbs consume 3-8w of power and last around 40,000 hours.  For an average household using its lights for 6 hours per day, this equates to over 18 years.

As you can see, changing to energy saving light bulbs can hugely reduce the amount of energy you use lighting your home. This is because 85-90% of the electricity consumed by old style incandescent light bulbs is actually used to produce heat. Old style light bulbs are also less durable and need changing more frequently.

LED bulbs are often commended for their instant illumination and compatibility with dimmer switches, unlike CFL low energy bulbs.

In terms of affordability they are quite similar; CFLs cost between £2 and £10 and as the cost of LED light bulbs has come down in price in recent years, they can now cost between £4 and £10.

For more energy saving tips, read our on energy efficiency guide.