To replace your incandescent light bulbs, there are three groups of more energy-saving alternatives:
See also: 'How to choose the appropriate light bulb?'
These lights bulbs are available in various sizes and capacities. Most of them exist in two versions:
They operate according to the principle of incandescence, but their lifespan is longer and their energy performance is better. There are two types:
This type of bulb is available with a screw base, which means that incandescent bulbs can be replaced while using less electricity and maintaining the quality of the light. In addition, the light given off can still be adjusted (dimming).
They have been around for about thirty years now. In fact, they are miniature ‘neon tubes’. Three types of these are available on the market: straight tubes folded back at the end, spiral tubes and globes (these are the most similar to incandescent bulbs).
As their name indicates, “economical” bulbs are very energy saving: they use 65 to 80% less than a conventional light bulb! Moreover, the ones found in shops are all A-class bulbs. And they last far longer (around 10,000 hours compared with 1,000 hours for an incandescent bulb). The base of these bulbs is identical to that of incandescent bulbs so they can be used to replace the older bulbs almost everywhere (except if the space available in the light fitting is really too small: be sure to check the length). N.B.: many compact fluorescent bulbs are not “dimmable” (in other words: you cannot vary the light intensity.
Finally, if they seem to take a little more time to light up, note that fast start light bulbs are now also available. However, it is best not to use these in rooms where lights are switched on and off frequently and for short periods of time.
These diodes are tiny and use up to 80 % less energy than an incandescent bulb, while they have a lifespan of tens of thousands of hours. What is more, LEDs light up instantly and are resistant to shocks and vibrations. Another advantage is that they are available in a wide range of colours.
At the moment LEDs tend to be used more for mood lighting, but thanks to their capacity they can already replace the old 60 W bulbs. They may eventually be able to replace others as their performance is improving regularly.
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