Tuesday 13 November 2012

Seeing things in a new light

These days we all know that the old fashioned incandescent light bulbs are not a good idea, because they're inefficient.

However energy saving flourescent bulbs aren't exactly perfect - given that they contain mercury (which is a serious issue when it comes to disposal, and although they last longer than conventional light bulbs, they don't last forever and do need to be disposed of at some point). The quality of the light emitted by these light bulbs is thought to also be behind some health problems so again not ideal. Unfortunately though we're being pushed into buying fluorescent bulbs to save energy. Many countries are phasing out the use and sale of incandescent light bulbs.

So I've always been interested in trying out the LED lights (Light Emitting Diodes). These don't contain mercury and are more efficient and longer lasting than incandescent light-bulbs. The main problems with these so far have been a) high prices, b) incompatibility with conventional light fittings.Both these problems are likely to be addressed in the near future.

So I was delighted when digital media agency Spread It Fast sent me a couple of LED bulbs to review. As I noted above, LED bulbs aren't always compatible with conventional light fittings and I was disappointed that of the range of  LED bulbs available, only one was compatible with any of the light fittings in our flat and most of our light fittings can't take any of the bulbs I was offered.

 First impressions though are very positive. The bulb is expected to last for 15 years and is guaranteed for two.

  It is obviously very energy efficient, being rated A.
  It looks nice too, much more discreet than your average compact fluorescent.
As soon as you switch it on, it reaches full power, which is a great advantage over the compact fluorescents which take a while to get to full power. It gives a directional light, which is very noticeable, this is a great advantage for example in a reading lamp but could be a disadvantage in a more general purpose light.The quality of light is quite nice too, even if that isn't captured perfectly in my photo!

So if you're looking for new light bulbs, I would definitely recommend looking at LEDs at least to start with, They are coming down in price and there seems to be a greater variety of designs all the time, so that hopefully soon it will become easier to find an LED bulb for any light fitting.


Karen M said...

That's really interesting. I knew about the mercury issue, but hadn't heard about the health related issues. That's a bit scary.

Unknown said...

Definitely worth a look. Good review.

Tommaso Gervasutti said...

Shine a light. Very engaging ideas.

Allow me to comment with a bit of literature and music, with these songlyrics on John Lennon:

"Shine your light, move it on
You burned so bright
Roll on, John"

Bob Dylan

eileeninmd said...

The LED light bulbs do sound like a better way to go. I do not like the idea of having to deal with the mercury.

Carver said...

I've been interested in trying out some of the newer light bulbs. Interesting reading about these.

Annette Tait said...

always interesting to read about light bulbs! I like leds too, but do like the old indys too, and checked out the link to the dm company too, thanks Juliet

Draffin Bears said...

Hi Juliet,

Thanks for sharing the review and I will look into this.
I had heard of the mercury component and the issues when it comes to disposing the spent bulbs.

Happy week

Sallie (FullTime-Life) said...

I like that they come on to full power right away. I hate switching on a light at dim. I'll try these.