Energy Saving Bulbs

In an effort to be kinder to the environment, I’ve recently gone through my house and replaced all the frequently used bulbs with energy saving CFL bulbs.

It wasn’t difficult, but I did run into a few issues:

  • Many of the light fittings in my house use 60W SES fitting candle bulbs. Most shops I went to only offered 7W energy savers in that shape and fitting, which are supposedly equivalent to 40W bulbs, but in reality are probably a little less powerful (apparently multiplying an energy saving bulb’s power by four gives a more accurate equivalence – 4 x 7W = 28W. That didn’t seem like a good option if I wanted a reasonable amount of light
  • I use a 150W uplighter in my office (spare bedroom), as it gets rather dark on winter afternoons, and I need more than just one 100W bulb to keep me alert and working. No shops I went to sold a suitably powerful energy saving bulb for my uplighter
  • Some of my light fittings don’t have much clearance for bulbs, and normal energy savers are too long to fit
  • CFL bulbs don’t work with normal dimmer switches, and there were a couple of dimmers in my house


  • I found would sell me eight 11W spiral candle bulbs in an SES fitting for £16 + £1.99 delivery. I ordered a pack and I’m very impressed. The price was good, they’re almost as bright as the 60W incandescent bulbs they replaced, and they’re only a fraction larger (I haven’t had a problem fitting them anywhere)
  • BLT Direct have a massive selection of bulbs, and I found solutions to my uplighter and clearance problems here. Their 18W energy saving minispiral bulb is a great replacement for 100W bulbs in tight places. It is a little bigger than an incandescent bulb, but its much shorter than other energy savers I’ve seen. They also sell some seriously powerful energy savers – a 30W Energy Saving Spiral was the perfect solution to my uplighter problem. They even offer an 85W energy saver, should you need to light up a football stadium or similar area (they claim it’s equivalent to a normal 430W bulb)
  • I replaced one of the dimmer switches with a normal switch. Very easy to do (five minutes with a screwdriver). I wasn’t a huge fan of the dimmer switches anyway (they were already fitted when I bought my house)

I’m very pleased with results of the above changes. I’m being a little kinder to the planet, without having to change any of my light fittings, and with little sacrifice in terms of the amount of light in my house.

2 thoughts on “Energy Saving Bulbs

  1. Stephen

    (stuck at an airport at the moment so time to spare to use the internet)

    I’ve replaced almost all my downstairs bulbs with energy efficient ones, I can’t remember which site I ordered the candle bulbs and spotlights from. Might check out your links to replace the upstairs ones too. I have a daylight incandescent bulb in one room, wonder if I could replace that?

  2. Steven Post author

    The two bulbs in my office are actually daylight energy savers. BLT Direct offer the bulbs as either normal energy savers, or daylight energy savers. The only downside with BLT Direct is that their powerful bulbs are a little on the pricey side.

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