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 YourWelcome.co.uk 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.