# Advice on energy saving light bulbs

Userlevel 1
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• 20 replies

The trouble with being an OAP is I still want to talk about feet and inches, pounds and ounces etc. No good saying to me "15 cms" - not a clue how long that is. When someone says the temperature is 18 degrees C, I have to double it and add 30 to get a rough idea what that is in Fahrenheit.
It's the same with light bulbs. It's pointless telling me how many lumens it emits. I need to know if it gives off the same light as a 40, 60 or 100 watt bulb. "The lumen is the SI derived unit of luminous flux, a measure of the total quantity of visible light emitted by a source. " I've seen powerful torches advertised as "a million candles-power". Never having lit a million candles at the same time, I still have no comparison.

On perusing the bulbs in a store, I found some appeared to have an input of 40 watts and an output of 100. (This sounds good) But others have input 70 and output 90. So why would I want the second when the first seems more economical?

Our friends at Ovo directed me to an explanation web page but I couldn't understand that either. Maybe someone could print a guide that could be displayed in electrical shops that says " An old 60 watt bulb emitted...lumens, a 100 watt emitted ... lumens etc"

Anyone else have the same problem?

### 13 replies

Userlevel 7
The trouble with being an OAP is I still want to talk about feet and inches, pounds and ounces etc. No good saying to me "15 cms" - not a clue how long that is. When someone says the temperature is 18 degrees C, I have to double it and add 30 to get a rough idea what that is in Fahrenheit.
It's the same with light bulbs. It's pointless telling me how many lumens it emits. I need to know if it gives off the same light as a 40, 60 or 100 watt bulb. "The lumen is the SI derived unit of luminous flux, a measure of the total quantity of visible light emitted by a source. " I've seen powerful torches advertised as "a million candles-power". Never having lit a million candles at the same time, I still have no comparison.

On perusing the bulbs in a store, I found some appeared to have an input of 40 watts and an output of 100. (This sounds good) But others have input 70 and output 90. So why would I want the second when the first seems more economical?

Our friends at Ovo directed me to an explanation web page but I couldn't understand that either. Maybe someone could print a guide that could be displayed in electrical shops that says " An old 60 watt bulb emitted...lumens, a 100 watt emitted ... lumens etc"

Anyone else have the same problem?

Good topic, Yorick!

I’m going to leave this one for other forum users to chip in with their advice. To help everyone find it, I’ve added a few tags.

For any users out there not in the know about the OVO Answers article Yorick mentioned, here’s the link: https://www.ovoenergy.com/guides/energy-guides/energy-saving-light-bulbs.html.

Tim
Userlevel 1
When buying lightbulbs theyll generally say the watt equivalent - today we bought my nan some LED lights, they were only 4 or 5 watt, but on the bbox clearly said "70 watt equivalent", so its worth checking the box!
Userlevel 1
When buying lightbulbs they'll generally say the watt equivalent - today we bought my nan some LED lights, they were only 4 or 5 watt, but on the bbox clearly said "70 watt equivalent", so its worth checking the box!

I went into a large store with a big selection. One type was 70 watt input, "90 watt" output for £8. Another type (curly) was 40 watt input and 90 watt equivalent output for £5. So why is the "better value for running costs" cheaper? Am I misunderstanding the info?

I'm nearly 70 so after searching on Google for an answer in vain, I asked Ovo. Their blog moderators didn't know but hoped a (blog) customer might know. Can't believe Ovo have no contacts in the industry who know the answer.

Okay, I could probably ring an electrician but then so could Ovo. Or they could ring a lightbulb company.
Ovo have explained why 3 of their tariffs are 33% green and 1 is about 90%. The last one comes from a different supplier. Still difficult for me to get my head round as my electric comes through the same wires as my neighbour who's with a different supplier.

Then Ovo publish a thread asking why we find energy boring when they think it's interesting. It's like telling your doctor you get a sharp pain in your shoulder and he says "So do I. I wonder what it can be." (That was just a joke, BTW.)

So I won't bother to ask why schools who've installed solar panels are going to be heavily taxed. Definitely wouldn't get an answer.
Userlevel 1
I dont think this is something an energy supllier should have to know, but thats the point in a forum, so that other people who might know can help. I'll admit, it sounds weird but it may be that the £5 option is better value for running costs, but I'll ask my geeky husband tonight, hes sure to know!

Not sure why a school would be heavily taxed for using solar panels, unless they get a tax break for energy costs which they wouldnt get as spending less on energy bills? Where did you hear about it, as I'd be quite intersted in finding out more.

With regards to the energy plans, as i understand it the energy going into your home is tge same regardless of your energy supplier and plan. With the greener or renewable plans some suppliers have, for every kWh of energy used, they'll buy a kWh of energy from a renewable source.

Hope that helps a bit, and I'll let you know what hubby says about the lightbulbs later.
Userlevel 1
So ive spoken to my husband and hes said the number of lumens varied with each wattage of the older style bulb, so there isnt a set thing that says x lumens is equivalent to an older style 60 watt bulb etc.

The price difference could have been down to colour difference. This is where it gets more confusing, not only are there dofferent brightness and energy ratings but also different colours. Some lights are harsh white lights, some are warmer and yellower.

Hes suggested that instead of getting a halogen bulb you just go for an LED. Its not much more expensive to buy, cheaper to run and will last longer. If you go for an LED you can see on the box the rough old style watt equivalent, and youd want "warm white".
Userlevel 1
First of all, the solar panels fiasco was on a news report. Public schools with solar panels facing a business rates hike but not private schools. https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/mar/06/solar-powered-schools-bill-business-rates-rise-england-wales

I don't know my LEDs from my CFLs. I bought a CFL spiral bulb. The box said "1450 lumen - 23w = 103w" I presumed that meant the bulb radiates 1450 lumen which is equivalent to an old 100 watt bulb but only consumes 23w for this result. Was I correct?

Char P, as for your comment "I dont think this is something an energy supllier should have to know", surely this is information is useful for anyone who buys lightbulbs which includes the Ovo staff when they're at home. So it's in their interests to find out.

Anyway an Ovo staff member has sent me some links that might answer my questions but I've not checked them out yet.

As the government etc are keen on energy saving, maybe a TV science programme could explain about these terms like LED and CFL for us laymen. And LED and Plasma tvs while there at it. Or even a video on Youtube with an Ovo ad attached. As long as they simplify it so that even I can understand it. THEN energy might be interesting.

BTW, a locksmith recently explained to me why some "Yale-type" door keys are inserted points up and others points down. Yet I'd searched Google to no avail and key cutters didn't know.
Userlevel 1
Frabjous day. Calloo callay. I've found a link to a Which site which explains all about energy-saving bulbs - LED, CFL and Halogen. How they work plus all the pros and cons.

http://www.which.co.uk/reviews/light-bulbs/article/how-to-buy-the-best-light-bulb/cfl-light-bulbs-explained

My work here is done. "And it's all thanks to the Masked Man - say, where'd he go?" - "Hi ho silver... awaaaaaaay!"
If that's the case, I think solar LED lights are better alternatives to those lights. We all know that LED lights save more energy than common lights, and LED solar lights can even cut off your budget for current power because these solar lights can convert sunlight into current power directly and use it to illuminate. They use green energy. Quality solar lights are waterproof so they can last longer even for outdoor use.
Userlevel 1
The LED bulb boxes are marked with the old bulb equivalent. Avoid CFLs cuz they're old hat too.

Every bulb in my home is LED now, even the fridge light!

...but not the cooker hood (wattage too low) or the oven (cuz they melt).
Userlevel 5
Hi there, I know I'm probably way too late adding to this but there is the government Energy Saving Trust who can explain these thing in goof detail, they also offer advice on energy efficency and grants/entitlements for people who meet the criteria, they can be contacted on freephone 0300 123 1234 between 9 a.m and 8 p.m, I really hope you find this useful.

Best wishes,

Tris
Hi,i have sk6812 led strip,it's 5v ,as it has voltage drop,needs power supply both sides,how can i give power one side ，don't affect the effect.
One thing buying LED bulbs, (which are the best sort because they come on instantly and last a long time) : Get the "warm white" sort ("2700K"), as the white and cool white ones appear too harsh, especially if they're replacing incandescents.

As for brightness, I found this, which looks useful: https://www.thelightbulb.co.uk/resources/lumens_watts/
Userlevel 3
I am an OAP as well though. I still use miles, feet and inches for rough stuff, but prefer metric for anything precise like woodworking because I can do decimal in my head, but 4¾ - 1⅞ like the Americans do -- uuaaarrrgghh!

I've just finished building our new retirement home and we use LED lights throughout. No problems and really cheap to run and on the pocket in terms of electricity bills.

But think of why you choose a 15W, 40W, 60W or 100W bulb: you chose one that is a bright as you need for where you use it. Think about how you used to choose which bulb to use: you'd stick a 40W in, say, and then go "nah, not bright enough" so you'd try a 60W. You'd typically be trading off brightness with the £s on your electricity bill.

This is just the same with LED bulbs but you need a selection of 2, 5, 7 and 12W ones. Pick the "warm white" ones because they give off a similar light to the old tungsten bulbs. The main difference is that the running cost is about 8 times smaller, so this is less of an issue. Ignore anything about CFL bulbs as LED ones are already cheaper, better and longer lasting.

As to finding out which to choose, just ask Uncle Google in plain English. I typed in what LED light is the same as an old 100W bulb and the first link was this: https://www.energuide.be/en/questions-answers/which-new-generation-light-bulb-corresponds-to-my-old-bulb/205/ which has a nice table in it.

But LED lights can also change how you use lights; an example: a 2W lamp on a window cill in the hall is enough to see by without dazzling into the bedroom if you leave the door ajar. So we leave one on all night, as the cost is peanuts. This means that you can always see your way in the hallway and on the stairs, so no more tripping in the dark. We also rarely bother to turn on the hall lights as this background light is usually enough to see by.