Energy efficient lighting with a fast return of investment

Energy efficiency has proved to be a cost-effective strategy without necessarily increasing energy consumption.

Energy efficiency touches many aspects of everyday life, but lighting is definitely one of the most immediate areas in which energy efficiency solution can give fast and valuable results.

Since the beginning of the Energy Conservation Programme in 2006 when sufficient historical energy consumption data was available to provide a good understanding of energy performance, it has prompted a raft of energy-saving measures, including initiatives to reduce the power consumption of lighting. Incandescent bulbs and all the others low efficient and high power consuming lamps, started to be replaced, with new energy saving lamps.

Dimmable LED MR16 10W 2700K 24 DegreeCompact fluorescent lamp (CFL), also called compact fluorescent light are maybe the first example of a reliable energy-saving alternative light. The lamps use a tube, which is curved or folded, to fit into the space of an incandescent bulb and a compact electronic ballast, in the base of the lamp. Designed to replace incandescent lamps, they are built into light holders, formerly used for incandescent lamps. Compared to general-service incandescent lamps, giving the same amount of visible light, CFLs use one-fifth to one-third of the electric power, and last eight to fifteen times longer. A CFL has a higher purchase price than an incandescent lamp, but can save over five times in electricity costs, considering the longer lifetime.

LED lamps are the other main example of an even more energy efficient light.  An LED lamp (or LED light bulb) is a solid-state lamp that uses light-emitting diodes (LEDs) as the source of light. Again LED lamps offer even longer service life and high energy efficiency than those of fluorescent and incandescent lamps, with a quicker return on initial investment in electricity savings.

Dimmable LED GU10 Lamp 6W 3000K 40 DegLED lamps can be made interchangeable with other types of lamps and can be used to replace incandescent or fluorescent lamps. LED lamps are made with bases directly interchangeable with those of incandescent bulbs.

The efficiency of LED devices continues to improve, with some chips able to emit more than 100 lumens per watt. LEDs do not emit light in all directions, but the very small dimensions of the diode allow the creation of clusters of LEDs, in the same space as a traditional incandescent lamp, obtaining a uniform light diffusion in all directions. Having a native mono direction light emission, allow LEDs to be used efficiently to build directional spotlights that can replace classic halogen lamps.

This growing interest in LED lighting is fuelling continued investment in new products for everyday lighting applications. Many manufacturers, like Philips Lighting, have continually invested in LED lighting, improving through innovation the technology and the solutions for the end user.