London Diamond Bridge
London Bridge

Many nations around the world are currently making the switch from old-fashioned incandescent and halogen bulbs to the more modern, efficient choice of LED light bulbs. In the UK, research shows that around 9 in 10 homes now purchase and use CFL or LED light bulbs, and although these statistics are relatively strong compared to the rest of the world, the UK remains behind Italy for adoption. Therefore, more should be done to explain the advantages of LED and CFL bulbs to make their adoption 10 out of 10 for the UK.

The Advantages of LEDs

The Clean Energy Act spelled the death of the incandescents back in 2012, and the roll out of the ban was supposed to take 2 years, until early 2014, where LEDs would be a viable, affordable alternative. LED bulbs have a whole host of great benefits over more traditional bulb types, the most exciting of which is their long life span.

Unlike conventional bulb types which burn up and stop working, LED bulbs remain operational for around 100,000 hours, which equates to around 11 years of continuous light on an 8 hour light operation. On top of this, LEDs are extremely energy efficient (80-90 percent) compared with incandescent bulbs. This makes them better for the environment and better for your pocket when it comes to paying the bills.

Despite this, not all UK households are buying LEDs regularly.

Global Findings

The most surprising facts about the UK adoption of LED bulbs only reveal themselves once you compare the adoption rates for regular users with those globally.

Only around a third of British homes use LED bulbs on a regular basis, compared with 45 percent of Austrian consumers and 46 percent of Swedes. This means that the UK is seriously trailing when it comes to mainstream adoption of LED bulbs. Despite these figures, most recognise the potential for LED bulbs.

100 Percent LED Regular Adoption

According to research commissioned by the Energy Saving Trust, the average UK home could potentially save £50 per annum just by replacing the bulbs in their home with LED bulbs. This equates to around £1.4bn in savings across the UK in the same time frame. When you convert this number into CO2 emissions, the number comes out at 4.6 million tonnes – a significant amount which could be saved, and a figure which would make the Government’s 80 percent emissions cut by 2050 target slightly less of a difficult pill to swallow.

Slow Phase-Out

Despite the desire for change, the banning of old-fashioned bulbs has evolved into a gradual phase-out.  The government has, however, stopped the production of 40W and 60W incandescent bulbs.  Unfortunately, this production phase-out does not dictate that older types of bulbs can not be sold in the UK. Instead, incandescent bulbs will remain on shelves until they run out. However, this is likely to take a while, as these bulbs can also still be imported from outside the UK.

Ultimately, the Government will need to take a harder, arguably more straight-edged approach if they do indeed wish to convert everybody in the country to LED bulbs, as they originally intended.

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