The Case for Vouchers: Why the Country Needs Free LED Bulbs
It has been suggested that free LED bulbs should be given out to local households in order to make a significant dent in the UK’s energy demands, during the middle of winter. Because home lighting accounts for such a large proportion of our energy expenditure (largely because halogens and CFLs are so inefficient), simply converting to LEDs could make a major difference to the way we deal with our local energy needs.
Not only will using LEDs reduce the country’s carbon emissions and reduce household electricity bills, but it also stands to have a positive impact on the country’s level of energy security. One suggestion was made last December to give a voucher to local households, which would entitle them to ten free LED bulbs.
These days the technology powering LEDs has improved significantly. They perform better and last longer than CFL and halogen lights, which make up the majority of lights used in UK homes. Halogen lights in particular, are very energy inefficient and are used in a number of homes. In fact it is not uncommon for one home to have up to ten 50W GU10's, maybe even more. By switching to GU10 LED Bulbs, you would only consume the same amount of power as one halogen whilst still powering all 10 lamps and achieving the same high output lighting that downlighting provides.
But because of the high initial cost of installing LEDs the public has been a bit slow to convert, and some believe that offering vouchers to families could just change that. The proposed activity, which would see every local household equipped with ten energy efficient light bulbs, will also lower the average electricity bill by £20 per annum. Furthermore it would drop the UK’s emissions by approximately 0.5%. It is also expected to reduce energy demand during peak periods by 1%.
Campaigners have also raised the prospect of the free LED bulbs not being available to everyone, and have suggested that perhaps the vouchers be reserved for people who are less advantaged.
Modern LEDs perform at the same level as incandescent and halogen lamps. And unlike CFLs they start quite quickly and without the flicker. LEDs last for years even when they are used continually and most can also be retrofitted, which circumnavigates expensive conversions and lots of man hours.
While the general rate of power consumption does appear to be falling there is still a significant need for local households to reduce their consumption and giving away vouchers could introduce the majority to a significantly more efficient and more cost effective way of living.
Read more LED Lighting Help and Advice in our Buying Guides Section by clicking here or check out which LED bulbs you need with our handy LED Bulb Base Selector Page by clicking here. You can find more specific domestic LED light bulb advice by clicking here.