Energy-saving lightbulbs, LEDs, fluorescent tubes, halogen lamps: when buying a new light source to replace the old lightbulb, it becomes difficult. There are numerous alternatives, but not every light source is equally suitable for every application. An overview.9 pictures From the light bulb to the LED
Creeping out for the lightbulb
The end of the lightbulb has been running in installments across Europe since 2009 and should help to save a lot of electricity. A conventional light bulb converts only around five percent of the energy it needs into visible light, while the lion’s share is converted into heat. The sixth and final stage of an EU regulation came into force on September 1, 2018 and affected most halogen lamps. Retailers can continue to sell remaining stocks and no consumer has to replace a working lightbulb.
There are currently two main alternatives to lightbulbs: LEDs and energy-saving lamps.
What are the advantages of LEDs?
The youngest and currently most frequently advertised light sources are “light-emitting diodes”, or LEDs for short. They have been continuously developed over the past few years and are now available in many shapes, brightnesses and light colors. LEDs are considered to be very durable and resistant to switching. That means, frequent switching on and off hardly harms them. In addition, they immediately shine with full brightness. The prices for LEDs have dropped considerably, but the purchase is still comparatively expensive, especially with high light output.
What are the advantages of the energy-saving lamp?
Energy-saving lamps were one of the first alternatives for lightbulbs. They work on the principle of a fluorescent tube and are therefore referred to by experts as “compact fluorescent lamps”. They are considered to have a long service life, especially when there are few on and off operations. The trade now offers these bulbs quite cheaply. Biggest disadvantage: energy-saving lamps need some time to reach full brightness. They are therefore only suitable to a limited extent if bright light is required quickly, for example in the stairwell. Due to their design, the lamps are quite large. If the fluorescent tube breaks, poisonous mercury will escape, so the lamps must be disposed of properly.
Halogen lamps may only be manufactured with two types of bases for certain lamps, such as ceiling washlights.
How bright are the alternatives?
The wattage of a light bulb provided information about its brightness. Today the brightness is given in lumens (lm). However, watts (W) and lumens can only be compared to a limited extent. In order to find the right replacement, consumers can use these values as a guide:
|Power lightbulb||Brightness (luminous flux)||Power LED|
|25 W||210 lm||4 W|
|40 W||410 lm||5 W|
|60 W||750 lm||9 W.|
|75 W||950 lm||11 W.|
|100 W||1,300 lm||14 W.|
The light color brings the good feeling
Many people appreciate a “warm” light in their home, especially in winter, such as that from light bulbs. In contrast, the first LEDs shone “cold” with a bluish light. The light color is given in Kelvin (K), the larger the number, the “colder” the light appears. Light bulbs have around 2,700 K, around 4,000 K are considered neutral, and daylight starts at 5,500 Kelvin. LEDs and energy-saving lamps are offered in different light colors. A special form of LED, so-called filament lamps, look almost like light bulbs.
What about the Ra value?
Colors look different in artificial light than in daylight. The Ra value, also known as CRI, stands for true-to-life color rendering – interesting for example at the dining table or when applying make-up in the bathroom. The Ra value is a maximum of 100 (sunlight) and should not fall below 80.
Will my dimmer still work with LEDs?
The brightness of lightbulbs could be regulated with dimmers, which were installed in the room instead of the light switch. This only works to a limited extent with energy-saving lamps or LEDs. Although some manufacturers advertise their lamps as dimmable, in practice it depends on the type of dimmer. LED manufacturers often offer lists of dimmer models that work in conjunction with their LED.
Which lamp is the cheapest?
Tips on buying LEDs
– Pay attention to the lm value. Inexpensive models are often barely brighter than a 25-watt light bulb.
– Warm white LEDs with values around 2,700 Kelvin act like light bulbs.
– The energy label on the package should show at least A, better A + or A ++. It also gives the power consumption in kilowatt hours per 1,000 operating hours.
The actual cost of a lamp is made up of the purchase price and the energy consumption during its lifetime. With the same brightness, LEDs use slightly less electricity than energy-saving lamps, but only around 15 percent of the value of a light bulb. LEDs are more expensive to buy than comparable energy-saving lamps, but they last longer. LED lamps should be able to shine for around 25,000 hours, energy-saving lamps for around 10,000 hours. If LEDs stay on for four hours a day, this corresponds to 17 years.
Is it worth replacing the light bulb?
Whether it is financially worthwhile to replace a working lightbulb depends above all on where it is used. If lights often burn for a long time, the higher price for an economical light source quickly pays for itself. However, if lights are only switched on rarely and briefly, for example in the basement, it will take longer. The most effective way at the Lighting Saving electricity remains: switch off unneeded lamps.