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How much can you save with energy saving light bulbs ...

Saving energy doesn't have to be expensive and can be as easy as fitting a new light bulb.

Research has shown that £1 out of every £3 spent on lighting and heating our homes is wasted (source: Dept of Environment). So energy efficient lighting should be one of the first improvements you should consider for your home.

An energy saving recommended light bulb will cost you £3-£4 compared to about 50p for a normal bulb, but will put money back into your pocket by saving you around £9 on your annual electricity bill and up to £100 over its lifetime!

One important point to remember is to look for the blue energy saving recommended logo on lighting products. This ensures maximum efficiency and compliance with strict manufacturing standards set by the Government and Energy Saving Trust.

How are energy saving light bulbs different?

Energy efficient light bulbs are basically fluorescent tubes designed to fit an ordinary light fitting. They use around a quarter to a fifth of the electricity used by an ordinary light bulb to generate the same light. Where you'd normally use a 60W standard light bulb, you'll only need a 13-18W energy efficient equivalent.

Energy saving bulbs come in a range of styles, shapes and sizes, including bayonet, screw cap fittings and dimmer bulbs. Be sure to check the lighting manufacturer's instructions before installing new light bulbs.

Potential problems with energy efficient light bulbs

Most homes have different types of lighting in different rooms that require various styles and shape of light bulb. A standard energy saving light bulb may be too large or look out of place in some of your lamps and lighting displays. For example:

Some local lighting or DIY shops may stock some styles of non-standard low energy light bulb but more specialist suppliers with a wider range of lighting are easy to find on the internet. See the list below.

The best places to fit low energy light bulbs

Energy saving light bulbs are most effective in areas of your home where you use the most light. For example, the hall, the kitchen, the landing and childrens' bedrooms. In these busy rooms you can recoup the cost of energy saving bulbs in a year or less. It will take longer to get your money back in other rooms but, its still worth installing them as efficient bulbs can last 10 to 15 times longer than ordinary bulbs.

In rooms where you switch the lights on and off more frequently, the lifespan of low energy bulbs will be shorter but not enough to outway their benefits. Not only are their financial rewards from installing energy saving light bulbs, consider the amount of time and hassle you will save by not having to replace bulbs that fuse every few months! There really is no easier way of saving energy at home and doing your bit for the planet.

Where to find all types of energy saving light bulbs

Standard and some decorative energy saving bulbs are available from most DIY, retail and department stores. But you may need to find specialist suppliers for spotlights, pendant lights and candle bulbs. A list of popular suppliers is shown below...

B&Q - B&Q offer a wide range of energy saving bulbs with indepth eco lighting guides and next day delivery available in required.

BLT Direct - A range of low energy, energy efficient and energy saving light bulbs in various styles. They supply brands including GE, Osram, Pro Lite, Philips, Impact, Sylvania and Omicron. Free Delivery on orders over £35.00.

Ethical Superstore - stocks a wide range of energy saving light bulbs with multibuy offers and free UK delivery on orders over £10. - Specialists in the supply of all types of light bulbs including a large stock of Energy Saving lamps and fittings. Stocks include Aurora, BELL, BLV, Crompton, Eterna, GE, Luxina, Megaman, Osram, Panasonic, Philips, Pro-lite, Sylvaina, Smilight and Ushio.

Lighting Direct - Lighting Direct have over 3,000 lighting products often with a significant saving on the usual retail prices.

Lyco - Lyco offer a comprehensive range of low energy lighting with most styles of bulb and fittings stocked.

Netlamps - Throughout the online store you will find a comprehensive range of energy saving lamps, tubes and lighting accessories.

The Lightbulb Company - Offer a massive stock of Light Bulbs and halogen lamps from Osram, Sylvania, Philips and GE from their warehouses. They state that they only supply Top Branded Products to ensure guaranteed quality every time you order.

Energy Saving Tip: Replace old bulbs with energy saving ones which can last around 12 times longer and use 75% less electricity.