Ikea, the Swedish furniture giants, have recently announced that they are to stop selling halogen and compact fluorescent bulbs from September this year, when all of their lighting will become super efficient light-emitting diodes, aka LEDs. With over 2.3 million bulbs sold by Ikea each year in the UK alone, the change should hopefully help their customers to save energy and money over time.
Ikea’s chief sustainability officer, Steve Howard, said the company’s scale had allowed them to reduce the cost of the components of the bulbs, and added:“If it’s right for the customer, it’ll be right for Ikea. If you can produce a product that can last 25-30 times longer and save you 85% of the energy and have fantastic light quality, then that’s the right thing for the customer.”
The EU was expected to ban the sale of halogen bulbs from September 2016. However, earlier this year it was announced that the ban has been delayed until 2018 as LED technology will not be ready for such a drastic change until then. However, just because halogen, incandescent, and compact fluorescent bulbs are still being sold, doesn’t mean consumers have to buy them.
The benefits of LEDs
Making a personal commitment to purchasing only LED bulbs has a number of benefits for you and for the environment…
- Long life: Incandescent bulbs may have an expected lifetime of up to 1000 hours, but LEDs have up to sixty times that, and could potentially last up to 60,000 hours until they fail. As with all lights though, LEDs will degrade over time, so you won’t get 60,000 hours of perfect light, and they may need replacing sooner.
- Energy efficient: LEDs consume up to 90% less energy than incandescent bulbs. Replacing all of the bulbs in your home of workplace means that your energy costs will be noticeably reduced over time. LED bulbs are typically more expensive than standard bulbs, but the cost is recouped in lower energy bills.
- Safe: LEDs are much safer than standard bulbs as they generate virtually no heat when they are switched on. They remain cool to the touch and can be left on for hours without the risk of incident or consequence caused by heat.
- Durable: LED lights are made up of tiny chips encased in epoxy resin enclosures, which makes them much sturdier than traditional bulbs. LEDs don’t use fragile components like filaments and glass, so they’re more able to withstand vibration, shock, and extreme temperatures.
- Environmental: LEDs are made from non-toxic materials, and are also recyclable after use, which makes them better for the environment, unlike fluorescent bulbs that contain mercury and may pose a threat to the environment when they’re disposed of.
- Colourful: Incandescent bulbs use filters to produce colour, which blocks some of the light and makes them inefficient. LEDs are available in a number of base colours such as green, blue, amber, and red, and they can be blended together to produce many colour options.
- Instant: Traditional energy-saving bulbs brighten up gradually when switched on, while LEDs brighten up instantly in. This has great advantages for infrastructure lighting such as traffic lights and signals that come on intermittently. LEDs can also be switched on and off frequently without it affecting their overall lifetime or light emission.
As you can see, there are many advantages to be had from using LED bulbs over traditional incandescent, halogen, or compact fluorescent bulbs. It looks like LED bulbs are set to be the norm in the future, which will be great for the environment, and for consumers’ bank balances! What are your thoughts? Have you already made the switch to LEDs in your home? Share your thoughts with us below or on Twitter.