Guardian’s Tim Dowling bites bullet and invests in energy saving LED lights

Good to read that Guardian columnist Tim Dowling has invested in energy saving LED lights as part of the newspaper’s Live Better Challenge.

Tim chose eight LED light bulbs online and wrestled, as we all do, with the idea of replacing energy guzzling traditional bulbs that still function but as he says, in the end, if you’ve paid for both kinds and you continue using the inefficient ones, you’re just losing more money.

He reckons – and we’d agree – that the new LED lights will pay for themselves in around six months because they consume only one tenth of the electricity burned away by traditional incandescent bulbs. This 90 per cent saving will go on for many, many years.

Tim also mentioned that the initial cost was relatively high and in the online discussion around his article wrote that low-price LEDs were available. A word of caution here – we’ve heard many tales over the past year or more about the ‘fool’s bargain’ of cheap LED lights.

Caution over cheap LEDs

The lighting blog sites are quite full of tales from people who bought cheap LED lights, only to find they failed quickly and offered very poor light.

We believe it is worth investing well in this lighting electronics component; it’s more complex than a tungsten or halogen bulb so needs to be build with care, using quality components.

We exhaustively test the models that we offer and only work with trusted manufacturers like Philips, Verbatim and ecoLED. Every LED lighting product we sell has a unique online calculator showing how much you should save.

It’s not just the high failure rate of cheap LEDs that concerns us. We’ve advised that they can be downright dangerous, as this short video shows.

Tim also got serious about consumption of energy throughout his family home, using a monitor to check how much the appliances burned. It was interesting to see the change in attitude and behaviour, as well as the challenges these brought. It’s hard to change your habits!

Water savings

Tim did not mention water use in his energy saving week and it is one area that everyone should be considering. For those on a meter (and the roll-out of these is gathering pace across the country), the investment in eco shower heads, eco taps and tap aerators is really a must.

We’ve plenty of examples and case studies of the big savings that can be made. The hansgrohe Ecosmart range of eco shower heads and eco taps cut water consumption by more than half. That 50-per-cent-plus reduction also has a great effect on energy bills as you use less when heating the water.

Again, although Tim did not touch on this, there is the inestimable benefit that comes as a bonus with every energy-saving and water-reducing product you buy – you shrink your carbon footprint, that is, the amount of CO2 emissions you generate. All in all, that’s great for the pocket and planet.

We’re here to help you cut energy and water bills so call us on 0845 123 5464. Our expert team will be happy to help.



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