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The original low energy light bulbs are compact fluorescent lamps (CFL). These are four times as efficient as the incandescent light bulbs they replaced. They have several problems:

CFL
CFL

They can take time to switch on and minutes to get to full power.

Over time they get less bright, especially when just turned on. This together with, I think, over optimistic labelling of the wattage of the incandescent they replaced has made us think they are not a good as incandescent light bulbs.

They contain Mercury.

New low energy light bulb are now available, LED bulbs. LED stands for light-emitting diode. These are now available as standard bayonet (B22) lamps for about £7 in local shops and on line. LED bulbs have the following advantages over CFL lamps.

They are even more efficient the CFL, using at least 30% less power for the same brightness.

LED
LED

They are instant on. They do not need time to warm up.

The do not contain Mercury.

They should last 3 times longer than CFL lamps and 25 times that of a standard incandescent bulb. Like CFL LED may get less bright over time but at least 3 times slower than CFL.

brightness

How is the brightness of a lamp measured? In the old days when we only had incandescent light bulbs they we measured by the power(electricity) they consumed in Watts(W). This was OK when there were only one type of bulb, and for incandescent it was a good enough measure. When CFL came along they were described by the wattage of the incandescent equivalent. In my view some what optimistically. Now LEDs and other bulbs have come along and we are stopping using incandescent equivalent as this has got ridiculous, so now bulbs are described by how bright they are, this is measured in Lumen. They still also state the power in Watts they use. So the efficiency of a bulb can be measured by lumens/watts.

The standard B22 LED bulbs that are common now come in two brightnesses 450+ and 800+ lumens. These are equivalent of the old incandescent 40w and 60w, I think now pessimistically rated. I tried an 810 lumen LED light in my landing and it was too bright.

Conclusion:

I am not sure there is an argument for replacing existing CFL with LEDs ahead of when you would replace the CFL. But due to the longer life and less electricity consumed by LED bulbs, for both economic and environmental reasons we should stop buying any more CFL bulbs and buy LED bulbs. And LEDs are better bulbs.

Halogen bulbs

Above I was talking about standard bayonet bulbs, but the most inefficient in our houses these days are normally halogen bulbs. These are another form of incandescent light bulbs they are found in GU10 spot lights, normally in kitchens and bathrooms.

GU10
GU10

LED GU10 have been available for a few years and given that LED are more directional than halogen they only need about 1/8 the electricity to produce the same effective light. Some of the early LED GU10 were a bit dim. But any current LED GU10 over 400 lumen (5W) should be a good replacement for 50W incandescent. Given that LEDs last at last 10 times longer than halogen the conclusion is again only buy LED bulbs, but with halogen there may be an economic and environmental argument to replace existing bulbs with LED.

Another reason to replace all halogen with LEDs is that a lot of them are on when the electricity demand is at it's highest, 6pm on a winter's evening, and the reduction in peak grid demand would save building at least one new power station.

Halogen bulbs are also found in outside flood lights and these can be replaced by LEDs.

Notes on LED bulbs:

Not all LED can be used with dimmers but ones that can are available sometimes at a slight extra cost.

LED bulbs can come in different colours warm white or bright white. And if you pay more any colour you like and some even changeable by remote control.

This article first appeared in our March to June 2015 Newsletter and on iccaldwell.com

ballot-158828_1280If you've ever wondered how to compare parties on their  environmental policies, here are some ideas on question to ask.

Guiding principles

What importance does the party give to environmental issues?

Economics

Are any steps being taken to encourage the thrifty use of finite resources?
Is endless growth the only way run an economy?

Food

In what ways are you looking at land use to ensure support for local farming and a sustainable food supply?

Waste

How will your party significantly reduce the amount of waste produced through encouraging waste reduction at source?

Energy

How will your party reduce society’s dependency on oil?
How can less energy be used?
How will the production of renewable energy be encouraged?
(NB oil and gas are cheap now, but the market is volatile)
How would you run the Green Deal to make it easier to understand?

Transport

What policies does your party have improve transport infrastructure and to integrate public transport?

Tax

How do tax breaks/subsidies for renewable energy production compare with breaks/subsidies for fracking/conventional energy?

Housing

As a high percentage of the UK’s current housing stock is ageing and poorly insulated, would your party introduce a nationwide affordable home insulation programme help reduce fuel poverty?

Rural issues and rural poverty

To what extent does your party recognise rural poverty and how does it perceive its policies may have different impacts town and in the countryside?
(eg bus passes, fuel duty, cavity insulation)

Where to look

Party websites, publications, meetings, canvassers… Good luck!

This article first appeared in our March to June 2015 Newsletter

In a previous article we set out the case for Local Community Energy Co-operatives as a valuable way forward in reducing our reliance on damaging fossil fuel energy sources. Now Malvern Community Energy Co-operative (MCEC, set up by Transition Malvern Hills) is offering you the opportunity to invest in this attractive, ethical investment in community renewable energy generation.

There are now examples in the UK and a very large number of community schemes in the rest of Europe. To see some of the UK schemes visit www.sharenergy.coop, local examples are Leominster Solar PV panels on the leisure centre, Woolhope Woodheat Biomass boilers and wood supply and Neen Sollars Community Hydro.

MCEC has a team of 10 volunteers determined to make this work locally. We are now completing the Share Offer document so that local people can decide whether they want to join us as members of the Co-op by subscribing/investing in our first project to put Solar PhotoVoltaic panels on the Malvern Cube.

We have chosen the Cube as our first building because of the additional social value we can create by reducing the Cube’s electricity bills, as well as being capable of delivering a modest return to MCEC’s members/community subscribers. Could you be one of them?  The minimum shareholding is £250. We are still finalising the sums but we expect the average annual rate of return to be in excess of 3% for non tax payers and more than twice that for tax payers. 

There will be a Launch meeting for the Share Offer at the Cube at 8pm on the 10th March. We are collecting details of people interested in investing so we can keep them up to date.

If you are interested or even excited about this new and very important venture, contact at www.malverncommunityenergy.org

MCE Poster for circulation and display (pdf).

UPDATE: link to share offer information

FILM Money and Life
Wednesday 23rd October 2013, 19.30 (preceded by tea/coffee + biscuits)
Quaker Meeting House, 1 Orchard Rd, WR14 3DA

Money and Life is a passionate and inspirational documentary that asks a provocative question ‘Can we see the economic crisis not as a disaster , but as a tremendous opportunity?’
This cinematic odyssey connects the dots on current economic pains and offers a new story of money based on an emerging paradigm of planetary well-being that understands all of life profoundly interconnected.”
Followed by discussion.
All Welcome.

Hi All

It's that time of year when the veggi raised beds need a little bit TLC before the winter sets in. June has advised us that ideally we could plant cabbage and winter spinach. We would welcome any volunteers to come along and help prepare the beds for the replanting. Please get in touch with Ginny or Jon at Malvern Cube 01684 575363 or e-mail [sf_email]malverncube@me.com[/sf_email]

Ginny

The Transition initiative for the communities in and around the Malvern Hills area is gathering pace. This website has ideas, information and action.

To get involved or see what is happening locally check the Events section, or read about/contact the Working Groups, where the practical action takes place.

Find out more

If you are new to the ideas behind transition, read our Introductory article, and also take a look at the Reference section for where it came from and how it is developing elsewhere.

 

Get in touch via our general contact form to join the mailing list or to send a message on anything. TMH also has a Facebook group, and there is a bunch of videos from events on YouTube.

From Guy Tomlinson:

I came across composting toilets at Grand Designs Live & soon as I can afford it, am looking to purchase a Separett Villa for all the ecological reasons. I wondered if other people in the Transition movement might also be interested in purchasing one for the same reasons?

If a few of us were interested, I’m sure I could negotiate a good discount ~ maybe 10% (or more depending on how many were being ordered) plus free delivery (if they were being delivered to one collection point in Malvern?).

If this is of any interest or you would like more information please contact Guy on 07986 102 404 by 30th November.