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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

A message just in from County Hall

I work in the sustainability and economic sections of Worcestershire County Council and thought that this information may be of interest to Transition Malvern and to help raise awareness of the Resource Efficient Worcestershire programme. Below is a little more about the programme:

Worcestershire County Council and Herefordshire & Worcestershire Chamber of Commerce's programme of support called Resource Efficient Worcestershire is for small and medium size businesses (in Worcestershire), to help become more efficient and reduce the costs and usage of energy, water, waste and raw materials (and improve environmentally too!). The Resource Efficient Worcestershire programme offers free assessments (worth two days of support) which could lead to grants to small medium sized enterprises. Firstly we offer a free assessment and following this a business can apply for a grant of up to £6,750 (45% of project costs) towards any of the recommended improvements. The grants can be used for activities such as more efficient lighting, heating, processes and equipment to reduce waste, water management, more in depth feasibility studies, plus more...

It's aimed at SME's who are business to business, particularly manufacturing. Unfortunately retail or agricultural businesses do not qualify, due to the criteria set out be our funders at the European Regional Development Fund. So far we have 25 businesses registered on the programme at various stages of completion and there has been a diverse range of advice, some examples have included looking at why 30% of one manufacturing company's energy costs (and over 9K) are being consumed during weekends and evenings, when there was no operational activity taking place – Improved controls of furnace temperatures will drastically reduce this. Another business is being helped to find an outlet for recycling its vast amount of plastic waste and the assessments have also identified that a water leak has been costing a business an additional 2k over several months, which can be repaired very easily. Another business is exploring using waste heat from an industrial oven to heat it's warehouse. We have just awarded our first grant to a business seeking to improve its lighting.

I hope this information is useful to you and more details can be found at www.business-central.co.uk or by calling (01905 822833).

The third Repair Cafe was held on Saturday 16 March at the Malvern Cube and was the most successful to date!   A total of 60 visitors registered and the team of  repairers successfully fixed almost 70 broken or damaged items.   These ranged from walking sticks to a crystal candlestick to a DVD player.   Tool and knife sharpening were also very popular.  

Many thanks to our team of committed and loyal repairers and to members of the general public who are continuing to support the Malvern Hills Repair Cafe. 

DO YOU WANT TO SAVE SOME MONEY? THEN
DON’T BUY NEW BEFORE YOU VISIT THE REPAIR CAFE!

Bring your damaged furniture, electrical and electronic appliances and broken household items to the Malvern Hills Repair Café and have them repaired or get the repair advice you need. FREE.

Toy and garment repairs and blade sharpening also available

The Repair Café is where people meet in a friendly café environment to repair things together and receive FREE expert advice and assistance
Come and see for yourself!

Voluntary donations welcome.

Saturday 16th March  10am to 2pm
Malvern Cube, Albert Road North, Malvern, WR14 2YF

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Repair Cafe is about local people meeting in a social environment while repairing things together and receiving free expert advice and assistance. Come and join us and be inspired!

Saturday 1st December, 10 am to 2 pm

The Cube (previously the youth centre), Albert Road North, Malvern, WR14 2YF

 

Read more about the idea behind Repair Cafés.

See Events Calendar to check for latest Repair Cafe event.

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.