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Consumer group finds the brightest energy saving light bulbs

Posted by Cathy Debenham on 29 August 2013 at 10:19 am

LEDs light bulbs are getting brighter and cheaper to buy according to the latest Which? tests. The consumer organisation identified 14 best buy LED light bulbs, three of which are as bright as a traditional 60w bulb, and five more that match the brightness of a 40w incandescent bulb for brightness.

With a claimed life of 25 years, LEDs last more than twice as long as the standard CFL energy saving light bulbs, and up to 24 years longer than traditional incandescents, which only lasted about a year (too long in fact for Which? to have fully tested their longevity claims). They also get bright instantly, unlike some CFLs.

‘It used to be difficult to find an LED bulb that was bright enough to light up a whole room but recent advances in semiconductor technology has meant that brighter LEDs are now coming onto the market. They’re still quite pricey to buy, but the energy savings you’ll make mean they’ll pay for themselves many times over in the long term’, says Natalie Hitchins, Which? home and garden editor.

Calculations by Which? indicate that if you've still got old-style bulbs in your home, you can make savings of up to £180 over the bulb's lifetime. This was based on swapping one 60w incandenscent bulb for an LED of similar brightness. So if you swap nine bulbs around your home or business, you can expect to cut your annual energy bill by £67 year after year.

Regular CFL energy-saving light bulbs are cheaper to buy than LEDs, and almost as energy efficient. If you want light that is brighter than a traditional 60w bulb, you'll probably need to choose a CFL. The brightness is indicated on the packaging in lumens. However, Which? testing found that this information isn't always accurate.

As well as brightness, you will also need to think about the colour of the light, as some LEDs can appear harsh or cold. Warm white is around 2,700 kelvin.

Which? best buys include light bulbs from Diall, Verbatim, Megaman and Ledon.

More information about low energy lighting from YouGen

YouGen guide to low energy light bulbs

Comparing light bulbs: upfront costs vs running costs

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