Incandescent lamps work when electricity passes through a wire filament to create energy. In use for more than 125 years, incandescent lamps are very inefficient because they convert only 5 to 10% of the energy they produce into light, and the remainder is converted to heat. Experts estimate that there are up to 500 million incandescent light globes in Australia. As of November 2009, due to the new government regulations you’ll no longer be able to purchase standard incandescent globes.
Low voltage halogen downlights are the most commonly used light globes in Australia. They are a type of incandescent lamp and although they require lower voltages they are not low energy lamps. In fact each low voltage halogen lamp generates a kilogram of greenhouse gas every 15 hours which is about the same as a standard 60 watt incandescent globe.
The refit of low voltage halogen downlights requires a special light fitting therefore you need the services of an electrician to replace them with CFLs. For new homes and renovations, there are a range of CFL downlights available.
Compact Fluorescent Lamps (CFLs)
CFLs work by passing an electrical current through a gas which activates phosphor powder to give light. Put simply, they are fluorescent tubes bent into shape to fit a standard light fitting.
CFLs use around 20% of the power required by an incandescent bulb and will last four to ten times longer. CFLs are available in a range of colour outputs and designs to suit many existing light fittings around the home and office. For more information see the Fact Sheet – CFLs.
Light Emitting Diodes (LEDs)
LEDs are the next generation of lighting, illuminated solely by the movement of electrons in a semiconductor material. They don’t generate heat, contain no chemicals such as lead or mercury, and emit no UV rays or infrared radiation.
LEDs are now available as a real option for replacing the commonly used halogen downlight. The recently released LEDlux downlights work very similar to common halogen downlights, but use 85% less energy, last 25 times longer and operate at a much cooler temperature, making them a safer option. Shop our range of LED downlights online
LEDs are also widely available in desk lamps and outdoor garden lights, with brighter products generally being more expensive.
Commonly used in gardens to light pathways, solar lighting is the ultimate ‘green’ lighting alternative. Solar lighting is entirely self-sufficient and requires only the energy from sunlight to convert into electrical energy.