Page last updated at 11:36 GMT, Thursday, 19 November 2009

Energy-saving bulbs 'get dimmer'

A low energy bulb
Energy-saving bulbs use up to 80% less electricity than traditional bulbs

Energy-efficient light bulbs lose on average 22% of their brightness over their lifetime, a study has found.

In some cases they emit just 60% as much light as traditional models which are being phased out of shops, it says.

The study in Engineering and Technology magazine concluded that consumers were being misled by the bulbs' packaging.

Of the 18 energy-saving bulbs tested over 10,000 hours by the Institution of Engineering and Technology, three stopped altogether.

'Migraines'

The magazine's editor, Dickon Ross, told the BBC that packaging claims about the power of the bulbs did not live up to what they delivered in terms of people's perceptions of light.

He said: "It may not be deliberate, but because of the standards set, you end up with figures that are exaggerated compared to what people really experience."

Traditional bulbs lose no more than 7% of their brightness by the time they burn out - equivalent to about 2,000 hours from first use.

But the new energy-saving models, known as compact fluorescent bulbs, use up to 80% less electricity than traditional bulbs and could save up to £37 a year on energy bills.

Critics, however, claim they can trigger migraines, make skin conditions worse and lead to other health problems.

EU Countries started the mandatory phase-out of 100W and frosted incandescent light bulbs earlier this year.



Print Sponsor


SEE ALSO
'Green' light bulb fears rejected
29 Jan 09 |  UK Politics
UV light fear over 'green' bulbs
09 Oct 08 |  Health
The bulb hoarders
30 Jun 08 |  Magazine
Shedding light on call to ban bulb
20 Apr 06 |  Science & Environment
Cracking down on energy waste
26 Nov 04 |  Business

RELATED INTERNET LINKS
The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites


FEATURES, VIEWS, ANALYSIS
Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit

BBC navigation

BBC © 2013 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.

Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific