Low-energy light bulbs are not only better for the environment, they’re also better for your wallet, says consumer watchdog.
Which? is telling consumers that 'energy-saving bulbs have a bright future' after a year-long lifetime test, where bulbs were turned on for 8,000 hours – the equivalent of at least eight years of use.
Which? mounted all the bulbs on a frame and switched the lamps on and off in cycles of two hours, 45 minutes on and 15 minutes off, taking note of any lamps that burnt out or faded along the way.
It measured light output after 750 hours and 1,500 hours, and checked whether any of the bulbs were prone to dimming as they got older.
Its findings said: "Traditional bulbs are usually cheaper to buy (they start at around 40p, while the price of the low-energy bulbs on test begin at around £2), but they work out more expensive in the long run because they use more electricity and have to be replaced more often."
Which? found that switching one 100-watt incandescent bulb for a best buy low-energy equivalent could save up to £30 over five years.
And according to the consumer organisation's calculations, if each UK household used just one energy-efficient light bulb, it could close down a power station.
Which? reveals best buy bulbs came from General Electric, Ikea and Osram.
Malcolm Coles, editor, which.co.uk, said: "We want to turn people on to energy-saving light bulbs which give the double whammy of being good for the planet and good for the pocket. Traditional light bulbs' days are numbered – they may be dirt cheap, but they're a false economy."