Buying efficient light bulbs

Wattage doesn't tell you how bright a light is - it only tells you how much energy the light bulb is using to create the light. New energy efficient bulbs have lumens on the packaging, which is the measure of a bulb's light output.


When buying energy efficient bulbs, use the lumens information on the packaging to make sure you're getting the light output you want, as well as the shape, colour and size that's best for your lighting situation.

 Choosing the right energy efficient bulb


Opening title - ENERGYWISE: The Energy Spot

This Energy Spot starts off with a simple demonstration showing how you can achieve the same results with less power.

Jared is outside his house, he's putting out the recycling. He puts a plastic bottle on the ground and gestures off-screen, beckoning.

A steamroller rumbles into frame, and runs over the bottle. It drives out of frame, leaving the totally flattened bottle. Jared picks it up and drops it into a recycling bin. He does a thumbs up.

Jared: Job done.

He picks up another bottle. Puts it on the ground and stomps on with his foot to flatten it. As Jared drops it into the bin, we see it's flat, like the previous plastic bottle.

Jared: Mind you, so's that. But with a lot less power.

Now Jared walks up the driveway. He goes into the house.

Jared: Same result less power, like energy efficient lighting.

Jared walks into the hallway. There is a long console table that has three identical table lamps on it, placed in a fashionable manner, equal distance apart. We see light from each on the hallway wall. As Jared speaks we notice the ambient light from each lamp gets brighter to illustrate the incremental increases in wattage.

Jared: Old bulbs wasted energy, we bought them by how much power we needed, to get the light we wanted: 60, 75 or 100 watts.

Jared walks towards the kitchen.

Jared: With energy efficient bulbs, choose by how much light you want.

Now Jared is in the kitchen, the lights are off. He holds up an energy efficient bulb pack. He points at the lumens rating - 1600 lumens.

Jared: Light is measured in Lumens...

He flicks the switch. The kitchen is well illuminated.

Jared: ... the more lumens the brighter.

We now move to the master bedroom. We see the same amount of light, from 2 beside lamps, although we don't see the light sources (a CFL and LED). Jared gestures towards one of them.

Jared: This is the same lumens as a standard bulb, for a quarter of the power...

Graphic: 800 Lumens (CFL)

Jared then gestures to the other lamp. 

Jared: and this light uses less than one sixth of the power.

Graphic: 800 Lumens (LED)

He now walks toward the bedroom ensuite. There is a very obvious contrast between the two rooms.

Jared: Next choose ‘warm white', which is softer.

Now he walks into the much brighter ensuite.

Jared: Or for a task light... ‘cool white'.

Jared: Here's a tip, replace the bulbs you use the most first, to get the biggest benefit.

Jared: If we all changed to energy efficient bulbs, the power savings would be like New Zealand switching off 15 million light bulbs.....forever.

We see an infinity mirror on a wall in the house. There are an ‘infinite number' of lightbulbs reflected in it. Jared switches the mirror off and the lightbulbs dramatically vanish.

End Frame Graphic: EECA ENERGYWISE logo, web address, NZ Government logo, plus disclaimer "EECA recommend seeking professional advice where appropriate"

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