A guide to eco-friendly lighting in the home

Read our blog post for our advice on eco-friendly light - everything you need to know.

A guide to eco-friendly lighting in the home

They give out a cold, blue-tinged light, and although you can now get ‘warm' tones these are less energy efficient...

Old-fashioned incandescent tungsten bulbs are being voluntarily phased out by manufacturers over the next few years and, by 2011, we'll be using energy-efficient bulbs and other light sources. Energy-efficient (EE) bulbs, also known as compact fluorescent bulbs, use a fifth of the energy of incandescent bulbs, so are better for the environment and your pocket. They also last longer - around six years. As they are fluorescent, they can take minutes to reach their full capacity and some flicker when used with dimmer switches. They give out a cold, blue-tinged light, and although you can now get ‘warm' tones these are less energy efficient. EE bulbs also contain mercury, so need to be recycled carefully.

Fibre-optic lighting emits coloured light along optical fibres. It is cool to the touch, and can safely be used in bathrooms and swimming pools. It is excellent for creating mood - you can now buy fibre optic chandeliers.

Halogen bulbs are less eco-friendly than EE bulbs but 10-15 per cent more efficient and much longer-lasting than incandescent tungsten bulbs. They are very compact in size, and can be used with dimmer switches. They give a light most like daylight, which is cold, crisp and strong.

LEDs (light-emitting diodes) are the most eco-friendly and long-lasting, but are currently only available in low-power versions which don't give out bright light. They are good for accent and mood lighting, for garden lighting, and also in children's bedrooms because they emit hardly any heat and come in colours like red and blue.