It is constantly stated that incandescent light bulbs use excessive quantities of electricity and damage the environment. Adding weight to the argument there is at present a light bulb ban in place. This initiative was supported by environmental activists who have impacted government legislation. As a consequence conventional light bulbs are being phased out in favour of LED bulbs. I will now supply information on precisely what is the impact on your carbon footprint by migrating to LED bulbs and compare this to carbon footprint amount for transportation and other electrical appliances.
Carbon footprint reductions from using LED bulbs
A fair amount of people are bewildered by the fact that a light bulb can create C02! Clearly it cannot and it is the C02 that is released during the generation of the electricity which is critical. If you buy your electricity from a green supplier who uses wind power or hydro-electric as a result C02 emissions are low. However, the vast majority of electricity is generated using gas and oil stations that do make excessively high carbon dioxide emissions. So down to the figures. If you swap a single 100watt conventional light bulb for an energy saving light bulb then this will save approximately 100kg per year in C02. This calculation assumes that you illuminate the bulb for 4 hours per day and that you pay 13p for every kWhour for electricity. 100kg of C02 is clearly a staggering amount.
How does this compare to driving my car or using the washing machine?
This is all very factual but does 100kg of C02 released into the atmosphere actually matter and are there not different actions, other than using LED bulbs, that can be taken to achieve the same goal? To answer these important queries I would like to present the following factual data.
1. Let’s assume you take a sample family car the Ford Focus C-Max 1.8 (125PS). If you drive this for 330 mile less in one year then this will make a similar saving to swapping one of your light bulbs for one or your LED bulbs.
2. If you can alter your travel patterns to avoid 1000 miles of train travel, then this will save 100kg in C02 emissions. LED Bulbs can make a comparable reduction just by swapping just one.
3. Travelling from London to Glasgow by aeroplane will result in the production of 100kg of C02 released into the atmosphere.
Reviewing these comparisons then migrating to LED bulbs does look like a no brainer.
Some final remarks
It is clear to see that swapping to LED bulbs will make a massive improvement to your carbon footprint but there are other things worth contemplating.
Dishwashers and washing machines do consume around 3 kWhours of electricity each time they are used. In comparison to a light bulb, if they were used twice a week, this is principally similar to having 2 100 watt light bulbs switched on for 4 hours a day. As I am sure you can see that whilst these amounts are fairly high they are not excessive so simply make sure the appliances are full and do not use your tumbler dryer if the weather is good.