Confused about the benefits of LED and CFL energy-saving light bulbs?
Take a look at your Frequently Asked Questions and see our answers below. If they don’t fully answer your query, drop us an email and we will do our best to help.
Q1. How much energy can you save?
Old fashioned incandescent light bulbs (most sales of which are now banned in the EU), were very wasteful. An average one consumed about 60 Watts of electrical power, much of which was wasted as heat. Megaman’s LED based light bulbs use up to 90% less power for the same light output, while our Compact Fluorescent Lamps (CFLs) use up to 80 per cent less. In fact, it has been estimated that if every household in the UK replaced just two incandescent light bulbs with LEDs, in a year the nation would save enough electricity to supply all of its street lighting.
Q2. How can Megaman save you money?
Megaman LED and CFL light bulbs provide outstanding value for money. Our LEDs have a projected operating life of up to 50,000 hours (50 times longer than old style bulbs), and our CFLs up to 15,000 hours. So with the extra savings on energy, plus a much longer product life, an average householder will usually recoup the initial outlay very quickly. After that, with normal usage the average householder will be saving up to 90% of the energy costs of the lighting installation. So if you replaced all the traditional light bulbs in your house with LEDs, you could eventually save hundreds of pounds over the lifetime of the bulbs.
Q3. Are all low energy lighting products big and ugly?
Like traditional light bulbs, Megaman LED and CFL based bulbs now come in all shapes and sizes, from traditional shaped bulbs to round, golf ball and candle shaped varieties, with small or medium screw and bayonet fittings. Our latest designs are no longer larger than traditional bulbs, and in some cases are smaller - and they are designed to fit into even the most compact light fittings. There are even replacements for halogen spotlights and dimming versions, you can even choose between a warm glow rather than a more intense cold light.
Q4. Do they take a long time to warm up?
Megaman LED bulbs reach full brightness in just a fraction of a second, a comparable time to incandescent bulbs, and are brighter for the power consumed. For this reason, they are ideal for “quick in-and-out” domestic situations like an airing cupboard or pantry.
Q5. Are low energy types as bright as ordinary light bulbs?
Remember, the wattage of an old fashioned light bulb told you how much power it used, not how much light it produced (most went up in heat). So to compare light output realistically we need to measure the actual light output in Lumens. If we do that, and take the actual power consumption of the bulb into account, we can say that for the same energy consumed, low energy LED and CFL bulbs produce far more light output than incandescent types.
So we need to ensure that when replacing an older style bulb with newer LED or CFL versions, that we match the light output correctly. Conversion tables are readily available, but as a rule of thumb, to replace a 60 Watt incandescent bulb (producing approximately 800 lumens) with a CFL would require a 14 Watt CFL, or an 8 Watt LED bulb.
Q6. Do low energy bulbs contain harmful substances?
All low energy bulbs – just the same as incandescent bulbs - contain minute traces of chemicals, which in large quantities would be toxic. LEDs function correctly by using chemical compounds which emit light when stimulated by an electric current, but the products are extremely safe, and indeed LEDs are used across a wide range of consumer products like TVs, mobile phones, torches and cameras. Older, low quality CFLs from other manufacturers could contain liquid mercury, however Megaman CFL products have always been liquid mercury free. So Megaman low energy lighting products are entirely safe to use and store, even when recycled due to breakage or end of life.
Q7. Can energy saving light bulbs cause headaches?
Migraine sufferers who are particularly sensitive to light triggers usually have problems with intense or flickering light sources, or even variations in colour temperature. When the original fluorescent lamps (straight fluorescent tubes) were first introduced, they operated at mains frequency, which caused severe problems for people who were especially sensitive to flickering light. While some highly sensitive sufferers are still vulnerable to even the smallest trigger, much of this problem has now been resolved. All Megaman CFLs operate at high frequency, reducing flicker to less than would be experienced by watching a computer monitor or TV. To make doubly sure, acute sufferers should not use older CFLs, and ensure that any used are of the latest design. They should also carry the 'Energy Saving Recommended' label – like Megaman products - which means the bulb has met Energy Saving Trusts criteria and standards. We are not aware of any medical light sensitivity issues with our LED based lighting products
Q8. If they break how do you recycle them?
All light bulbs, whether incandescent, LED based or CFL, need to be disposed of responsibly if broken or at the end of normal life. For domestic users this normally means taking them to a recognised recycling centre run by a local authority or licenced commercial organisation. They should not be simply discarded into normal waste, as this normally goes for landfill. Most municipal recycling centres have special containers or skips for all kind of lighting products for disposal.
Megaman CFLs are manufactured with a protective silicone sleeve, ensuring that all glass and lamp contents are contained should a lamp accidently be broken. It is also worth remembering that CFLs operate on much the same principle as the fluorescent strips found in offices and shops. There are literally millions of these in use around the world and they have never been viewed as dangerous.
Q9. Are low energy bulbs dangerous?
Despite a great deal of rather sensationalised media comment based on inaccurate data, the fact is that in confined domestic spaces, Megaman LED and CFL based bulbs are actually much safer to use than old fashioned incandescent types. Firstly, they generate very little heat, and so are much safer where children are concerned, and present a lower risk of burning lamp shades or fabric. Secondly, in the case of both LEDs and CFLs the glass globe is protected with a silicone plastic skin, making the glass in Megaman bulbs far more difficult to break than an ordinary light bulb.