Eleven years ago today we installed our first LED light. Three years later any type of the old fashioned incandescent light bulbs were de-facto banned in the EU, because the energy efficiency norms outpaced them. Our current house is almost LED only, and most of those LED lights are programmable, including their color. It has changed the way lighting is treated in interior design: the near absence of heat makes different materials and shapes possible in lamps. The only exceptions are a few G4 halogen lamps still present in the kitchen. Those are banned from production and import since 2018 based on efficiency standards, but were in the house when we moved in in 2017. In time their replacements will be LED of course.

Though our lamps now use some 90% energy less than 11 years ago, our energy usage itself hasn’t changed much in that same time I think. More devices have entered the household in those eleven years, Sonos speakers, wifi routers on each floor instead of one downstairs, and we have a bigger house now which means more lamps as well. So the energy savings are relative, we’re more efficient, but as a consequence started doing more. This is a known effect of course, that energy efficiency gains are (over)compensated by the lower threshold to do something using energy.

I also remember from around that time having an argument with my mother who had stock piled 100 Watt bulbs around the time they were first banned from production and import. A few years later, when we cleared out their house, whatever was still left landed in the trash.

One reaction on “

  1. I wonder what were the arguments of your mother… There is more difference between the lamps than cost savings alone. Incandesent light bulbs are closer to the natural light spectrum at sunset and probably would be a better choice for human biology in the evening. On the other side, LEDs are getting better in terms of the spectrum and our ability to control it.

    Looked for an illustration and found this one (the article of it is also interesting) – https://www.researchgate.net/figure/Emission-spectra-of-different-light-sources-a-incandescent-tungsten-light-bulb-b_fig1_312320039

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