Home Info and articles Low energy lighting - what? why? when? where? and how?

Low energy lighting - what? why? when? where? and how?

What is low energy lighting and why should I use it?

A low energy light fitting uses low energy light bulbs so it requires less electricity than a standard light fitting.

It's worth noting that low voltage lighting is not the same as low energy lighting. We have an article explaining why low voltage lighting is not low energy lighting.

To further complicate matters are various types of low energy light bulb available, the common ones are LED and compact fluorescent.


LED bulbs are great for all type of lighting. From effect lighting such as inside a wardrobe, or to highlight a shelf display, or mark the edge of the decking your garden, all the way up to general room lighting, and outdoor spaces.

In recent years, the technology used in LED lighting has progressed rapidly. We are now happy to recommned that you use LEDs for most of your lighting requirements. There's still a few cases where the right product just isn't available yet, but this is rare.

Compact fluorescent Compact fluorescent bulbs used to be the best choice for general lighting, as they produce a lot of light, use up to 80% less power than incandescent bulbs and do not reach high temperatures. They have now been superceeded by LED lighting, which uses less power and produces a similar level of light.

Why should I use low energy lighting?

If for no other reason, you should use low energy lighting to save money. Electricity is expensive and you pay for the amount that you use, so if you use less you pay less - it's that simple!

By using less electricity the power stations have to generate less, so they burn less coal and gas and so release less carbon into the atmosphere - this has to be a good thing.

If you're building a new home, or extending your an exiting one, you are likely to be required to install low energy lighting.

Dedicated low energy lighting

One step further than just using low energy light bulbs is to use a dedicated low energy light fitting. A dedicated low energy light fitting will only accept low energy light bulbs. It's not physically possible to install a normal incandescent bulb because the lamp holders have a different type of connection.

Some building regulations might require that dedicated low energy lights are used. You should check this with your local building control officer.

As with normal light bulbs there are a variety of lamp holders and lamp caps that are used solely for low energy light bulbs. We have a page that shows the different types of lamp holders and lamp caps commonly in use today.

Where should I use low energy lighting?

In principle you should use low energy lighting everywhere. This might not always be possible as there are still a few limitations to the way the systems works. For instance, many current low energy lights, such as many LED bulbs, are not dimmable like standard lights. If you need to be able to reduce the level of the lighting in a room (and you can't just turn some lights off) then some low energy lighting might not be the best choice.

If you need dimming, then make sure you purchase dimmable light bulbs and a suitable compatible dimmer.

How do I use low energy lighting?

A low energy light fitting is installed in exactly the same way as any other light fitting. You don't need any extra wiring, or equipment. As with all electrical work, we recommend that you employ a qualified electrician to do the installation.

Where can I buy low energy lighting?

You're in the right place! Browse our low energy products using the menus at the top left of this page. My Green Lighting is the UK's leading retailer of low energy light fittings and LED light bulbs.