Although a relatively new technology in the UK, LED lighting has not taken off in the same way as the older CFL (compact fluorescent light) energy saving lighting in the UK, with the government, retailers and energy companies already making a commitment to work together to phase out inefficient light bulbs and replace them with these new energy saving alternatives.

However, is this tendency toward using older technology misguided in light of newer and more efficient LED technology? And, could businesses, organisations and local authorities save more money in energy bills and be more energy efficient by committing to LED light bulbs instead?

In countries such as China and the US, LED lighting has been in use for several years now, even the White House has pledged to change all of its light bulbs to LED. Why is the same commitment not happening in the UK?

One company that thinks the UK should recognise the benefits of LED light bulbs is UK LED Lighting Direct, which provides a range of LED products across a range of buildings including homes, shops, offices, bars, petrol stations and factories.

Andrew Yeung, director at the company, questions why more businesses are not using LED lighting in the UK. He said, “LED light bulbs are much more energy efficient and use up to 90% less energy than incandescent bulbs. They also last longer by providing 50,000 hours of use compared to a regular incandescent light bulb which only lasts for 15,000 hours on average. Moreover, LED light bulbs are 100% recyclable making them very environmentally friendly. This can be compared with CFL which has a lower lifespan, high depreciation, contains mercury and is difficult to recycle.”

Although there is an initial outlay in cost (and Yeung is aware that this may have a bearing on the decision on whether or not to change to LED Lighting), the long term saving on energy bills and the environmental factors far outweigh the initial cost.

He continued, “Even though the initial cost of LED is above average, the greater energy efficiency levels and longevity of LED mean this is quickly recovered and there will be considerable reductions in lighting bills and maintenance. Moreover, if a company finds it difficult to make the initial cost of installation, then the Carbon Trust can provide a loan for up to five years. Having said this, one year is usually enough time to pay off the initial costs.”

Since launching in the UK last year, UK LED Lighting Direct has established excellent working relationships with businesses and local authorities helping them to switch their lighting to LED and Induction Lighting products. However, Yeung is keen to continue to make the change and find greener and more energy efficient lighting alternatives.

“Businesses are facing calls to be greener and more environmentally friendly, but are worried about extra costs associated with this. LED lighting offers businesses the opportunity to be greener without these extra costs as they will actually be saving money in the longer term through using less energy and maintenance on a day to day basis.”