In the latest Which? test of energy saving light bulbs, the 20 watt Ikea Sparsam stick finished best on test.
In the test, the energy saving light bulbs are switched on for a total of 8,000 hours – the equivalent of about eight years of use.
Talks are underway at EU level to phase out the sale of traditional incandescent bulbs by 2011.
Save energy and money
Low energy light bulbs can save you money. Many cost more than regular incandescent light bulbs, but over the course of a year, changing four traditional bulbs for energy saving models can save up to £28.
Lizzy Payne, senior Which? researcher, said: ‘Not only did Ikea produce two Best Buy energy saving light bulbs in this year’s energy-saving light bulb test but it also offers recycling services at its stores across the UK, irrespective of the light bulb’s brand. This is a great service, as energy saving light bulbs must be recycled and not thrown away with other household waste.’
Ikea is currently the only major store to offer this service, and battery collection points are also available in Ikea stores across the UK.
There have been some fears recently over potential health risks from the UV rays that low energy light bulbs emit. In October, the Health Protection Agency (HPA) issued a warning saying that some low energy bulbs emit higher levels of radiation than guidelines suggest is safe.
However, official advice is that these bulbs do not cause cancer. Sitting next to a bulb that emits more than the recommended amount of UV light has a similar effect to going out on a sunny day. The HPA suggests that if you sit less than 30cm away from the bulb for more than one hour a day, then you should opt for globe-shaped energy saving light bulbs rather than spiral or tube-style bulbs.
More in-depth information about can be found in the Which? energy-saving light bulb report. For more information of recycling energy saving light bulbs, visit the government’s Environment Agency’s website.
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