Smart lighting choices

Last updated: 9 August 2023

choosing lighting

Cutting your power use can be as easy as changing a light bulb.

LEDs (light emitting diodes) 

You can easily save money by changing to energy-efficient LED light bulbs. As well as cost-savings you'll be reducing greenhouse gas emissions (less electricity use means less burning fossil fuels to generate electricity).

LED light bulbs may cost more to buy, but are a smart decision in the long run. They last far longer and can save you up to 85 per cent on your lighting power – meaning they are cheaper overall. It's an easy change to make, and your options are increasing all the time.

To choose the right LED bulb, consider:

  • Base: For standard bulbs, check if you need a bayonet or screw fitting. To replace halogen spotlights, check if you need a low voltage (12V) MR16 (also called GU5.3) bulb with two sharp pins, or a mains-voltage (240V) GU10 bulb with two studs.
  • Brightness: LED packaging shows light output in lumens, usually with the equivalent wattage of an incandescent bulb. Chances are the LED will actually appear brighter.
  • Colour: Warm white is more comfortable in homes. Cool white works best where contrast is important, such as workshops and garages.

For dimmable light fittings, check that the LED bulb you are buying is dimmable. Standard LEDs aren't.

Choosing Energy Efficient LED Lighting on the Gen Less website has more information.


This information is published by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment’s Chief Executive. It is a general guide only and, if used, does not relieve any person of the obligation to consider any matter to which the information relates according to the circumstances of the particular case. Expert advice may be required in specific circumstances. Where this information relates to assisting people: