The rise of new types of ways of lighting homes and energy saving methods means that it is now increasingly easy to save electricity, and in the process save money, without having to change any of your lighting habits.
If we compare the way that new energy saving bulbs work with the way that traditional bulbs work, then we can start to see why it is that this is possible.
The first thing to realize about traditional bulbs is that they are very inefficient, with some estimates saying that only 5% of the electricity that goes into a normal tungsten bulb, actually ends up as light that can be seen.
In other words, traditional bulbs waste 95% of the energy that we put in to them, and yet this technology lasted for around 100 years before anyone tried to find a better way of creating light.
The light that these produce is quite bright, but, unfortunately, these types of bulb do not last long, because the bulbs very quickly burn out as the tungsten evaporates.
Slightly better bulbs, from an environmental perspective, are halogen bulbs, because they run more efficiently than traditional bulbs.
Even better though are compact fluorescent light bulbs, which instead of heating a metal filament until it glows, use a different process entirely, that involves charging up gas in the bulb, which then gives off a fluorescent white light.
These are considerably more energy efficient than normal bulbs, and only use up about 25% of the electricity of a normal bulb.
The only real drawback to these is that they do not instantly light up in the same way as tungsten bulbs do, and there can be a slightly annoying pause between turning on the light and it reaching full illumination.
They do however last dramatically longer periods of time than traditional bulbs, typically up to 10 times as long. This makes them ideal for situations where changing bulb is an expensive process such as street lighting or in amusement parks. There are potentially large savings to be made as a result of the extra efficiency they offer. These are the bulbs that are also increasingly becoming standard in our homes, and because of their mass production, in recent years the prices of these bulbs have dropped dramatically.
Another newer kind of bulb is LED bulbs, which until quite recently were quite a specialist type of product because producing enough of the light-emitting diodes to make this an economic solution was not possible.
This barrier has now been overcome, and light bulbs of this type are now appearing on the market, with some of them have amazing expected lifespans of up to 50,000 hours, whilst using hardly any electricity.
The good news is that there is now a wide array of energy saving light bulbs on the market and the range of consumer choice is only going to get wider as new types are developed.