Light bulbs that save power

22 AUGUST 2023

Let there be light! But first, please make sure you’ve replaced all your old bulbs with one of these power-saving light bulbs.Woman reading a book on a couch next to lampWe’ve all had to sit through our fair share of power outages and eating cold baked beans by candlelight is enough to make anyone power conscious.

It’s technical business, but basically energy-saving light bulbs are able to use fewer watts per hour to give off the same amount of light as an old-school incandescent bulb, thus saving energy.

These are the two main light bulbs to look for on the shelf:


CFLs are inexpensive and most commonly used as energy-saving light bulbs because they use about 80% less energy and last up to 15 times longer than a traditional bulb.

Downside: They don’t really work with dimmer switches and they contain some Mercury so they need to be handled with care and recycled properly.


LEDs use about 90% less energy and last up to 25 times longer than a traditional incandescent, making them the most energy-efficient light bulb on the market. You can use them with some dimmer switches and motion sensors and they’re the most durable option for outdoor lighting.

Downside: They are pretty expensive. But they last for years so you should easily make your money back.

NOTE: You might see something called a halogen incandescent light bulb. These are more energy efficient than a traditional incandescent, but they don’t save nearly as much energy as CFLs and LEDs.

Some useful terminology:

  • Lumens measure the brightness of the bulb.
  • Kelvins measure the warmth or colour of the bulb.
  • Watts measure the rate at which energy is consumed per hour.

Why should I switch?

  • Installing energy-saving light bulbs means that your home will produce lower carbon dioxide emissions, which is great for the environment.
  • Energy-saving light bulbs use less power, which is great for your monthly electricity bill.
  • Energy-saving light bulbs don’t need to be changed nearly as often, which is great news for Dad (or whoever’s been assigned to bulb-changing duty).


Swipe your RCS Card at South Africa’s leading home décor stores, and find the bulbs that’ll light up your life! The RCS shopping network covers over 21 000 stores, so shop around and find the best option.