This post is a little off the normal theological track of this blog, but looking after God’s world, saving money and keeping up with the vicar’s wife on vicarage life are not too far off beam.
Heating and lighting a rambling old Victorian vicarage on a Church of England stipend is not easy. We didn’t like the industrial strip lights in the kitchen when we moved in so we replaced them with two Ikea lighting tracks with 5 spotlights each.
We quickly discovered that the ten 35w halogen bulbs cost lots to use because our kitchen is really gloomy even in mid-summer and we live in the kitchen so the lights are on from morning ’til night. The bulbs, costing between £1 and £2 each, burst whenever the vibrations from our kids jumping around on the floors above shook the filaments to bits. So we’ve experimented with different kinds and brands of low energy gu10 bulbs and here’s what works and doesn’t work.
This was our first low energy bulb. I bought a box of ten for about £40 including postage. They were the cheapest I could find and were an unknown brand, IGST. They were meant to last 8000 hours but started popping really quickly, some went in the first week or two. We’ve only got two of the original ten left after a year. It turns out that bulb life is reduced by overheating and the glass lampshades get really hot and don’t allow any air to circulate around the bulb.
This Eveready bulb has been much more reliable than the IGST. We’ve had these 6 months and none have burst yet. The blurb says that the bulb will last 8000 hours unless it overheats, which is what happened to the IGST as , but the Eveready is evidently better quality. It also gives off a more attractive whiter light. They cost £3.99 each + VAT + P&P for a box of ten from Evereadylightbulbs.co.uk.
This bulb is great, but at £13.98 each at B&Q it’s got to last ages to pay for itself. It’s only 2.8w but the light does not spread very wide, it leaves a sort of ghost circle on the island in the middle of the kitchen. We bought it on half price offer which took the sting out of the purchase but we decided not to buy any more because of the narrow circle of light.
The last bulb is almost useless. At 1w it gives off about as much light as a large candle. We’ve put it in the middle of the strip where you don’t notice the lack of light.
In the end we’ve reduced the kitchen lights from 350w to 66w and the lighting levels are good.