Shining new light on energy saving bulbs

PUBLISHED : Friday, 10 September, 2010, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 10 September, 2010, 12:00am

Businesses are realising that taking a green approach when it comes to lighting not only helps the environment, but it can also benefit the bottom line. In a restaurant, for example, LED lights would use less energy and produce less heat than normal bulbs, resulting in less of a need to use air conditioning and lowering electricity bills.

However, whether there are savings to be had by using environmentally friendly lighting solutions depends on the amount of lights used, says Roney Hui, assistant retail manager of Zodiac Lighting.

Most home lighting would be unable to produce enough heat to affect room temperature, even when normal bulbs are used, Hui says.

LED and halogen lighting are also several times more expensive than normal light bulbs.

For big lighting decorations, such as chandeliers, Hui suggests clients use normal light bulbs instead of LED, as the traditional bulbs are better able to give a sparkling effect.

Down lights and trough lights are becoming increasingly popular for residential use in Hong Kong.

'Many prefer a simple and chic interior design, so they replace chandeliers with down lights or trough lights, which replicate the effect of the chandelier but are not as big or bulky,' Hui says

Hui suggests that people looking to outfit a new apartment with lighting avoid the temptation to put one big light in the middle of the living room. The living room should be the brightest in the apartment, and Hui says it is preferable to divide the sources of lighting in it. For example, one wall lamp could be placed on one side of the room and a floor lamp on the other side.

Hui suggests indirect lighting for the study and bedrooms.

One way to determine whether the light in a particular room is too strong is to look at the shadow on your hand - if it is too dark, the light may be too bright.

Zodiac Lighting supplies well-known lighting brands, with prices varying depending on quality and design, with some costing up to tens of thousands of Hong Kong dollars.

Although Hui says the sales of pricier lighting sets have been affected by the economic downturn, there has still been a steady stream of customers willing to purchase them and business has improved since the beginning of the year.