On 16 /17 April we carried out a lightbulb ‘Pepsi’ challenge at Bluewater Shopping Centre to see if the public could tell the difference between traditional and Energy Saving Recommended lightbulbs.

For the experiment two identical booths were specially built each with a lounge – one lit with a traditional light bulb and one lit with an energy saving one. 

Members of the public were then asked to enter each of the booths for ten seconds and tell us whether they could tell which one contained the energy saving lightbulb, and which one they preferred.

Out of 761 shoppers, 53 per cent either got it wrong or could not spot the difference, despite 70 per cent of shoppers being confident that they would be able to spot the energy efficient lightbulb before they did the test.  The shoppers were not told whether they had guessed right, but 64 per cent of people claimed to prefer the light produced by the energy efficient light bulb.

I think the results are extremely encouraging and go to show just how much the quality of light from energy efficient lightbulbs has improved since they were first introduced.  Not only that, but there are now a far wider range of energy efficient bulbs available, including dimmers. The days of bulky, ugly looking energy efficient bulbs, which gave poor light quality are long gone.   Clearly, the public have had their own ‘lightbulb’ moment too, with sales of energy efficient lightbulbs jumping from 10 million in 2006 to 21 million in 2007.

The environmental and financial benefits of energy efficient lighting are significant too. If you changed all of your remaining bulbs to Energy Saving Recommended ones then over the course of their lifetime they will save you over £600 and 2.7 tonnes of CO2.

Whilst at Bluewater Shopping Centre, we made a short video about the lightbulb challenge, which you can view below: