Local authorities and private landlords are increasingly coming under pressure to meet government renewable energy targets and upgrading to social housing to low energy lighting is a relatively easy way to help achieve this.
Social housing occupants may be elderly or vulnerable and any changes, therefore, need to be safe and cost effective. In addition, residents may well be at home for long periods during the day, requiring a greater demand for lighting, especially in winter months. From 2013, new build social housing projects also have to meet tougher building regulations that require the majority of lighting to come from low energy fittings. Traditional light bulbs are in the process of being phased out by the European Parliament. Upgrading to low energy lighting, such as good quality LEDs could improve lighting levels for tenants, reduce energy consumption and maintenance costs and result in lower energy bills.
According to research and field trials conducted by the Energy Saving Trust (www.energysavingtrust.org.uk), LED lighting has proved to be extremely cost effective in stairwells, corridors and common rooms in social housing where these communal areas are lit for long periods each day, as well as reducing carbon output. Taking all these factors into account, it makes economic and environmental sense to switch to low energy lighting.