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Lighting can account for up to around 10% of household energy consumption (SR221 Energy use in New Zealand Households). Choosing energy efficient options is therefore a simple way to reduce household energy consumption and bills.

The 5th BRANZ House Condition Survey, undertaken in 2015/16, recorded information on the prevalence of different light fixtures and bulbs in New Zealand houses. This was the first time such information has been recorded in the HCS. It was collected via a household self-completion appliance-use questionnaire. This questionnaire, commissioned by EECA, asked survey participants about the number and types of different light fittings and bulbs in different rooms of the house.

Results showed that, overall, incandescent bulbs accounted for just over one-third (34%) of all bulb types recorded by survey participants, CFLs accounted for 28%, halogen 21% and LEDs 14%. It should be noted that these results are based self-reported (participant) counts of bulbs, rather than by the House Condition Survey assessor. It should also be noted that the survey only collected information on fixed light fittings (and bulbs) but not on lights that plug into a power-point.

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Proportional breakdown of all bulbs recorded in survey participant households in the 2015/16 HCS  

On average, houses had a total of 23 bulbs, 8 of which were incandescent (excluding bulbs in light fittings that plug into a power point).

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Scaling up to all New Zealand houses, this could represent some 12 million incandescent bulbs in use in dwellings. Of the different bulb types available on the market, these represent some of the least efficient. For example, CFLs use up to 80% less electricity than traditional incandescent light bulbs and last more than 6 times longer, while LEDs use up to 85% less electricity and can last more than 15 times longer than incandescent bulbs (Choosing the right energy efficient bulb).  

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Of the different bulb types available on the market, incandescent bulbs represent some of the least efficient. 

Replacing incandescent bulbs with more efficient options can help reduce household energy consumption and bills. For example, replacing a 60W incandescent bulb with an LED could save $13-15 per year per bulb (Energy efficient light bulbs tool). For a house with an average of 8 incandescent bulbs that's an annual saving of over $100. 

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Average saving per household if 8 incandescent bulbs are replaced with LEDs  

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