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With prices up to £25 per bulb, the received wisdom that LED lighting is too expensive seems deserved. But rising electricity prices and falling LED costs mean that for homes with a large number of halogen bulbs, the new generation of low-energy lighting finally makes financial sense.
Concerns over the weak or cold quality of LED light have abated, say energy experts, whose verdict is backed up by shoppers posting positive online reviews on Amazon and energy-saving forums. Despite usually costing more than six times as much as halogens, the payback for LEDs now comes in 15 months or less – and for homeowners changing dozens of halogen bulbs, the savings can be in the hundreds of pounds every year afterwards.
The third amendment to BS 7671:2011 (IET Wiring Regulations Seventeenth Edition), which was published in January and comes into effect on 1 July, will include a new regulation requiring consumer units and similar switchgear assemblies in domestic premises to have a non-combustible enclosure.
Electrical Safety First, the UK’s leading safety charity, is drawing attention to how few home buyers are properly checking the electrics in their new home before they make the purchase. Two thirds of the homes bought in the last year have not been checked, leaving the new owners at risk of significant bills and even electric shock or fire. The charity believes confusion over what different surveys cover, and a hurry to exchange, is leaving buyers vulnerable.