Light bulbs are in the news again and it looks like their cost is about to rise. So should we all be rushing to snap up those ‘three for a pound’ deals while we still can – or does it pay to be more discerning?
How much do you spend on your light bulbs? This isn’t something I’ve considered much until now – after all, we’ve got loads of ‘free’ ones in the cupboard (courtesy of our energy company), along with more cheap ones from Ikea.
But, according to reports this week, the era of cheap light bulbs may soon be over. Why? Because traditional light bulbs are being phased out, causing stocks to dwindle.
Add that to the fact that light bulb mailouts from energy companies stopped last year (following a staggering 182m being sent out as a low-cost route towards meeting energy-efficiency targets) and it looks like keeping your home lit up is about to get pricier.
The true cost of light bulbs
So how could this impact our shopping bills? Where bulbs are currently available for 33p, costs could treble, with the cheapest light bulb going for £1.
While £1 may still seem affordable, it could be a high price to pay for the quality you’re getting (slow to light up, rubbish in cold temperatures, for example). And if you’re after real quality, a quick look at our Best Buys tells you that it already comes at a price.
But while none of the Best Buys give you much change for a fiver, surely the overall cost is worth it when you factor in the quality and longevity compared to the cheaper versions? And then weight this against the average life of traditional bulbs and they don’t seem so expensive after all…
Time to stock up?
Even if my argument hasn’t convinced you, we’ve got little choice other than to start switching to energy-saving bulbs. Traditional bulbs are already scarce – many supermarkets have already stopped stocking them and in September the 60W bulb will be following the same demise as the 100W and 75W bulbs.
We’ve already seen panic buying of dwindling traditional bulb stocks – will reports of rising energy-saving light bulb prices reignite those stockpiling shoppers? Or is it just time to switch on to the fact that today’s prices are artificially low and accept we have to pay more to light our homes in future?