Over a quarter of carbon emissions come from the home. Rather than just telling people to cut back on what energy they use, it's up to manufacturers, engineers and scientists to make efficient appliances the norm – whether that's heating systems, fridge freezers or, indeed, vacuum cleaners. And then there's the humble lightbulb.
I'm not convinced fluorescent bulbs are the way forward. I've tried. You end up hunched over a book because the quality of light isn't up to scratch. So I've started using LED (or light-emitting diode) bulbs. The principle behind LEDs isn't new. They work because of an effect called electroluminescence, discovered by Joseph Round in 1907. In everyday life, they're most recognisable in traffic lights, and they're also used in packs as car headlights. But it's in the home that I think they'll have the most impact. I've replaced my old lights with LEDs and made my own up-lighters that use clusters of LEDs. They're around 10 times more efficient than incandescent bulbs, and twice as efficient as fluorescent bulbs. They use fewer resources – and unlike fluorescent bulbs, they don't contain harmful mercury.
There are still advances to come. Currently, LEDs aren't as bright as other bulbs, they create more heat and are still quite expensive. But given time, they will become a more popular option in homes and offices. They're more reliable than any other light, they last longer and they use less energy. In short, they're a better kind of bulb.
James Dyson invented the bagless Dyson vacuum cleaner. His hand dryer is the first to be awarded the Carbon Reduction Label from the Carbon Trust. LED lights are widely available from lighting suppliers and specialist shopsReuse content