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How do LED lights work?   Did you know that replacing your old halogen downlights with low-energy LED lighting is one of the simplest and easiest things you can do to save energy in your home and reduce your power bill?   What is LED?   LED stands for light-emitting diode. To get technical, LED is a semiconductor that converts electricity into light. It’s one of the newer technologies available in energy-efficient lighting.   How long do LED lights last?   LEDs last a long time compared to traditional incandescent (think Thomas Edison) or halogen lights.   AGL uses high quality LED downlights that come with a three-year manufacturer’s warranty and have an average life span of between 15,000 and 70,000 hours.   How can a light bulb be energy efficient?   It’s estimated LEDs use approximately 85 per cent less energy than halogen or incandescent lighting. So, installing LED lighting can really reduce your energy consumption and ultimately lead to savings on your energy bill.   What is the difference between LED, halogen and incandescent lighting?   The main difference between LED and halogen and incandescent lighting is energy efficiency. LEDs are longer lasting and cost less to run.   Depending on the type used, LEDs can last 30–50 times longer than traditional incandescent lighting. They’re also smaller, and can be faster-switching depending on the light fitting.   Also, compared to halogen lighting, LED downlights are safer, as they have a lower risk of fire because they run at lower temperatures.   Are there any other energy-efficient lighting alternatives?   You can get a variety of energy-efficient lighting, such as eco-halogens or compact fluorescent tubes. However, LEDs still beat the rest for energy efficiency and longevity.   Note that many kinds of incandescent bulbs are no longer available, having been phased out by the government from 2009.    To see how much you could save by switching from halogen to LED downlights visit our online calculator.   At AGL we can supply and professionally fit a range of LED lights. You can find more information about LED lighting and other AGL Smarter Living products here, or by giving us a call on 131 766.   ~Authored by Emma Sorensen
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A power outage can be inconvenient and frustrating, but here are a few ways to make it easier to cope with.   Experiencing a total loss of power can be a frightening thing. You could be watching TV or having dinner with the family, when suddenly you’re plunged back into the Dark Ages. Not fun.   First of all, don’t panic. Unless there’s a major emergency in your home or the local area, power outages are usually temporary.   If you think the outage poses a threat to your life or property – like a powerline has come down outside – immediately call 000 and talk to an emergency operator. They’ll provide instructions on what to do next.   If it’s not an emergency, stick your head outside to see if there are any other lights on in your street or area. If it’s just you, you should be able to see streetlights or other people’s house lights. Knowing this can help you swiftly find out why you’ve lost power.   There are a number of companies that supply electricity to various areas. You can use our electricity distributor lookup tool to find out who distributes power in your area. The companies are:   Victoria (electricity), New South Wales (gas): Jemena Electricity – 131 626. Victoria: United Energy – 132 099. Victoria: CitiPower – 131 280. Victoria: Powercor – 132 412. Victoria: AusNet Services – 131 799. Queensland: Energex  – 13 62 62 South Australia: SA Power Networks – 13 12 61. Your distributor is the first place to call to report your fault and have it investigated.   If you have access to the internet on a phone or tablet, you can visit our page on Emergencies and Outages, which will tell you if there’s a fault or emergency in your area. Rest assured that if the issue lies with us we’ll be doing everything we can to restore services as soon as possible. Check back regularly to see the status of the outage.   Planning ahead   So as not to get caught unawares by a power outage, a good thing to do is keep an AGL bill around, like on the fridge or in your bottom kitchen drawer. On the front of your bill you’ll find a Faults and Emergencies phone number. Also, keep a torch handy – either by the front door or on a key ring. There’s nothing worse than bumping your shin on a piece of furniture when moving around in the dark. This can also help you find the Faults and Emergencies contact number on your bill.   By following these simple tips you’ll be out of the dark as soon as possible.   ~Authored by Mark Gambino
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