The Halogen Ban is here!! Today, 1st September 2016 sees the first day of the phasing out of energy-hungry halogens across Europe in a boost for super-efficient LEDs. You can still buy halogen lamps but retailers cannot order more once their stock runs out. While this would be the perfect time to change all your halogen retrofits to dedicated LED fittings, most people are more inclined to switch the bulbs for now.
Halogen light bulbs are more expensive to run than energy-saving bulbs. They use a similar amount of energy as incandescent bulbs and have a life expectancy of less than two years. Old-style incandescent bulbs have already been phased out across Europe due to their low energy efficiency. The wider halogen ban comes into force fully as of September 2018, as manufacturers say they need more time to develop certain features of LED bulbs, such as dimming and colour rendering.
The low annual running cost of LEDs makes them a good replacement for halogen bulbs, not to mention that LED spotlight prices have fallen by more than 80% in the last five years, prompting Ikea to remove halogen bulbs from its stores last year. A 50W Osram halogen spotlight for a kitchen or bathroom currently retails at around £1.50 per bulb, considerably cheaper than a £4.99 LED. But the halogen lights also fail so fast that eight are needed to match the lifetime of a single LED.
First hit by the Halogen ban will be GU10 halogen spotlights and PAR30 halogen floodlights (big reflector lamps).
Below is a summary of how much a typical 700+ lumen bulb might cost you per year if you have it on for around three hours a day. Which? have done some serious maths here on the three most common lamp types and as you can see, LED’s come out on top by a long way. It also makes it clear why this halogen ban is necessary – £8.42 per year per bulb???
Halogen annual running cost £8.42
Light from a halogen bulb is similar to an incandescent in colour and quality, as both use a tungsten filament. There’s little difference between the two in the amount of energy used and halogens are significantly more expensive to run than other energy savers. With an expected life span of less than two years, a halogen bulb is unlikely to pay for itself before it fails.
CFL annual running cost £2.04
CFL’s (compact fluorescent lights) are cheap and widely available in a range of sizes and outputs. Some older CFLs were slow to brighten, but this has improved considerably in recent years. They are four times more efficient than incandescent bulbs and quickly pay for themselves in energy savings – but not everyone likes the light they emit. In 2016, General Electric announced the phase out of CFL production. LED prices had dropped steadily, falling below £5 for a basic bulb in 2015 causing customers to turn towards ultra-efficient LED’as
LED annual running cost £1.71
These use almost 90% less energy than a traditional incandescent, making them the most energy-efficient type of lighting. LEDs are usually more expensive to buy, but should last up to 25 years. In the long term they are the cheapest option. An LED could save you more than £180 in energy use over its lifetime, compared with an old-style incandescent bulb.
(Read more: www.which.co.uk/news/2016/08/halogen-spotlights-banned-from-september-450723/)
It’s worth shopping around for LED lamps – read customer reviews, ask your local electrical wholesalers etc. In our experience, you’re better off going for the branded lamps such as Philips, Osram or Megaman. Megaman produce excellent quality LED lamps (pictured below) in a huge range of designs and sizes and they also have some fabulous tools and downloads on their website to work out the savings you could make by switching to LED lamps.