Over the forth coming months the European commission are due to take a vote on whether they should ban the Halogen bulbs altogether. This has been widely debated for a number of years with recent newspapers suggesting this could come into affect as early as next year. Halogen bulbs are the original electric light sources, introduced back in 1879 which are still widely used, especially in residential installations.
We have noticed that some manufacturers in the lighting industry have marketed a number of Halogen bulbs as 'Eco', it has since surfaced that these bulbs are no more efficient than the old incandescent filament technology (which the commission has already widely banished), and the term 'Eco' actually stands for Economy!
When we compared Halogen to CFL (Compact Fluorescent Lamps) and LED (Lighting Emitting Diodes) they save up to 80-90% energy, meaning the Halogen bulbs are terribly inefficient.
A number of manufacturers including; Osram, Phillips, and Sylvania are requesting this ban should be pushed back until 2020, which is five years from now!
Whilst the manufacturers are encouraging consumers to purchase LEDs – they won’t be able to meet the demand if this ban comes into affect until 2020, thus creating a shortage in bulbs!
After speaking to a lighting manufacturer they’ve suggested; “As good as LED’s are, there are still some hurdles for them to get over – the same quality of light at the same price, dimmers and drivers compatibility, retrofit, direct replacement in size, this list unfortunately goes on….” (Senior National Account Manager, Sylvania)
Many of Lighting Europe's critics have questioned the above statement to be nonsense!
"LEDs have arrived, are more than ready for prime time, and the sooner the better from an environmental perspective. The conventional industry has already had half a dozen years to prepare for the ban, which, ironically, it lobbied for itself in the first place. If the big traditional lighting companies like Philips, Osram and GE can't meet LED demand, then the newfangled companies born in the CFL and LED era can – companies such as Aurora, Neonlite, TCP, LIFX, Opple, Cree, Acuity. Some suggest that the big companies are simply trying to hold onto their old 'replacement bulb' business model for as long as possible while they make the difficult transition to LEDs, which vendors say last for 20 years”. (Mark Halper)
What are the benefits to LEDs?
Whilst LEDs are more expensive than Halogen bulbs at the moment, this will pay itself back after just two to three years when you see significant saving on your energy bills. The LED bulb (or ‘lamp’ as they’re referred to in the light industry) can last up to twenty-five years lighting homes or businesses for around 15,000 to 50,000 hours during its lifetime, whereas the halogen bulb only lasts 2,000 hours!
Watt does this mean?
Not only do these LED lamps last longer than the typical halogen bulbs, but they also use less wattage which also saves on your energy bills, typically LEDs use four to five watts, whereas halogen uses thirty-five to fifty from the same output fitting.
This is where we see savings in the consumer’s pocket, and to support Europe's project to cut energy being used to minimise the risk of having future power blackouts - this ban alone could support a 5% reduction in energy/power use alone which will have a definite impact on minimising blackouts across the country!
Suggestion to changing over
The UKs Halogen market is huge, with many people using them in down light fittings typically found in kitchens and bathrooms, a ban such as this could be seen as a massive inconvenience for consumers, meaning this ban could be seem as a time consuming and costly process requiring an electrician in some cases.
Moving or decorating…
If you’re thinking of redecorating it’s probably best to use LED fittings rather than Halogen which will avoid you replacing these at a later date. Electricians should be suggesting customers to use LED moving forward!
Benefits for using LEDs!
If you did decide to use LED rather than halogen this could be the savviest buy of the year, if you buy yourself a new box of LED lightbulbs you could save up to £240 on your electricity bill per year. You can buy a box of six bulbs from a local supplier for around £20 which is almost the same price as Halogen.