Halogen bulb ban helps households save energy and cut carbon

The government is to finally ban sales of the majority of halogen lightbulbs for general household use from September 1st this year.

Halogen phase out under EU rules has been ongoing since 2018 and around two thirds of bulbs sold in Britain are now LED lights, which last at least five times longer than traditional halogen lightbulbs and reduce electricity use by 80 percent or more.

The more efficient LED technology means ongoing savings for households and businesses on bills and replacement costs, as well as reducing carbon emissions through lower energy use. The ban will cut 1.26 million tonnes of carbon emissions a year.

The legislation being brought forward this month will mean that from September retailers will no longer be able to sell most halogen bulbs, like kitchen spotlights. By 2030, LED light bulbs will account for 85 percent of all bulbs sold.

Labelling rules are changing as well, which will simplify the way energy efficiency is displayed on a new scale from A-G, in place of the A+, A++ or A+++ ratings. Fewer bulbs will be classified as “A” energy rating, raising the bar for manufacturers to maximise efficiency and produce even more environmentally friendly bulbs.

The change is a great opportunity for people to take advantage of the big energy savings that LED delivers, as well as smart lighting innovations that give them greater control.

The inefficient halogen bulbs are finally being removed from the market as part of the drive to reduce energy consumption and lower the impact on the environment by cutting carbon emissions.

This is the final part of changes in lighting regulations since 2009 which have progressively curtailed the production or import of all forms of incandescent light bulbs. First to go were the standard incandescent bulbs, followed by halogen GU10 spotlights in 2006.

Big savings

The move to LED lighting ensures that people will make big savings on their energy costs when they replace their halogen bulbs and a well-made LED bulb will last for a decade or more.

With average use, an LED bulb will save enough energy in around a year to repay purchase costs and then go on saving on electricity bills year after year.

According to global manufacturer Philips, replacing 10 halogens with 10 LEDs would deliver long-term savings equal to about £112 a year.

The move is an element in the wider Ecodesign project to improve the energy efficiency of a range of products, from washing machines and vacuum cleaners to lighting and other domestic appliances.

It is expected that the halogen bulb ban will save up to 93 teraWatts each year (TWh/a) by 2020 across Europe, which is the amount of energy consumed annually in Portugal.

The EU also predicts that the move to halogen bulb equivalents will save 15.2 million tonnes of CO2 emissions by 2025.

Smart lighting innovations

Halogen bulbs are really a form of “old technology”, with very limited scope for innovation. The bulbs are basically wires heated by energy in a gas. What makes LED lighting so promising is that the microchip technology provides the base for continual innovation and improvement.

The LED bulb is a modern marvel of engineering and the chip at its heart means that it can be adapted for a variety of uses. For example, an LED smart bulb provides the ability to wirelessly connect to networks and allow remote control by phone app.

Smart LED lighting can be customised remotely and fully managed with intuitive mobile controls. It is seen as a crucial element of home automation built around the Internet of Things (IoT), giving people the ability to finely manage different aspects of their lighting.

LED technology also provides simple but brilliant innovations like Philips SceneSwitch that gives people the power to choose from three lighting moods at the touch of the switch, with no need for other controls.

What do I replace halogen bulbs with?

The cap types affected by the final halogen bulb ban are those that are most commonly used in UK households. They include the standard fitting E27 Edison screw (ES) or B22 bayonet bulbs (BC) and the smaller E14 (SES) and B15 (SBC). You can choose from our extensive range here.

They join those banned earlier, including the directional spotlight models, like the “twist-and-lock” GU10, and the push-fit MR16 (GU5.3) as well as the MR11 (GU4). More details and options are here.

One point worth considering is to get advice if you run your halogen bulbs through a transformer, for example in your kitchen. The low voltage of some LEDs can “confuse” the transformer and result in flickering so it’s good to check. You can call our expert team on 0333 123 5464 for advice.

In terms of brightness, a 40W halogen bulb can be replaced by a 4W LED – for example the Osram LED Parathom Retrofit Classic P Bulb while a 60W halogen is easily replaced by an 7W LED like the Philips LED clear filament bulb.

The choice of “temperature” is also important with many people seeking to replicate the quality of light given off by the halogen bulb. In this case, choosing a “warm white” (2700K) would be effective. For the kitchen or bathroom, a slightly “brighter” bulb that provides “natural white” (3000K) is often suitable while a “cool white” (4000K) is another option.

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