From the end of this month, halogen light bulbs will be banned in the UK as a result of EU legislation coming into effect on 1 September. The legislation is designed to push consumers and businesses into switching to energy efficient LED lighting, reducing Europe's carbon footprint and saving people money in the process. Here's everything you need to know about the ban, how it will affect you and what you need to do.
Do I need to get rid of my halogens on 1 September?
No. You can continue using your halogens and simply replace them when needed, although switching to LED bulbs now will enable you to start saving money on your lighting sooner.
Will I be able to buy halogens after 1 September?
Yes. Suppliers of halogen bulbs will be permitted to sell their existing stock when the ban comes into effect.
I've heard that being forced to switch to LEDs will increase my lighting costs. Is this true?
No. While the upfront cost of LED bulbs is higher than halogens, LEDs use 80 to 90% less electricity than halogens, so they are much cheaper to run. In addition, LEDs last up to 15 times longer than halogens, so you will need to replace them less often. These two key facts mean that you will save a considerable amount of money by switching to LEDs. You can learn more about how much you could save by switching to LED here.
Can I simply replace halogens with LEDs, or will I need an electrician?
Most halogens can just be swapped for their equivalent LEDs. The only exception is low voltage spotlights, such as MR16s, MR11s and G4s. These will need a suitable transformer to power them.
I'm used to buying bulbs according to wattage. What are the equivalent wattages for LEDs?
The brightness of LED light bulbs is displayed in lumens, although most LED manufacturers will include the equivalent halogen wattage on the packaging to make things easier. Generally speaking, a 100 Watt halogen will be replaced by a 12 Watt LED.
Will dimmable LEDs work with my existing dimmer switches?
In most instances, no. You will need an LED-compatible dimmer switch to use dimmable LEDs.
What are colour temperatures?
The improved technology of LED lighting means that you can select bulbs by colour temperature (measured in Kelvins) as well as lumen output. These vary from cool white to warm white, with daylight being more neutral. You can learn more about colour temperatures here.
Will the ban still apply in spite of Brexit?
Yes. As long as the UK is in the EU in must abide by their laws, including this one. Even when the UK does leave the EU, it is very unlikely that lighting manufacturers will continue to make halogens if they can only be sold in a few countries.