Halogen light sources face September ban

Wednesday, 23 June 2021

Be warned – yet more familiar lamp types will begin to disappear from September.

In the last few years, most traditional light sources have faced increasing competition from LED alternatives, which offer impressive energy savings and extended lifespans. Their cost may be higher and their form slightly different, but that is to be expected when the numerous LED chips inside each lamp are so different to a wire filament or a gas-filled tube.

As technology has devised better alternatives to traditional lamps, with efficiency rising continually, the Government has sought to ban the sale of comparatively inefficient lamps. Starting in 2009 with the traditional 100 W light bulb, which provided just 12 lm/W, the ban then extended to lower wattages.

This week (9 June), we learned of the next phase in the global conversion to LEDs: from September, halogen lamps will disappear from shelves, forcing the use of LEDs in most instances. Halogen lamps are more efficient than tungsten filament bulbs but still only achieve around 20 lm/W. They give instant light without a warm-up; they are very compact and can create “sparkle” in a decorative fitting. They are also easily fitted into reflectors. Therefore, they exist in many forms: downlights, spotlamps, capsules, security floodlights, and conventional screw-in bulbs. They may light your kitchen, your cooker hob, your lounge, your driveway, or your farmyard. They are found in specialist applications from traffic lights to TV studios. The Government ban takes into account the fact that for most of these applications, there is now an LED alternative, achieving up to 120 lm/W.

This week, due warning was also given that in September 2023, standard fluorescent tubes will follow halogens into the museum. Fluorescents, of course, are used universally in commercial and industrial buildings, and since their pre-war origins their efficiency increased to a modern ceiling of 100 lm/W. Older T12 tubes were banned when slimmer T8 alternatives became standard; now, even those face the axe, with only the more recent super-slim T5 types to remain on sale for the time being.

The message is clear – any new lighting installation should be based on LED, and if you’re thinking of upgrading your old lights, the clock is ticking.

The GrowSave team can offer clear and detailed advice on the best course of action – find out how we can help you with all your energy needs by giving the team a call on 024 7669 6512.

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Mike Bond - GrowSave, NFU Energy