The halogen ban effect: time to make the switch to LEDs

Author : Holger Engelbrecht, Product Manager at Reichelt Elektronik

14 August 2018

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Following the EU's forced ban on halogen light bulbs, coming into effect on 1st September 2018, this piece from Reichelt reviews customers' alternative lighting options and the benefits of switching to LEDs.

What is the halogen ban?

Next month’s EU ban means that customers will no longer be able to buy GU10, E27 or B22 halogen bulbs. And while retailers will continue to sell their remaining stock, once they’re all sold there won’t be any new stock available.

For those in the industry, there is a responsibility to inform customers – who may be unaware of the halogen ban – on what the alternative buying options are.

To avoid being caught out, the transition should begin sooner rather than later – starting with priority areas that need effective and efficient lighting.

What is the alternative?

The primary alternative lighting solution is of course light emitting diode bulbs. Cost effective and much more energy efficient than their traditional bulb counterparts, LEDs have already been on the market for some time (73 percent of British homes currently use LEDs), and their benefits are already widely known throughout the industry.

The high initial price points of LEDs, however, have historically been a barrier. But, thanks to advancements in technology over recent years, LED bulbs are now much more affordable. Statistics from market experts show spotlight prices have fallen by over 80 percent.

More importantly though are the long-term cost savings that can be made versus the initial expense. Consuming up to 80 percent less electricity than incandescent bulbs, using LEDs can drastically reduce energy bills.

LEDs’ impressive lifecycle also means that fewer replacement bulbs are required. A halogen bulb may be cheaper at first, but it could take up to eight bulbs to exceed the lifespan of just one LED. Light emitting diodes boast an impressive lifespan, too: approximately 50,000 hours – dramatically higher than filament bulbs and energy saving bulbs, which last 1,000 hours and 6,000 to 15,000 hours respectively.

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Of the companies that are currently using LED lighting (49 percent use LEDs in all office areas), 18 percent of respondents believe they are saving as much as 21 to 30 percent since switching from conventional lighting.

Overall, the EU believes the average consumer will save approximately £418 per year on energy bills by 2020, thanks to the light bulb efficiency initiative.

LED efficiency

LED technology is the most efficient light source on the market. A halogen lamp can use as much as 10 times the amount of energy that an LED lamp uses.

Energy efficiency is the most important factor for British people when buying any light, and it is already starting to influence the choice of lighting: 37 percent of those over fifty-five say that it influences their choice of lighting.

Top tips for switching to LED alternatives

- Choose the right switching cycle – daytime light sources, used frequently in places such as corridors, require an LED with a high switching cycle, usually between 50,000 and 100,000.

- Check the bulbs’ energy efficiency – look out for the ‘EU Energy Efficiency’ label to see how much power each light bulb uses, so that you can factor in your estimated energy consumption.

- Ensure that the LED bulb emits more light flux than a comparable incandescent light bulb.

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- Consider where the light bulb is being used when deciding which colour light to buy.

     - For the office, a light bulb of 4,000 to 6,500 Kelvin is recommended.

     - For a workshop, garage or general outside space, LED products of 6,000 to 7,000 Kelvin are recommended.

     - Office spaces or work areas often use a neutral white light in a range of between 3,300 and 5,000 Kelvin.

- Ensure the colour spectrum for warmer lights has a high proportion of red. For cooler lights, check instead for a high blue content.

- Don’t leave it too long to switch! Start with the most frequently used rooms.

The importance of good lighting

As lighting is used every day, it’s easy to take it for granted but maintaining good lighting in the workspace or the home is of course crucial and not to be underestimated. 64 percent of employees in the UK say that good lighting is very important, so much so that 89 percent of companies currently take action to ensure that lighting is suitable for their employees in the workplace.

An LED bulb can easily compete with a halogen lamp in terms of luminosity and requires less maintenance. The former’s light quality is also more versatile, a vital factor given how the wrong office light can affect those nearby: aside from causing headaches, there has also been extensive research into how the right type of white light – different shades and tones – can impact our moods and well-being.

Acting on these top tips, when transitioning from halogen to LEDs, will help businesses and tradespeople to advise their clients on how to become more energy efficient, reducing the energy footprint and costs at the same time. Only by switching sooner rather than later will organisations and homeowners be able to achieve the best return on their investment – and avoid any issues with replacement bulbs.


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