What the halogen bulb ban means for your electricity use

Posted 04/09/2018 by E.ON

 As of 1 September 2018 it’s lights out for halogen bulbs. 

After almost 60 years of brightening our homes, the halogen bulb is now banned from sale across Europe.

So, over the next few weeks we’ll see stock dwindle, and an even longer phasing out of the popular lighting option.

It aims to help lower our carbon emissions and energy bills across Europe, by switching bulbs to a more efficient counterpart. You’ll most likely have some of them already: the LED (light-emitting diode).

But don’t panic - any halogen bulbs that you’re currently using can stay in place until they run out. And you’ll still be able to get some specialist bulbs (like those used in ovens and cooker hoods) as LED alternatives aren’t yet available.

A brief history of bright ideas 
Almost half of a building’s electricity use is accounted for by lighting. Since it was invented, there’s been a quest to the reduce CO2 emissions with more efficient lighting. Where did it all begin?

The first record of an electric light was in 1807, meaning there’s quite a gap until Thomas Edison’s light bulb appeared on the scene. 

Many other inventors had a stab at creating light in different ways, using different methods. But, it wasn’t until 1879 that Edison’s real work began.

After rigorous testing, the first light bulbs went on sale in 1880, and the developments have been enlightening ever since. 

Times have changed a lot since the first light bulbs, and with new technology developments, it’s plain to see that we’ve come a long way. 

The age of the LED
LEDs hit the market around the early 2000s. These little bulbs were a powerful development for efficient electric lighting, and they’ve been saving us money ever since. 

With energy saving now at the forefront of most homeowners’ minds, switching to LEDs could save you more than you realise. 

How the ban could benefit you
Now that the production of halogen bulbs has stopped, we’ll slowly start to see them disappear from shop shelves until there’s no stock left. 

When it comes to replacing your bulbs, look out for the LED alternatives. Don’t worry, you won’t have any problems with fittings, as most LEDs connect to halogen sockets already.

They’ll be cheaper
LED bulbs tend to be more expensive to buy than halogens (costing on average £7 per bulb, and £2 per halogen bulb) but the long term savings prove the benefits of the switch. LEDs use on average one-seventh less power and have 10 times the lifespan of halogen bulb.

They’ll last longer
The average life span of an LED is around 50 000 hrs. If you use your lights for 10 hours a day, your LED could last around 13.7 hours (much longer than the 2,500 hours of a halogen bulb. So, they might appear costly to buy but they’ll be saving you money in the long run. 

They’ll be better for the environment

The banning of halogens is a massive step towards ensuring we’re all playing a part in creating a sustainable future. Swapping to LEDs is just one simple way in which can make a big impact. 

A bright future
As we move towards a connected home, with things such as intelligent lighting and heating becoming more common place, we’re opening our homes to more and more innovations and solutions.  

When we look ahead at the future of lighting, and aim to introduce energy efficient practices into our daily lives – the future certainly looks bright. 


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