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The Halogen Bulb Ban: Here's What You Need To Know
31/08/21
Written by: Leon Bagga

The Halogen Bulb Ban: Here's What You Need To Know

Here at Vision Lighting, our experts have unrivalled knowledge when it comes to lighting solutions and things that are happening within the industry. Recently, it’s been widely reported that the UK will be banning the sale of halogen bulbs from September 2021, but do you know why, and what the alternatives are? In this blog, we’ll tell you everything you need to know about the halogen bulb ban.

If you want to make the switch from halogen bulbs to a better energy-efficient alternative, then we have a range of LED solutions that are suitable for a variety of applications. If you’re interested in learning more about our products, our Leeds based lighting manufacturing team would be happy to help. Please get in touch by emailing info@vision-lighting.co.uk or calling 01132 799 745.

What Are Halogen Bulbs?

If you’ve ever seen a lamp that has a bulb within a bulb, or you’ve ever come across a bulb that’s simply too hot to handle, then chances are it’s a halogen one. A halogen bulb is a form of lighting technology that’s ultimately an enhanced version of incandescent lighting, as it has a longer average lifespan and greater luminous efficacy.

Halogens also have a higher temperature than incandescent lights, hence why many small halogen light bulbs have a rating of 250-300 watts. They are one of the cheapest bulbs that you can buy and they come in many different forms - the most common is a spotlight bulb and they are also available in a variety of classic shapes.

It works in the same way as incandescent light bulbs in that the electrical current travels up the tungsten filament once it’s entered the socket. The light bulb has filament in a quartz capsule that’s filled with bromine gases and iodine. The current then heats this filament to a state known as incandescence. This process is often referred to as the ‘halogen cycle’ and the flow of electrical current kickstarts this process. The cycle refers to the particles burning off the tungsten filament and then being sent back onto the filament by the halogen in the quartz capsule. This then allows the particles to be reused.

Whilst halogens typically use less energy than incandescent bulbs, they still use a considerable amount when compared to energy-saving bulbs, such as LEDs. When comparing halogens to other types of bulbs, they don’t score well when it comes to energy efficiency. For example, LEDs use around 90% less energy than a traditional bulb.

We now know that there are good reasons to ban the halogen bulb. However, for many years, plenty of people and businesses have viewed them as the go-to source of light because of their advantages. For consumers looking to purchase a cheap bulb, halogens have been the first choice. Not only do they come at a reasonable price, but they also provide quality light for the money that they cost. For many years, halogens have also been the favoured choice for businesses and households that have unique applications, such as tools and appliances. This is because of their compact size, due to the quartz being so small.

However, in more recent years, people are now realising that there are much better alternatives to halogens, hence why the ban has been put in place for September 2021. The main disadvantage is that halogens are not as energy-efficient as other alternatives. Not only is this a disadvantage in itself, but it also means that it won’t save consumers much money in the long-run. They also have a much shorter lifespan than the likes of LEDs and CFLs (compact fluorescent lighting), so even though their initial cost is less than other bulbs, they will need replacing more frequently which can come at a greater overall cost in the long-term.

What Is The Halogen Bulb Ban?

The banning of halogen light bulbs in favour of more sustainable lighting products has been a popular subject of debate for a good few years now. Back in September 2018 when the final phase of the EU’s energy regulations came into force, the sale of halogen light bulbs was banned then. In 2016, halogen GU10 spotlights were already banned from sale, yet lighting manufacturers argued that LEDs were not yet a suitable replacement for halogen bulbs, hence why they were banned completely further down the line, a couple of years later, in 2018. Of course, because the UK is no longer part of the EU, halogen light bulbs were still available for sale.

Now though, the UK Government has announced that from September 2021, halogen light bulbs will no longer be available to purchase, and that fluorescent light bulbs will follow suit in September 2023. They state that this ban will cut emissions and save consumers on their energy bills, by reducing their annual electricity consumption. This move is part of a wider goal to tackle climate change and promote a cleaner future, whilst helping consumers to save around £75 on their annual electricity bills.

Whilst the adverse effects of light bulbs are often overlooked, the data that supports the ban of halogen light bulbs and a switch to new, energy-efficient technology is staggering. Banning halogen light bulbs and encouraging consumers to purchase energy-efficient alternatives will stop around 1.26 tonnes of carbon emissions from being released into the atmosphere every year. That’s the equivalent of taking over 500,000 cars off the roads here in the UK! So, not only does the ban reduce bills for consumers and annual electricity usage, but it will also help businesses and people to reduce their carbon footprint and greenhouse gas emissions.

To promote better alternatives and to help consumers make the switch, ministers plan to feature new advice on the light bulb packaging. This advice will be in the form of a new ‘rescaled’ energy label. These labels will simplify the scale, making it easier for consumers to make better choices and reduce their energy consumption. As such, the scale will only feature A-G and will no longer include A+, A++ or A+++ energy ratings. Because of the changes, very few bulbs will now achieve an A classification, which will help consumers to select the most environmentally friendly option.

The ban is simply for the sale of halogen bulbs - if you have halogen bulbs within your household or business premises, you don’t have to worry about removing them to comply. You can wait until they burn out before making the switch to an alternative, but there will be no more halogen bulbs available to purchase after September 2021. However, we’d recommend making the switch to a better alternative regardless. LEDs are much more efficient and can save households money, as well as benefiting the environment. To us, making a change is a no-brainer!

What Are The Alternatives?

There are a few different alternatives to halogen light bulbs, such as CFL bulbs. These are another common energy-saving alternative - they can use up to 80% less energy than halogen light bulbs, making them a more cost-effective alternative too.

However, the main alternative - and the alternative that the British government is promoting - are LED lighting solutions. At the moment, around two-thirds of bulbs that are sold in the UK are LED lights. They can last around five times longer than halogen light bulbs, despite producing the same amount of light. They also use up to 80% less power, just like CFLs. By 2030, the UK government has predicted that longer-lasting LED bulbs will account for around 85% of all light bulbs that are sold.

Yet whilst a switch to LED bulbs can help governments to reach their climate change target of becoming net carbon neutral by 2050, they also bring many benefits to both businesses and households. Firstly, by opting to save energy with LED bulbs, you can also save money. Whilst consumer concerns may be that LED bulbs cost more than traditional alternatives like halogen bulbs, they can save you money in the long run. This is because they have a greater life expectancy and don’t need replacing as frequently. Besides this, because you’re saving electricity, you can therefore reduce your energy bills. With all that in mind, these newer bulbs aren’t as costly to operate when compared with older alternatives.

Despite the money that you’ll save, the biggest benefit from switching to LEDs is that you’ll reduce your carbon footprint, and will play a part in the climate change plans that aim to combat the negative impacts of CO2 emissions on our planet. The Climate Group’s research shows that LED technology can achieve energy savings of between 50% and 70%, and save 1.4 million tonnes of carbon dioxide.

How Vision Lighting Products Can Help

If you’re looking to make the switch to LED lighting solutions, then we’re a first choice supplier for many businesses, signmakers, and electricians that require LED products. We’re proud to offer a wide range of solutions that can be used across a variety of applications. Here are just some of the products that we have on offer:

LED Strip Lights by Vision Lighting

LED Strips
A Cost-effective And Versatile Lighting Solution.

Our LED strips are a cost-effective lighting solution known for their versatility. As such, they facilitate creative lighting installations, for example, in places that are usually difficult to place and install light fittings. Purchase your LED Strip Lights today.

Purchase LED Strips
Nanolight LED Trough Light: IP66 Waterproof Sign Light

Nanolight
The Brightest, Most Waterproof, Most Reliable Trough Light In The UK.

This trough light is the first of its kind in the UK - it consumes 11.5 Watts per metre, and has an impressive light output of 2185 Lumens per metre. It also has an IP66 rating, which makes it a truly unrivalled product. Quite simply, there’s no other trough light like this on the market. Visit our Nanolight page to 'Configure & Buy' yours today.

Purchase Nanolight
LED Floodlights by Vision Lighting

Floodlights
Our Floodlights Keep Your Property Illuminated And Secure.

These lights provide lighting for hours and are great at keeping your property secure. They are also useful for illuminating business signage and can be commonly found outside pubs and restaurants. We have a wide range of floodlights on offer, all in various sizes, so that you can find the ideal solution for your needs. Browseour range of LED Floodlights, and purchase yours, today.

Purchase Floodlights

Ready To Make The Switch To An Energy Efficient Alternative? Check Out Our Range Of Products Today

If you’re already looking to reap the benefits of an energy-efficient lighting solution, then check out our range of LED products and accessories today. If you have any questions about our products, please contact us by emailing info@vision-lighting.co.uk or calling 01132 799 745.

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Vision Lighting Ltd,
Unit 1 Wortley Moor Lane,
Wortley,
Leeds,
West Yorkshire,
LS12 4JD

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