Skip to main content
Blog Post 24 August 2021

A quick guide to LEDs ahead of the halogen bulb ban

Earlier this year, the UK Government announced plans to end the sale of halogen lightbulbs from October 2021, as part of a range of energy efficiency improvements that could help lower bills and save carbon.

LEDs – or light emitting diodes – are more energy efficient that traditional halogen bulbs. They also last five times longer and use 80% less energy to produce the same amount of light.

To help everyone prepare for the halogen bulb ban, we’ve put together this short guide on LEDs to encourage householders to make the switch to a more energy efficient and environmentally friendly lighting option.

Why should you choose an LED bulb?

LEDs are versatile lighting options that lead the way in efficiency and durability. They are the most common and adaptable light fitting, and are suitable for replacing both dimmable lights and spotlights.

While a traditional halogen bulb lasts around two years, or approximately 2,000 hours, an LED under typical use can last for 15-20 years.

How much could you save with LEDs?

Lighting accounts for almost 15% of total electrical use in the typical household. By replacing halogen bulbs with energy efficient LED lights, you will have a positive impact on the environment and reduce carbon emissions, thanks to their lower energy usage and long lifespan.

You can save between £1 and £4 per year for every traditional or halogen bulb you switch to an LED bulb with similar brightness. So, if the average household replaced all bulbs with LEDs, it would cost around £145 and save around £40 a year on bills.

By replacing all the bulbs in your home with LED lights, you could reduce your carbon dioxide emissions by up to 55kg a year. This is equivalent to the carbon dioxide emitted by driving your car around 190 miles.

How energy efficient are LEDs?

LED lightbulbs will start to feature the new energy label from October 2021, which simplifies the way that energy efficiency is displayed using an A-G scale. The previous A+, A++ and A+++ ratings have been removed to help consumers choose the most energy efficient and environmentally friendly bulbs for their needs.

The new energy label on lightbulbs will also include a QR code, where you can access further information about the bulb such as lifespan, temperature, colour consistency and beam angle. It can help you understand the energy saving potential, voltage, lifespan, brightness and more.

What else should you look for?

Most LED bulbs’ packaging includes information about the bulb ‘colour’ and brightness, which is shown in lumens.

For example, ‘warm’ is a yellow colour, ideal for bedrooms, living and dining rooms, while ‘cool’ offers a bluer, sharper light. You might prefer this in kitchens, bathrooms and office spaces where you need good illumination.

The lumen number on an LED shows how bright the bulb is. The higher the lumens, the brighter the bulb. A bulb of 1,000+ lumens, for example, is equivalent to a 75-100W traditional halogen bulb.

Looking for more ways to save energy and money?

So, after you’ve replaced all your traditional bulbs with energy efficient LEDs, what’s next?

There are several other ways to reduce your electricity bill, at the same time as reducing your carbon footprint.

  • Always turn off lights when you leave the room. A typical household could save almost £15 a year just by switching off the lights as you leave the room.
  • Be aware of how many lights you have on in one room. If the main light is on, do you need a lamp too?
  • Arrange light switches in places where it’s easy to turn them off, for example near the door.
  • Use sensors or timers on outside lights, so they’re only on when they need to be.
  • Consider using transparent shades or fittings, as a dark lampshade can absorb some of the light a bulb emits.

Ensure that you regularly clean any lamp shades or fittings to increase the impact of the light.

Last updated: 23 August 2021