The European Union ban on halogen bulbs came into effect on 1st September 2018. While vast quantities of halogen lights are still being used in households across Europe, the ban aims to encourage consumers to switch to more energy-efficient alternatives, thereby helping to reduce the carbon footprint.
A traditional halogen bulb’s incandescence comes from heat. As such, the bulb emits light that is a by-product of the heating process. Conversely, LED light bulbs produce light electronically. By not generating heat, they, therefore, consume far less energy.
The ban will ensure a gradual phase-out of lower performing halogens. Retailers will be allowed to sell their remaining stock of halogen bulbs but will then be required to replace stocks with more energy-efficient alternatives. Consumers will, therefore, have no choice but to purchase these higher performing replacements.
With a growing supply of far more efficient lighting options, the EU began a phased ban of incandescent bulbs in 2009. All traditional incandescent bulbs have been banned within the EU as part of a shift towards more efficient technology, with the remaining lower performing halogens being phased out in this latest ban.
Halogen bulbs are often connected with carbon dioxide emissions. However, it’s not the bulbs themselves that cause the emissions, but rather the generation of the high levels of electricity used to power them.
Of course, the amount of C02 created by a power station depends on its type and efficiency. While most renewable energy sources produce little to no global warming emissions, currently, a vast amount of electricity is generated by fossil fuel powered stations. This method of energy production creates considerable CO2 emissions.
As halogen light bulbs are far less energy efficient than other types of bulbs, this means that their resulting carbon footprint is far larger. By banning halogen bulbs, the EU is aiming to achieve a massive 15.2 million tonne reduction in Europe’s carbon footprint by 2025.
New technology has resulted in dramatic advances in lighting solutions. When first introduced, LED light bulbs were limited to single-bulb use and were prohibitively expensive. Today, however, manufacturers have expanded the application of LEDs by clustering the small bulbs. Similarly, technology has rapidly brought LED light bulbs into competitive pricing with alternatives and can be introduced as standard for most lighting needs.
One of the most important considerations is that the running costs of LED light bulbs are a fraction of that of halogens. In fact, halogen bulbs use approximately five times the amount of energy consumed by LEDs. According to the Energy Saving Trust, a halogen bulb uses about £11 of electricity a year. Compare this with the LED’s approximate annual cost of £2 and the energy savings speak for themselves.
Furthermore, traditional halogen bulbs are not operationally efficient. Not only do they lose a considerable amount of the electricity used as heat but they also have a short lifespan. When used for around three hours a day, halogen light bulbs last for around 2,000 hours. LED bulbs, however, boast an impressive 25,000 hours by comparison. The long operational lifetime of the LED helps to achieve greater energy efficiency, leading to significant energy savings.
This enforced shift away from lower performing halogen bulbs will not only improve environmental standards but also save households money in the process. According to a Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy spokesperson, when combined with other energy efficiency measures, households can save around £100 on their annual energy bills from 2020.
Switching to LED lighting not only offers householders an opportunity to benefit from reduced energy bills it also introduces consumers to the array of LED colour, quality and design options available.
If you haven’t made the switch already, upgrade to LED lighting today! Contact our lighting experts for any questions or if you wish to know more about our products.