Halogen vs LED Bulbs - The Facts

During the last few years, LED lights have been brought to the spotlight and declared a clear winner when it comes to lighting choices. More and more people are opting for LED bulbs rather than the traditional bulbs like incandescent and halogen, due to the cost and environmental consequences.

Understanding the difference between the two main options can be difficult and you may be unsure on which to choose. So, we have created this guide to help you make your decision and understand the difference between the two bulbs.

What is a Halogen Bulb?

Halogen bulbs work the same way as incandescent bulbs but are more efficient using nearly 30% less energy. This type of bulb is more or less just an advanced version of an incandescent bulb and is considered a part of the incandescent bulb family rather than in a category by itself.

A halogen bulb works by electricity flowing from the plug socket to the bulb’s base, and the current enters and heats based on the filament (which contains halogen gas). This is known as the ‘halogen cycle’. Each of the particles in this process can be reused.

What is an LED Bulb?

LED (light emitting diode) bulbs are a modern way to light up your home, whilst LEDs did not receive the best feedback at first as the maximum brightness did not match that of an incandescent bulb, this issue has been ironed out and LED bulbs now widely used.

LED lights are continuously trending online due to the many places and purposes they can be used at home, at work and outdoors. LEDs have got people to be more creative with how they use artificial lighting.

LED bulbs work by the continuous motion of electrons flowing in one single direction. LED bulbs are more energy efficient and do not convert as much light to heat as halogen bulbs.

What is the Difference Between a Halogen and LED Bulb?

LED bulbs change energy into light and only 10-20% of the total energy is converted into heat, whereas with halogen bulbs 80-90% of the energy that is passed through is converted into heat. This makes halogen bulbs very hot to touch during or after the bulb has been in use, creating a risk while handling the bulbs.

LED bulbs do not emit ultraviolet (UV) light and halogen bulbs emit small amounts of UV. Whilst a light shade or cover can stop UV rays from affecting you too much, it is still a factor to consider when deciding between the two bulbs.

Benefits and Drawbacks of a Halogen Bulb 215

A benefit of using halogen bulbs is that the brightness capability is excellent, and the bulb is considered one of the brightest artificial lights available to purchase.

Another benefit is that halogen bulbs are not expensive. The upfront cost of a halogen light bulb is more than half the cost of a LED bulb. However, the lifespan of a halogen bulb is not very long. This means that you will have to purchase a new one regularly, which could result in costing you more money in the long run.

Additionally, halogen bulbs can be extremely hot when on for a certain amount of time, which has environmental consequences. The materials that a halogen bulb is made out of is non-recyclable, and considering that the bulbs have to be replaced regularly this has effects on the environment. The UK government has been phasing out the usage of halogen bulbs since September 2021, as part of its attempt to tackle climate change.

Benefits and Drawbacks of a LED Bulb 215

LED bulbs do not use as much power as other available light bulbs. This type of bulb uses 90% less electricity than traditional bulbs.

Also, using an LED bulb reduces the frequency you need to buy light bulbs at, as the lifespan is significantly higher than a halogen bulb. LED bulbs can last between 15,000 to 40,000 hours!

LED bulbs are better for the environment, as the bulbs contain no harmful chemicals. Governments all over the world are encouraging people to use LED lights rather than incandescent or halogen bulbs as it will help reduce our carbon footprint.

There are very few drawbacks to LED bulbs, but one is the upfront cost of purchase. LED bulbs cost more than halogen bulbs, however as the bulbs have a longer lifespan and use less electricity so you will be saving money in the long run.

Comparison

In terms of life span LED bulbs are a clear winner. Halogen bulbs last for around 1000 hours, whereas LED bulbs last for at least 15,000 hours! It will save you money not having to replace your bulbs regularly, and it is better for the environment to not be wasting glass and plastic. Also, it is just an inconvenience to be replacing bulbs, so using an LED bulb will save you time and money.

When comparing LED and halogen bulbs on the basis of cost, the winner depends on what perspective you look from. Whilst halogen bulbs cost less during the purchase, you have to buy new ones more often than LED bulbs. Additionally, halogen bulbs use more electricity which will result in your electricity bills costing more.

If you look at the two bulbs from the viewpoint of appearance, then LED bulbs come out on top. LED and halogen bulbs can match in brightness, yet LED bulbs use less energy to get this result. Also, with LED bulbs there are more colour options as you can purchase bulbs that change colour via remote control or mobile app or you can choose specific shades of white.

The Winner

The winner of the halogen versus LED bulb battle is… LED Bulbs. It comes as no surprise as LEDs are widely considered to be significantly better due to the long life span, using less electricity than halogen bulbs which is better for your pockets and the environment, and the overall appearance of LEDs too.

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