Are LED light bulbs now good enough and cheap enough to justify banning the less eco-friendly halogen bulbs? The answer, seems to be no. Or at least, not yet.
I’m no fan of halogens. The ones in my house blow so often that it seems I’m forever replacing them, so I recently asked for a quote from an electrician for LEDs. I was pleased by the quality and variety of light they gave, but disappointed by the cost.
You can buy a Best Buy LED bulb for £5, but that’s still quite a lot more than a halogen bulb. And we’ve tested some that cost up to £40. So if you’re going to buy LEDs, go for a Best Buy.
It is concern over the cost, compatibility and quality of LEDs that has led the EU member states to delay the proposed ban on some types of halogens from 2016 to 2018, so clearly there are some questions that LED technology has yet to fully answer.
It’s mainly pear-shaped halogen bulbs that will be affected – the type you’d find in a lamp shade or in a light fitting in the middle of a room. There are no plans at present to ban spotlights or halogen lamps used in desk lamps and floodlights.
Should we get rid of halogen bulbs?
Halogens use much more energy than newer LED and CFL energy-saving lamps. They use only 10% less energy than an old-style incandescent bulb, while LEDs use up to 90% less.
But many of us still have halogens in our home. According to our survey last year, half of Which? members still use halogen bulbs, with more than two in five using halogen spotlights.
Is it right to delay the ban?
The industry says it needs more time to develop LEDs with features that people want, such as standard dimming, multi-directional light beams, and good colour rendering, at an affordable price. Delaying the ban until 2018 should give more time for some of these issues to be sorted out.
Do you think LED light bulbs are now good enough for halogens to be banned? Are you going to replace your halogen bulbs with LEDs?