According to the ECA, UK households could be wasting up to £2.4 billion per year on halogen light bulbs.
The findings come as of an EU ban on producing energy intensive halogen bulbs for sale and import, which came into force September 1.
Overall, if each UK household replaced 10 halogen bulbs (the average number per household) with LEDs, they could save up to £90 per year. Across all UK households (an estimated 27 million), this would mean annual savings to consumers of up to £2.4 billion.
The ECA recommends that consumers and businesses switch from existing halogen light bulbs to energy efficient LEDs as soon as possible, rather than simply waiting for them to fail. Although more expensive to buy, modern LEDs are around five times more energy efficient and offer around ten times the working life of halogen bulbs, leading to significant lifetime savings for customers.
ECA director of business Paul Reeve encourages the switch, commenting, “Although the up-front cost is higher, moving over to LEDs saves customers money because LEDs use significantly less energy, and they tend to last much longer. That’s good news for homes and businesses but LEDs also help the environment by using less energy and generating less waste because they last so much longer.”
Although most LED bulbs will be compatible with the same fittings as halogen bulbs, it will not be a like-for-like swap in all cases. As a result, ECA offers the following tips:
- There are fire risks associated with counterfeit or faulty LED lights which are often sold on well-known e-commerce websites. Consumers are advised to only buy electrical goods from reputable retailers.
- Consideration should be given to dimmable lighting, as many LED bulbs may not dim properly, or at all. In such instances, an LED-compatible dimmer switch will also need to be installed.
- Particular care must be taken with fittings connected to transformers (such as those for ceiling lights). Take advice from a registered electrician, such as an ECA member, to ensure that flickering or safety issues do not occur due to incorrect installation.
The ban on producing halogen bulbs (with certain exceptions) came into effect across the EU with a view to reducing carbon emissions. Lighting manufacturer Phillips estimates that the average UK household has 10 halogen bulbs in use, with a typical halogen using £11 worth of electricity each year, compared to just £2 by a replacement LED.