Category Archives: Halogen

Domestic halogen lamps won’t now be phased out until 2018

Anyone who has been reading this blog for a decent amount of time will know that we have recently written about the possibility of the sale of halogen light bulbs being phased out by the European Union (EU) by as soon as next year. Well, with a vote having now taken place on the issue, we can confirm that inefficient “D”-class halogen lamps will now remain on UK store shelves until at least 1st September 2018.

That was the proposal of the European Commission that was agreed to by Member States on 17th April, following an extensive review process that was open to the public. Active contributors to this assessment included Members of the European Parliament, Member States authorities, consumer organisations, environmental NGOs and the lighting industry.

It is the low efficiency of halogen light bulbs that is leading to them being phased out, with a halogen lamp often consuming five times more than an energy-efficient LED. This led to the 2009 decision by Member States to phase out such inefficient “D”-class halogen lamps from 1st September 2016. However, the Commission has now decided that this would be too early for LED technology to fully replace halogen lamps, hence the further two-year delay.

This is good news for those of you who still shop for halogen light bulbs here at Easy Light Bulbs, and were concerned about the upfront costs of LED light bulbs if you had been forced to make the switch next year. However, 2018 is still early enough to the bring the significant benefits to the environment that the more efficient LED alternatives are capable of delivering. In the additional two years, it is also a fair bet that more efficient and affordable LEDs will become available.

The decision means that from 1st September 2018, certain non-directional mains-voltage halogen lamps – mainly the pear-shaped ones – will no longer be brought to the market. However, directional halogen lamps, such as popular spotlights, are not affected, and nor are the halogen lamps that tend to be used in desk lamps and flood lights.

In addition, the measures only apply to the offering of new products for sale, and do not impact on products that are already on store shelves, so it looks likely that online shops like Easy Light Bulbs will still have supplies of these bulbs for some time after that date.

Of the decision by the Commission, Diederik de Stoppelaar – Secretary General at the lighting industry association LightingEurope – commented: “The industry strongly supports and has for years the changeover to more energy efficient lighting solutions. While 2020 was the ideal date for a phase-out of the popular domestic halogens, 2018 is an acceptable compromise.

“What consumers must realize, is that alternative developing technologies take time to be fully realised—and then to subsequently be widely available on the market.”

Why might you purchase coloured light bulbs?

Almost any store – like Easy Light Bulbs – that has some two million bulbs in stock at any one time will inevitably have many different categories of lamp to choose from. You really can turn to us for the most comprehensive range of light bulbs for the home and beyond, from general household lighting and infra red bulbs to halogen energy savers and marine navigation bulbs – so why would you want to invest in our coloured light bulbs?

Fluorescent Tubes               Halogen Reflectors               Pygmy Bulbs

These bulbs, which here at Easy Light Bulbs encompass fluorescent tubes, halogen reflectors, pygmy bulbs, round bulbs, reflector bulbs and standard bulbs, make sense in a variety of settings. You may screw some into your ordinary light fittings to enliven the scene of a party, or they may be used to simultaneously illuminate a room and project a certain ambience. Whatever feel you want a room to have, it can be achieved with our extensive selection of coloured light bulbs.

That is even more the case when you consider the many colours in which we offer such bulbs, ranging from red, yellow and blue to gold, orange and pink. But there are so many more specification options when you buy your coloured light bulbs from Easy Light Bulbs. Even just buying coloured fluorescent tubes from us, for example, allows you to select from four-pin units and those with two pins at either end, as well as from such manufacturers as Osram, Philips, Sylvania and Narva.

Reflector Bulbs               Round Bulbs              Standard Bulbs

Similarly, when you browse our online store for coloured halogen reflectors, you can opt for GU10 or two-pin units, represented brands in this category including Bell, Casell and Osram. You can also choose between a series of wattage counts, finishes, expected lifespans, physical lengths, diameters and beam angles. That amount of choice presents itself throughout our product range – our coloured round bulbs, for instance, are available in both bayonet 22mm diameter and screw-in 27mm diameter variants.

Whether you are picking up coloured light bulbs to help to create a romantic atmosphere in the bedroom, to light up exhibited items in a cabinet, as a backdrop for dancing the night away or for all manner of other potential uses, there really is no need to look to an online store other than Easy Light Bulbs. We take pride in our reputation as the complete – not to mention most competitively-priced – supplier.


The Lamp Company quoted in Telegraph story about banned bulbs

Buyers of halogen light bulbs have a real dilemma potentially coming up over the next few years as the European Commission continues its drive to make our light bulbs more efficient, longer-lasting and gentler to the environment, by banning increasingly outdated alternatives. Next up are halogen spotlights, which have been slated for a September 2016 withdrawal.

Who could possibly guide us through the minefield of the latest light bulbs that are being banned, and how we can best replace them in our homes and businesses? Why, no one other than our own Ian Fursland, of course, of The Lamp Company – us! He was quoted in a recent Telegraph story on the prospective ban and the often tricky decisions that buyers of light bulbs will be forced to make in response.

The demise of halogen spotlights still leaves the average buyer with options, although these may not be ideal for one reason or another. LED light bulbs are one possibility, for example, but they aren’t always compatible with current halogen dimmer switches or fixtures. Such doubts have led to the suggestion that any halogen bulb ban could be delayed until 2018.

The current situation with the now under-threat halogens mirrors that for traditional incandescent bulbs some years ago, these having now long been phased out. Since incandescent bulbs disappeared from store shelves here in the UK, it is halogens, LED bulbs and compact fluorescent lamps that have replaced them in homes and workplaces.

That it is halogens that have easily gained the most popularity of those options here in the UK, with an average of 10 in every home, has only added to the concern about a ban on this type of bulb as soon as next year. They are infinitely more affordable than LED lights to buy, the about £1 price tag for a single halogen spotlight bulb comparing to the £5-£10 that one could expect to have to pay for the equivalent LED.

However, there are – of course – longer-term savings to be enjoyed if one switches to LEDs. According to the Energy Saving Trust, around £60 a year could be shaved off household expenditure as a result of such a switch.

As Ian Fursland observed, “Most people don’t buy LEDs because they can’t afford them. There are also problems with fitting them – they don’t always fit into the socket, and have issues fitting the transformers that run the halogens.

You can read the full article here

Amid reports that halogens are already being stockpiled by customers in readiness for such a ban, he added: “There is still huge demand for old-fashioned technology.”

Whichever decision you make about your own home or workplace’s future lighting needs, we’ll support you all the way up to any halogen ban, with our considerably in-depth stock right here at Easy Light Bulbs. 

Halogen bulbs could be banned by the EU as soon as next year

If you are one of our many buyers of halogen light bulbs here at Easy Light Bulbs, we have some news that could be both good and bad for you: they may cease to be available as soon as 2016, as part of the EU’s continuing energy-saving efforts. That could be a positive thing for the environment, but it could be hugely inconvenient for you as a light bulb customer.

It’s just the latest round of a drive to cut greenhouse emissions across the continent that has already seen the end to production of traditional incandescent bulbs, and as you might expect, there has been a mixed reaction from various consumer and manufacturer groups. There are millions of halogen bulbs presently in use in British homes, particularly for kitchen and bathroom spotlights, and while there are alternatives, these aren’t as affordable to buy upfront as halogens.

On one level, it makes sense for the European Commission to bring the axe down on halogen bulbs, given that they aren’t much more efficient than traditional incandescent bulbs. That has led to the EU’s suggestion that they are replaced with energy-saving LEDs and compact fluorescent bulbs, the latter also known as CFLs.

But not only can the alternatives be up to 15 times more expensive to purchase, there are certain other issues with each one – such as LEDs’ incompatibility with the dimmer switches and wiring circuits that halogen bulbs use, as well as the up to five minutes that are required for CFLs to reach full brightness. An EC vote will be held on the issue in April, with the options including to proceed with a 2016 ban or instead delay it to 2018.

Consumer group Which? said that with half of its members still having halogen bulbs in their home and more than two in five having halogen spotlights, a delay until 2018 would allow more time for the resolution of some of the user and compatibility problems. A campaign group of manufacturers, LightingEurope, went even further, suggesting that the potential impact on consumers and the industry necessitated a delay of any such ban until 2020 at the earliest.

On the flipside, however, the alternatives to halogen bulbs do last longer and could make a big positive difference to a customer’s longer-term energy bills. Indeed, you may wish to make the change now to experience the massive difference for yourself. There have also been suggestions that keeping to the 2016 deadline will minimise or eliminate the risk of blackouts resulting from the closure of old power stations.

2-Pin Halogen Capsule Bulbs Aluminium Halogen Reflector Bulbs Dichroic Halogen Reflector Double Ended Halogen Bulbs G9 Halogen Capsule Bulbs Halogen Spot Bulbs PAR Halogen Reflector Bulbs Single Ended Halogen Bulbs

We’ll watch this story carefully here at Easy Light Bulbs, and will keep you posted on the latest developments.

What are the UK’s electricity using habits?

The Energy Saving Trust’s report Powering The Nation is an unprecedented in-depth look at the UK’s electricity consumption and provides some of the richest information on lighting usage to date. Domestic energy use in the UK is currently responsible for a quarter of the nation’s CO2 carbon emissions and such reports are vital if we are to achieve the Government’s target of a 34% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2020 and 80% by 2050.

As part of the study The Energy Saving Trust surveyed 251 owner occupied households in the UK from 2010 to 2011. Twenty-six homes were monitored for a year and the other 225 for one month each on a rolling basis. The study was mindful to use a representative demographic and households spread nationwide.

The study observed households on a room by room basis in order to produce a targeted breakdown of electrical consumption. The table below splits households into six sectors taking into consideration both room use and product function. The living room tops the table with an average running cost of £70-£300, primarily for entertainment purposes. The kitchen was not far behind with a high running cost at an average of £150-£185. Although lighting electrical usage clocked in with one of the lowest top ended ranges of £84, it has one of the highest bottom end ranges at £60. This shows, as expected, that everyone relies on lighting in the home and unlike entertainment costs of the living room, lighting is an essential expense rather than a lifestyle choice.

Room/Product Function Running Cost (Typical Range £)
Kitchen Cooking 150 – 185
Utility Washing and Cleaning 32 – 130
Living Room Entertainment 70 – 300
Home Office/Study Computing/Telephoning 25 – 60
Lighting Light 60 – 84
Miscellaneous General 10 – 100
Total - 347 – 859

A breakdown of room/product running costs in the home.

Household Lighting 

Lighting is a significant contributor to energy consumption in the home with an estimated 17% slice of the household electricity pie. Although the uptake of new energy saving technologies has seen a reduction in electricity use in recent years, the report highlights the vast untapped energy saving potential of UK domestic lighting. This is put into sharp focus when remembering that in 2010 the UK consumed 13% more electricity than the European average and 36% more than Germany.

Firstly, consider the type of light bulbs found in the 251 homes surveyed.

Lamp Type Average number of light sources per type of lamp technology Light sources by share of installed wattage
Incandescent 12.9 lamps 49.8%
Compact Fluorescent (CFL) 7.9 lamps 6.7%
Low Voltage Halogen 5.4 lamps 11.2%
Halogen 5.1 lamps 27.2%
Fluorescent 2.0 lamps 5%
LED 0.2 lamps 0.1%

Information based on an average of 33.6 lamps per household.

Incandescent light bulbs account for 40% of bulbs found but consume nearly half of the electricity used; and are thus the most inefficient form of lighting in the survey. Whereas CFLs make up 20% of the bulbs but only contribute 6.7% of energy use; making them a fantastic low energy solution. Low voltage halogens and fluorescents also rate well in terms of efficiency but traditional halogens were found to be a high consumption option with a household average of 5.1 lamps using 27.2% of electricity.

Surprisingly 0.2/33.6 of light bulbs per household were LED. The explanation for this probably lies in the fact the survey took place from 2010/11 and since then improvement in reliability and falling cost has dramatically augmented LED sales. In addition, the findings are only from a relatively small sample size and anomalies diverging from the national trend, though unlikely, could occur.

From this information we can infer that in 2010/11 LEDs had failed to permeate the lighting market at a domestic level. Arguments such as high cost, limited recycling, poor colour rendering, restricted retro-fit ability and lack of consumer awareness are all valid reasons as to why this was the case. However, almost certainly if the study was to be carried out again today the LED sector would see the greatest change, particularly since the EU phase out of inefficient light bulbs has forced consumers to switch to low energy options.

2014-07-29 11_34_12-Powering+the+nation+report+CO332.pdf

Chart displaying electrical room lighting use in the home

Choosing the correct bulb type for a specific purpose is essential when trying to reduce lighting costs. Consider the chart above which shows the average wattage consumption per household room.

The report shows that as expected the greatest energy consumption comes from lamps in the kitchen and lounge with peak time occurring between 9pm and 11pm in the evening at a range of 130 to 200 Watts per household. The lowest wattage consumption rooms turned out to be office, store and circulation space where lights were switched off for long periods of time. Lighting continued to be used throughout the night in the majority of homes, but limitations with the study meant specific light sources were not recorded. The average electrical consumption for lighting over the year clocked in at 537kWh, the equivalent of £77 per household from a range of £60-£84. Compare this to an average estimated usage of 52kWh or £6 per year for a door bell or 166kWh or £24 for a desktop computer.

Although the report does not specify which bulbs were used in each room, clearly different bulbs have their own purpose. For example, although LEDs are generally the lowest wattage bulb type on the market, installing them in a store room which uses 40w per year on average or in a fridge light would not represent value for money. In fact, given the cost of the bulb, it would take years and years to recoup any energy saving benefits if at all. Whereas LED spot bulbs in a kitchen which consumes 249w per year are likely to yield a return through reduced electrical consumption in only a matter of months or a few years.

Although there is not a huge variation in lighting use across different household types, the use of lighting in single person households comes out slightly more than in multi-person households. There was a 33% increase in lighting spend between a single person pensioner home and a multi-person pensioner home. There was also a £5 per year increase spend between a single adult and a multi-person household with no children. Perhaps surprisingly a household with children came out with one of the lower lighting costs at 477 kWh or £69 per year.

What does this all mean for the future of lighting?

Unit cost and energy consumption are key considerations when looking to purchase an energy saving light bulb. Many people clearly still favour the traditional incandescent technology but market share of low priced energy saving alternatives is growing. The LED market is in a state of constant evolution but recent trends indicate a turn towards low energy technologies. LED is the future of lighting in those parts of the home that use lights all the time e.g. the kitchen, but until we get there there are plenty of energy saving products on the market such as CFL and halogen energy savers that can reduce energy consumption by 30-40% without compromising light output. The fact that such reports like Powering The Nation are published reflects an increased awareness of carbon issues and sustainability that can only be beneficial going forward.

As a result the National Grid estimates that electrical demand for lighting could fall by a half by 2020 from 12.5 terawatt hours down to 6 terawatt hours, even if the number of bulbs in use rises.

To view our full range of low energy light bulbs, please click here.

Other key conclusions from the report:

  • Households spend an average of £50-£86 per year on standby appliances which equates to 9-16% of domestic power.
  • Our TV watching habit is worse than feared! Instead of the assumed five hours of TV viewing per household per day this figure is likely to be nearer to six and thus an extra 10bn hours nationwide.
  • Use of appliances in single person households for lighting, cooking and washing is on average equal or higher than that of multi person households. The number of single person households increased from 7m in 2000 to 7.5m in 2010 a trend which if continued could augment energy consumption figures nationwide.
  • We run an average of 5.5 clothes washes per week, and those with tumble dryers use them to dry clothes 80% of the time.
  • ‘Two can live as cheaply as one’ when it comes to lighting electrical consumption.

The report claims that 76% of the nation ‘think about saving energy in the home’, but with increased awareness of electrical use that figure is certainly on the rise!

Our free online energy saving calculator is a great way to review your home lighting use, alternatively please call us on 01462 490066 or email we will be happy to provide energy saving advice.

Our lighting recommendations for the home are as follows:

Kitchen – LED GU10

Hall – CFL

Landing – CFL

Living Room – LED and Decorative Halogen

Bathroom – Halogen Energy Saver

Garage – Halogen Energy Saver

Utility – Halogen Energy Saver

Dining Room/Drawing Room – Decorative Halogen Energy Saver


Statistical information sourced from: