Skip to main content
Observer Ethical awards Winners 2011

YouGen Blog

As halogen bulbs are phased out will LEDs steal the limelight?

Posted by Trish O'Flynn on 16 January 2017 at 11:30 am

As of 1 September 2016 directional halogen bulbs (GU10 spotlights) are being phased out across Europe. Other types of halogens are due to disappear from September 2018. However, many consumers are unaware of the ban and are unsure about LED alternatives.

Recent research1 by an online LED lighting retailer found that over 94% of their customers (from over 2800 responses) were unaware of the coming ban.

The research also found that customers prefer LEDs mainly for their very long life compared to other types of bulbs. Yet the majority of survey participants thought the upfront cost of LED bulbs was expensive.

Nathan Shaw of Wholesale LED Lights, who carried out the survey, says: “LED bulbs cost more than halogens but the price has come down a lot in recent years. We stock GU10 3W LED spotlights from about £4.50 each, which includes a free five year warranty. The energy saving is so good that, even with the higher initial cost, LEDs in a typical home pay for themselves within a couple of years”.

Philips offer a handy tool2 to help you calculate your likely saving from using LEDs.

When it comes to buying LEDs, the way you choose the shape, brightness and colour temperature is different to old style bulbs, but it’s easy once you know what works in your home. Interior Designer Oliver Heath highlights some of the possible replacement uses of LEDs in his own home in the following video:

LEDs in the non-domestic setting

Switching to LEDs can save even more money for non-domestic customers, YouGen member and LED installer Chris Jardine of Joju Solar says:

“LED lighting has three main benefits - more light for less power, better quality light and they last longer, saving you money and the hassle of changing bulbs."

“One of our clients – a school – has very high ceilings in the sports hall and has to get specialist contractors in every time a bulb fails. Not only will they rarely have to change these LED bulbs, we estimate their energy bills will be reduced by over £600 per year. This means the bulbs will pay for themselves in four years and save over £12,000 over their 20 year life."

Chris says "For homeowners the savings can be more than £100 per year as LED lights are 90% cheaper to run than an incandescent or halogen bulb”.

So, if you are looking for a straightforward way to save energy, save money and save time in 2017 then replacing your old bulbs with LEDs is a good place to start.

To continue your journey, read our blogs on choosing LED bulbs and changing to LED lighting.


1. LED Lighting Market Survey 2016

2. Calculate your savings with LEDs.

Image credit: SuperHomes

Find an installer of Low energy lighting.

About the author: Trish is a web content writer with the National Energy Foundation.

If you have a question about anything in the above blog, please ask it in the comments section below.

Like this blog? Keep up to date with our free monthly newsletter


2 comments - read them below or add one


dch_controlComment left on: 1 February 2017 at 10:25 am

I wish Gary well with his LED replacement lamps.  Over the last 18 months I have installed LED replacements for 11 traditional lamps (6W GU10), 4 spotlights (7W R63), 2 medium 200W halogen floodlights (30W SMD) and 3 large 500W halogen floodlights (70W SMD).

The prices were high compared with traditional lamps but I looked forward to recouping my investment by the significantly reduced power consumption over their expected long lifetime.

Unfortunately, this hasn't worked out as hoped because during that short time I have had two GU10 failures, two R63 failures, one 70W floodlight that started taking 8 seconds to switch on and one 30W floodlight that has started flickering and is clearly not going to last much longer.  What is particularly frightening is that the GU10 lamps became so hot when they failed that the plastic body started to melt and clearly presented a fire hazard.  For this reason, I no longer leave any domestic LED lamp switched on unattended.

An acquaintance has had similar experiences to me.  He replaced all the compact fluorescent lamps throughout his large property (many tens of lamps) with LED equivalents and is now gradually reverting to the compact fluorescents as the LEDs fail.

LED lamps undoubtedly hold great promise, but in my experience their reliability, life and safety need to be addressed.

report abuse


GaryComment left on: 16 January 2017 at 10:42 pm

I have converted fully to LEDs.  They were very expensive when I started the process but have come down in price at the same time as the light quality and Lumens per watt has gone up.

The best ones I have found (12V replacements and GU10s) are from a firm called  They are glass bodied, just like the halogen versions and the light quality is excellent.  The price is comparable with that stated above and for me the light temperature, quality and intensity are excellent.

I also have various other makes around the house and have found replacements for every shape and form of bulb from the 20W GU4 capsules, replaced with 1W or 3W LED versions to SES 39mm R39 spots and replacements for 300W halogen uplighters.

All-in-all I have reduced the max wattage for our lighting (every light turned on) from 30kW down to 3kW or a 90% saving.

I have read elsewhere that Screwfix has some great value LED GU10s (and probably others) but I have no idea of light temperature, quality and intensity but they do look cheap enough to "have a try" at somehting like a pound each or something crazy.

If you can find the LED which suit you from a light temperature and bulb style it really is worth making the change, not least to slash your lighting costs overall.

report abuse

Leave a comment

You must log in to make a comment. If you haven't already registered, please sign up as a company or an individual, then come back and have your say.