Posted at 13 October 2021

A lightbulb moment (now that Halogens are banned)

Paul Skade
By Jon Whitehouse
Director, Industrial MRO and Safety

Having started in the Electrical industry in 1995 my early career developed holding a variety of roles from technical support through to business development with...

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It’s going to affect you at work and at home. And there’s a good chance you haven’t heard anything about it. But the sale of halogen lightbulbs (or halogen ‘lamps’ as they’re called in the industry) are now banned in the UK from September this year. Do you know what happens now?

Light bulb on wood table with copy space. Concept of inspiration creative idea thinking and future technology innovation
Light bulb on wood table with copy space. Concept of inspiration creative idea thinking and future technology innovation


It was only in June this year that the Government announced plans to end the sale of halogen lamps from September. It was short notice, but it’s for the ultimate benefit of all of us. That’s because the LED lights which will take their place use less energy, produce fewer carbon emissions, and help to save money.

LEDs might look like a bad deal compared with halogen equivalents because they cost slightly more but they not only last five times longer than halogens, they also use up to 80% less power. They also offer major environmental benefits. 


We are all aware of the need to reduce our carbon footprint for the sake of limiting climate change. According to the Government’s Business Department, banning halogen lamps will reduce carbon emissions by 1.26 million tonnes annually. That’s the equivalent of taking more than half a million cars off the UK’s roads. Together with other energy efficiency improvements for electrical appliances – announced in the same package of measures – emissions will be reduced every year by the equivalent of the year’s combined carbon emissions of Birmingham and Leeds.

The same package of improvements will also save consumers an average of £75 a year off their energy bills – more than making up for a little extra on the price tag of an LED lamp.

Left in the dark

The EU actually stopped producing and importing halogen lamps three years ago. Nine years before that, traditional incandescent lamps were banned. Even though the UK is no longer in the EU, we are still following the bloc’s latest directive concerning the types of lamps manufactured and sold. As the new rules came into effect in September, it’s only recently that the media have been making people aware.

Currently LEDs make up around two-thirds of lamp sales in the UK, but this is expected to rise to 85% by 2030. If you have spotlights in your home (in the kitchen, for example) or garden lights, these are almost certain to be halogen lamps and will have to be replaced with LEDs when the lamp finally fails.

Plans are also in hand to phase out high-energy T8 fluorescent lamps, and to end their sale completely by September 2023.

Lighting fixtures with fixed lamps that can’t be replaced are also banned from September this year. Because the complete fixture has to be thrown away when a lamp fails, they account for 100,000 tonnes of electrical waste every year.

What wattage?

Halogen lamp

LED lamp











Daylight fluorescent lamp
Halogen bulb in a reflective shade. Lighting accessories on a dark tole.
One halogen lamp, isolated on white background


The Government is doing even more to throw light on the situation and make it easier to choose the most energy-efficient lighting.  The existing A+, A++ and A+++ energy-efficiency rating displayed on lamp packaging is being changed to a simpler A-G scale. At the same time, the energy efficiency requirement at each level is being raised, which means fewer lamps will achieve the top ‘A’ rating.


halogen lamp with reflector, warm light in fog
halogen lamp with reflector, warm light in fog


Shining a light

Whether you’re buying new LED lamps for home or workplace, your best option is to choose a reputable manufacturer or supplier.

For the workplace, ERIKS even offer a lighting survey to help you identify the most energy- and cost-efficient lighting options and systems, whether it’s for factory floors and warehouses, or offices and storerooms. Solutions such as PIR motion sensors – to automatically turn off lights when no personnel are present – can dramatically reduce your energy wastage, energy costs, and carbon footprints.

ERIKS can also illuminate you about next-generation lighting concepts, such as circadian lighting. By varying the intensity, colour or wavelengths of light according to the time of day, this can boost health, alertness and productivity. We’ll be shining a light on the science and technology behind it in a later issue of Know+How.

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