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The halogen lightbulb ban: what you need to know

A ban on halogen lightbulbs begins from September 1.

Halogen lightbulbs are about to be relegated to history.

Here are the key facts about the ban.

What is the ban?

From September 1 non-directional halogen lamps, including standard pear or candle-shaped bulbs, will be phased out, after incandescent bulbs went in 2009 and halogen spotlight bulbs, or GU10s, went in 2016.

Why are halogen bulbs being banned?

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A Philips LED lightbulb. (Philips)

They are extremely inefficient in their use of electricity. Halogen lamps use around five times the amount of energy of LED lamps. The EU’s ban is part of its commitment to rein in CO2 emissions and reduce its carbon footprint.

Do I have to replace all my halogens now?

No. The advice is to replace halogens with LEDs as and when the old bulbs expire.

Will shops stop selling halogens on September 1?

No, they are allowed to continue selling halogens until they run out of existing stock but they are not allowed to order any more from September 1.

However consumers who consider bulk buying halogens before they disappear for good have been warned that they are simply throwing money away in energy costs in the long run.

Will the LEDs fit existing light sockets?

In most cases, yes – LEDs can easily slot into existing fittings. However, in a small number of cases there may be a problem if you have halogen lights fitted in your ceiling which are connected to transformers.

According to Signify, the manufacturer of Philips LED: “The low wattage equivalent LEDs sometimes mean some transformers cannot detect that the light is actually switched on and therefore lights can flicker. In this case it is worth seeking advice from your electrician.”

Which LEDs should I buy to replace my halogens?

Light bulb packaging tends to convert the old-style wattage into the “lumens” measure for LEDs.

For example, an 8.5w LED bulb is equivalent to a 75w incandescent bulb, while a 13.5w LED is equal to a 100w old-style bulb.

Wattage measures power or energy, while lumens measure light output.

What about Brexit?

Lighting manufacturers by and large support the ban and are unlikely to produce special bulbs for the UK market alone. And EU rules still apply until Brexit has happened.

A spokeswoman for Signify said: “As the UK is still governed by EU ruling and we are still within the EU at the time of the imposed ban we cannot ignore the new regulation.”

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