Replacing halogen lights at your home or business

The how and why of a successful replacement

As you might know, halogen lights aren’t the most efficient or safest lighting option available. In fact, halogen light bulbs are scheduled to disappear from Australian stores by 2020 – which means there are now better alternatives available. Here’s why you should think about changing your halogen light bulbs at your business or your home.

What is a halogen light bulb?

A halogen lamp, also known as a tungsten or quartz bulb, is an advanced form of incandescent light, which means it works by using electricity to heat a thin wire filament of tungsten metal. Just like standard incandescent light bulbs, they emit a bright white light. But compared to incandescents, they’re filled with a high-pressure gas which allows the vaporized tungsten to go back onto the filament. That is why shielding is required in most applications in case the bulb shatters.

Initially, halogen lights have been the industry’s standard for work lights due to their compact size and high lumen output. Today however, they are being rapidly replaced by energy-efficient technologies such as LED lights.

Improving lighting efficiency through regulation

Earlier this year, Council of Australian Governments (COAG) energy ministers agreed to further improve lighting energy efficiency regulation by phasing out inefficient halogen lamps. In addition, they decided to introduce minimum standards for LED lamps in line with European Union (EU) standards.

This means that incandescent and a range of halogen light bulbs will be gradually removed from the Australian market, as long as an equivalent LED light bulb is available. In fact, the ban of halogen lights came into effect in September 2020.

What are the disadvantages of using halogen lights?

In general, halogen downlights are a poor choice for general purpose lighting. This is because you would require large quantities of lamps in order to light open spaces.

There are also other downsides to using halogen light bulbs, such as:

  • Excessive amount of heat. Since halogen lights generate both light and heat, they represent a significant fire hazard.
  • Sensitivity towards rough handling and vibration. When replacing a halogen light bulb, you should be extremely careful to wait until it fully cools down. Also, the filament and glass tube is made of a particularly thin glass that can easily break.
  • A threat to the environment. Most halogen bulbs contain a variety of dangerous chemicals (eg. mercury).
  • Lowest energy efficiency compared to other legally approved lighting options. When using halogen bulbs, you could waste 4 to 7 times more energy than the LED equivalent
  • Short lifespan. Halogen bulbs last 2,000 to 4,000 hours. When lighted 24/7, this translates into about a 6-month lifespan. You can imagine that changing bulbs every 6 months can be quite a costly exercise!

What are the alternatives to halogen lights?

A small change makes a big difference. For example, by replacing 10 halogen light bulbs to an efficient alternative, you can expect to save around $650 over 10 years on your electricity bill.

Moreover, according to a 2016 study conducted by the government, 32% of households were using halogen lights (mains voltage and low voltage) and only 15% LEDs. A further 13% used incandescent lights, 31% CFLs and 9% linear fluorescents. So we should turn our heads more towards energy efficient solutions, like:

  • Extra-low voltage halogen lights – are a safer type of halogen lamps. By using this type of lights, you can save on electricity and the space won’t be as hot. However, brightness will still be compromised.
  • IRC (Infrared Coating) halogen lamps – are considered to be an ‘improved version of halogen lights’. They provide the same brightness while using less power. Plus, they can help you save up to 25% in energy costs.
  • CFLs – are another popular type of efficient lighting. Suitable for most light fittings, including older style incandescent fittings, these lights will provide you with comfortable and energy-efficient lighting.
  • LED lights  – are generally the most efficient lighting technology you can buy for your home or business. They outrun their ‘competitors’ thanks to an outstanding energy efficiency and lifespan. In fact, LEDs are around 7 times more efficient than the regular halogen lights. Plus, they last a minimum of 25,000 hours or 22 years of average use.

Talk to Jaric’s experts about replacing halogen lights

There are multiple things to consider when replacing halogen light bulbs. If you would like to find out more information, our team of experts at Jaric Electrical can help you with further advice and solutions for your home or business lighting. Contact us online or call us at 1300 452 742 and get personalised advice and solutions for your home or business today.