The halogen light bulb was invented in the 1950s, and after seventy decades of advancements and gained knowledge on energy efficiency, they will soon be completely banned in the UK.
The UK government began phasing halogen bulbs out in 2018 under EU wide rules, and as of September 1st 2021, they will no longer be allowed to be sold in shops. Cutting the sale of these bulbs will cut 1.26 million tonnes of carbon emissions a year – this is equivalent to removing half a million cars from British roads! Fluorescent lighting is also being phased out, with plans to ban the sale of this by September 2023.
Halogen bulbs are often described as energy-hungry, expensive, and inefficient. They use a tungsten filament which is sealed in a compact and transparent envelope which is filled with a mixture of inert gas and a small amount of halogen, such as bromine and iodine. The halogen and tungsten filament combinations produce a halogen-cycle chemical reaction – this redeposits evaporated tungsten on the filament, increasing its like and maintaining clarity of the envelope.
Anne-Marie Trevelyan, Energy Minister, said: “We’re phasing out old inefficient halogen bulbs for good, so we can move more quickly to longer-lasting LED bulbs, meaning less waste and a brighter and cleaner future for the UK.”
As well as bringing better energy efficiency to the UK, this ban will also help British consumers save £75 a year on their energy bills.
“By helping ensure electrical appliances use less energy but perform just as well we’re saving households money on their bills and helping tackle climate change.” Anne-Marie added.
LED bulbs are the main alternative to halogen bulbs, they produce the same amount of light, last five times longer and use 80% less power. LED bulbs currently make up two-thirds of bulbs sold within the UK, and the ban of halogen bulbs will help continue the move towards low energy LED light bulbs – it is expected they will make up 85% of all bulbs sold by the end of 2030.
There are a range of sizes, shapes and cap fitting for LED bulbs, so it should be easy for consumers to find the right one for their fittings. The only downside to LED bulbs is that they will not work properly with dimmers, they can shorten the bulb life, lower the produced light and can create a buzzing sound. Instead, trailing edge dimmers and designed to be used with these.
To make it easier for the public to know which bulbs are most efficient, there will be packaging changes – the current A+, A++ and A+++ ratings will be dropped, and the efficiency of the bulb will be graded A-G, with only the most efficient bulbs receiving an A rating.