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UK Bans Sales of Halogen Light Bulbs

The primary reasons for banning halogen light bulbs, and shifting to LED bulbs instead, is to reduce energy bills and cut emissions in the United Kingdom. So, ending the sales of halogen light bulbs from September 2021 is part of the government's plan for a brighter and cleaner future.

Why are Halogen Bulbs Being Phased Out?

When compared to light emitting diodes (LED), halogen light bulbs get hot to the touch and are very inefficient.

As such, a halogen bulb in a home will use around five times more electricity per year than its LED counterpart.

So, the United Kingdom and the EU are trying to reduce the impact that lighting our homes has on key environmental issues.

Note: Besides banning the sales of halogen light bulbs from September 2021, the removal of fluorescent lights from retail shelves comes into effect from September 2023.

Benefits of Using LED Light Bulbs

Despite being a little cheaper to buy than their LED equivalent, halogen bulbs cost more to use and they will burn out a lot quicker.

As a general rule of thumb, LED bulbs can last up to fifteen (15) years. Whereas, the average lifespan of halogen bulbs is closer to three (3) years.

In a nutshell, using LED bulbs in homes and businesses makes them more energy efficient, they are cleaner for the environment, and they are more cost-effective over time.

Halogen Light Bulbs Ban September 2021

Reports suggest that LED lights account for more than 60% of all bulbs sold for use in homes and other buildings in Britain [June 2021].

Furthermore, when comparing the energy efficiency improvements of light emitting diode bulbs versus traditional halogen lightbulbs, LEDs:

  • Produce about the same amount of light.
  • Can last up to five (5) times longer.
  • Use up to eighty percent (80%) less power.

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In fact, the UK Government first started phasing out the sale of higher-energy halogen lightbulbs back in 2018.

But, the new legislation means retail stores are banned from selling almost all types of halogen bulbs for general household use from the 1st of September 2021 in the United Kingdom.

New Energy Efficiency Advice

A new energy efficiency advice feature (via ‘rescaled’ energy labels on boxes) will help consumers switch over to LED light bulbs.

As a result, a simplified new ratings scale from A-G replaces the outdated A+, A++, and A+++ ratings. In simple terms, a new system of classifications should help consumers choose the most environmentally friendly lightings for their homes.

Note: After banning the sales of halogen light bulbs in the United Kingdom, the government expects the sales of LED light bulbs to increase to 85% of all bulbs sold by the year 2030.

Phasing Out Fluorescent Lightbulbs

The announcement of additional legislation brings an end to the sales of high-energy fluorescent lightbulbs – and it should take full effect from September 2023.

Furthermore, introducing new rules for the vast majority of light bulb sales marks a significant shift towards the use of longer lasting LEDs.

As such, stopping emissions of 1.26 million tonnes of carbon per year has the same effect of removing 500,000 cars from roads in the United Kingdom.

But wait – there’s more:

A further ban on selling lighting fixtures with fixed bulbs (e.g. those which need to be thrown away because you cannot replace them) also comes into full force in September.

These household light fixtures account for around 100,000 tonnes of electrical waste each year. It is a significant contribution to the estimated annual total of 1.5 million tonnes.

Note: The ban on halogen bulbs in the United Kingdom excludes sales of HL R7 halogens and some fluorescents (e.g. T5s).

Removing Halogen Bulbs from Your Home

Now, you may be wondering… ‘Do I need to remove all the halogen light bulbs from my home’? Well, the simple answer is ‘No’.

You might have halogen bulbs installed inside light fittings and they are still working fine. If so, there is no legal requirement for you to remove them – until they have burned out.

You will be able to switch from halogen to an LED alternative once they have become unfit for the job. Doing so also means your home becomes more energy-efficient.

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Note: This short video explains some of the key differences between Halogen, LED, and Fluorescent light bulbs.

Halogen Light Bulbs Ban Announced in the United Kingdom