From September 2018, it will no longer be possible to purchase halogen light bulbs in the UK (or anywhere in Europe). This is part of a European initiative to promote the use of LED lighting, which up to 95% more energy efficient than halogen lighting.

Unfortunately, upgrading to LED lighting may involve more than simply replacing all of your halogen light bulbs with LED equivalents.

For example, if you have dimmer switches in your home, then there is a good chance that those dimmers will not be compatible with LED light bulbs, which could mean that you experience flickering when you try to dim your lights, or that your lighting no longer dims at all.

There are many different types of LED lamp, each requiring a different type of dimmer, so it is important to choose a new dimmer switch which is going to be compatible with your preferred choice of LED lamp. For example, some dimmer switches are suitable for ‘trailing edge’ LED lamps and others are designed for ‘leading edge’ LED lamps.

In addition, different manufacturers test their dimmer switches with different brands of LED lamp, which means that their performance with other brands cannot be guaranteed, even if the product states that it is suitable for a particular type of LED light bulb. Therefore, it is important to choose a dimmer switch that has been manufactured and tested using your preferred brand of LED lamp.

If you do not match your dimmers with your LED lamps, you may find that they do not perform in the way that you would like them to. One common complaint relates to the range of different light outputs available; if you are someone who likes to dim your lights to a very low level then this could be particularly problematic for you. In addition, some dimmers have integrated ‘soft start’ functionality, which preserves the life of your lamps, but the delay that this can cause between turning the lights on and the lights actually coming on can be annoying.

Further, the light output from an LED lamp is very different to the light output of a halogen bulb, because these different types of lamp produce light in different ways. While LED light bulbs come in a variety of colour options, ranging from ‘cool white’ to ‘warm white’, you may find it difficult to retain the look and feel of your home, once you upgrade to LEDs.

The more health-conscious among you may feel further constrained in your choice by the latest research in photobiology which indicates that some wavelengths of LED lighting may adversely affect your health, as compared to the output from halogen lamps. You can read our separate article on this here.

In our opinion, the prospective ban on halogen light bulbs is a great thing for the environment and, ultimately, will save households a substantial amount of money each year, in reduced electricity bills. However, the lack of standardisation of LED light bulbs and LED dimmers and the potential for compatibility issues means that the UK’s transition to LED lighting is unlikely to be a smooth one.

Prime Electricians are experts in all aspects of LED lighting. If you are having issues with your LED lighting or you simply want advice on the best way to upgrade your home in readiness for the LED revolution, then give us a call today on 0207 06 06 06 1 and we would be more than happy to advise you on the best course of action.