What the halogen bulb ban means for you

From October 2021 retailers will no longer be able to sell energy-hungry Halogen bulbs. Despite some confusion on the subject, this does not mean you’re banned from using them, although in this blog we’re going to tell you why you shouldn’t be!

The ban was originally meant to start in September but was delayed by 1 month.


What’s a Halogen bulb?

A Halogen bulb is similar to an incandescent bulb. They consist of a metal filament encased in halogen gas. Because of the halogen gas, the filament can burn hotter.

Most commonly you’ll find halogen bulbs as spotlights in kitchens and bathrooms. Because of the style and size of spotlights, they’re usually not alone, it’s not uncommon to find several bulbs in one room, whereas if it was a pendant light fitting there would only be one.


Why the ban?

Simply put the ban is coming in place because halogen bulbs are the least energy-efficient bulb currently on the market and there are now affordable and accessible alternatives to use.

By preventing widespread use of halogen bulbs we could reduce carbon emissions by as much as 1.26 million tonnes.


How will this affect me?

To begin with, not a great deal. The ban does not mean you need to replace all your halogen bulbs overnight. It means that if you need to purchase new light bulbs, you’ll not be able to purchase a halogen bulb but will instead have to opt for an energy-efficient alternative.

If you need specialist heat producing bulbs, for example, if you have a vivarium, you’ll still be able to purchase these.


What’s the alternative?

You’ll have two options, Compact Fluorescent Lamps (CFLs) on the left, or Light emitting diodes (LEDs) on the right.



CFLs were the first real energy-efficient bulb and are cheaper to purchase than LEDs, but after the ban, they’ll become the least efficient available. Many people don’t like these bulbs due to the poor quality of light they produce and the time it takes them to switch on.


LEDs have in recent years largely replaced CFL bulbs. Unlike CFL’s they provide an excellent quality of light and turn on instantly. They come in a wide variety of brightness’s and colours so you’ll be able to find one right for you. Most importantly they last a lot longer too, with manufacturers estimating that most will last more than 10 years.


Which should I choose?

LEDs are vastly superior to CFLs so it really a no-brainer! Upgrading a standard 50 watt halogen bulb to an LED could save you around £3 per year for each bulb, remember if you have spotlights you might have several of these in one room!

The main concern around LEDs is their cost, and it’s true they can be more expensive than other bulbs however due to their life span and energy efficiency you’re actually saving money regardless.

With the energy you’re saving you’re really making your money back from purchasing the bulb in less than a year, bearing in mind the bulbs are estimated to have a life span of 10 years you’re actually saving on purchasing bulbs to meaning upgrading is actually an investment.

Again, if you can’t afford to replace all your bulbs at once you don’t need to. Just do it one at a time as they blow.

Take a look at the Energy Saving Trust’s guide on energy-efficient lighting for more information.


Help from Cosy Kingdom

Would you like some more advice on bulbs and lighting your home? Cosy Kingdom is a free and impartial energy advice service available to everyone living in Fife.

Our energy advisors can be contacted by:

  • Calling 01592 807930
  • Texting COSY then YOUR NAME to 88440
  • Emailing info@cosykingdom.org.uk
  • Request advice online
  • On our Facebook and Twitter social media pages