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Halogen light bulbs to be banned from September

Emma Lunn
Written By:
Emma Lunn

The government wants households and businesses to switch to LED bulbs which are more energy efficient.

Halogen bulbs will be banned from being sold from September 2021, with fluorescent lightbulbs to follow from September 2023. This will both cut emissions and save consumers money on their energy bills.

The government says the shift to LED bulbs will cut 1.26 million tonnes of CO2 – the equivalent of removing over half a million cars from UK roads.

The new rules are part of tighter energy efficiency standards for electrical appliances as part of the UK’s wider efforts to tackle climate change.

Currently, about two thirds of bulbs sold in Britain are LED lights, making a considerable impact in improving the energy efficiency of the country’s buildings. They last five times longer than traditional halogen lightbulbs and produce the same amount of light – but use up to 80% less power.

The UK began phasing out the sale of higher-energy halogen lightbulbs in 2018. The new legislation means retailers will no longer be able to sell the majority of halogen bulbs for general household use in the UK from 1 September.

Energy labels

To help people make the switch, ministers also announced that all lightbulbs will start to feature new energy efficiency advice on new energy labels on their boxes. The labels will simplify the way energy efficiency is displayed on a new scale from A to G, doing away with the A+, A++ or A+++ ratings.

This measure is expected to mean that LED lightbulbs will account for 85% of all bulbs sold by 2030.

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.

“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.

“Today’s plans also include a ban from September on the sale of lighting fixtures with fixed bulbs that can’t be replaced – meaning the fixtures have to be thrown away. Fixtures such as these account for 100,000 tonnes of electrical waste every year – out of a total 1.5 million tonnes of electrical waste each year.”

Saving on energy costs

According to the Energy Saving Trust, you can save £2 to £3 a year for every traditional halogen bulb you switch to a similarly bright LED bulb. Replacing a 50W halogen with an LED equivalent could cut your energy costs by £75 over the lifetime of the bulb.

The trust calculated that if the average UK household replaced all of their bulbs with LEDs, it would cost about £100 and save about £40 a year on bills.