UK government to ban Halogen light bulb

On 9th June 2021, the UK government made a press release about the forthcoming Halogen light bulb ban. The proposed UK legislation will apply from 1st September 2021 with a one month transition allowance. The following light bulbs cannot be placed on the market* after 1st October 2021:

  • Compact Fluorescent Helix Light Bulbs
  • Halogen Linear R7s Lightbulbs (over 2,700 lumens)
  • 12V Halogen Spotlight Bulbs (MR11, MR16)
  • Lower performing LED lamps

The following light bulbs cannot be placed on the market* after 1st September 2023:

  • Fluorescent T8 Tubes (2 foot, 4 foot, 5 foot only)
  • Halogen G9 capsules
  • 12V Halogen capsules (G4 and GY6.35 caps)

It is worth noting that the term ‘cannot be placed on the market’ does not mean that these light bulbs cannot be sold, the legal definition means that goods already in suppliers’ warehouses are already considered as ‘on the market’ and are allowed to be sold after these dates.  The LIA (Lighting Industry Association) have released the following statement to the UK Governments press release – https://www.thelia.org.uk/news/569044/LIA-response-to-the-Government-Press-release-on-new-lighting-regulations.htm

Some questions which have arisen since the latest news from the government:

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. Due to 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.

Do I need to change my light fittings due to the ban on LED Bulbs?

The answer is no, you will not necessarily need to change the fittings due to the fact that most LED bulbs come in either Edison or Bayonet style and in most cases are compatible with the current fixtures. However this is not always the case for bulbs that are fitted directly into the ceiling, which may not be compatible with LEDs. It will depend on the type of transformer that they are connected to, so this is worth checking out before purchasing your new bulbs.  Although the initial purchase price of LED bulbs may seem a lot higher, there are some great positives of using LEDs over halogen bulbs. In the long run, they are much more cost effective, due to their eco-friendly and low energy properties. They will not only cut down your electricity bills but will also considerably improve your property’s energy performance.