LED Lights Fight Back – Ding! Ding! Round One!
Recently we read an article in the Daily Mail suggesting that the EU’s decision to ban halogen bulbs for LED lights is a ‘sheer ruddy inconvenience’ and an anti-democratic violation of our freedom. The article appeared to suggest that the EU are out of touch with the general public and others that are affected by the new legislations that come forth.
Beyond the hyperbole comparison between the Soviet Union, the iron curtain and EU there were a few instances of casting LEDs in a poor light. Since the article was published the ban has indeed been pushed back to 2018. Yet those inaccuracies need to be rectified. We feel that it’s about time LED Lights fight back!
Without stepping on any toes, it doesn’t seem correct for standard LED bulbs to cost as much as £25 meaning that mere 10 bulbs would cost £250. Of course prices will vary from shop to shop when looking for the bulbs. It’s like anything, you won’t buy your Sunday roasting joint in one shop as you know it’s cheaper elsewhere. It just makes sense to search around for the best deal when searching for anything.
The most basic LED bulbs can cost as little as £2.99 and while there may be all singing and dancing versions that demand a higher price, the £2.99 LED bulb is still more economical and financially sound than a halogen bulb anyway. Now, it doesn’t take a maths genius to figure out that actually replacing those 10 halogens is only going to cost in the region of £30.
The next point raised in the article was a creatively phrased one, but looking at the facts and figures the statement falls flat. The article attempts to state that pensioners will “now find themselves half-blind in lighting poverty” due to the banning of halogen lights. However, unlike the tone of the Daily Mail’s piece the EU are not about to come breaking down your door and steal all your working halogen bulbs to force you to buy the LED replacements. If it’s not financially feasible to replace all your household bulbs at one time then simply replace your halogen bulbs when they stop working; spread the cost. That being said, places that you can purchase the bulbs from will offer multipacks for a reasonable price. From a pack of 3 up to a pack of 10 and more. It is all about calculating what is best for your finances and your home; if it makes sense to buy a bulb as and when then do so.
So back to the pensioners that will “find themselves half-blind in lighting poverty”, doesn’t it make sense to buy quality over quantity. Rather than spending £30 a year replacing their halogens, with LEDs they can put that money to use in heating their homes.
Beyond the actual price of the bulb is the overall saving that replacing halogen for LEDs is in the long run. While you can buy a halogen bulb for around £1 the quality of these bulbs are not the best. Buy cheap, buy twice. The overall life of the halogen bulb is only short when used every day- 2,000 hours or 83 days. That means that you will have to replace your halogen bulb 4 times a year. While that does not appear a lot, when using the Daily Mail figure of 10 halogen lights it becomes £30 a year just on replacing your halogen bulbs. Whereas the life of an LED can be up to 40,000 hours or 1666 days of usage. This could mean that you only have to replace an LED bulb once every 4 years, depending on the amount of usage it gets. That is a significant saving and you can have a return on your investment of those 10 lights in less than a year.
Now that the topic of price is out of the way, next comes where do you buy your replacements. Now the Daily Mail article suggests that LED bulbs are ‘hard to obtain’ but this could not be further from the truth. Even back in March LED bulbs were still easy to find and take home. From specialist online retailers to your screw fit in the supermarket you can pick up an LED bulb for your home. Therefore to say LEDs are hard to obtain is clearly an ill-informed point of view.
To further this point the article suggests that Philips and GEC wanted to delay the ban on halogens for monetary reasons. However, when looking into both company’s online presence they appear to be fully behind the change by featuring their LED products front and centre. This hasn’t changed since March but it gives the impression that these and other big lighting companies are fully on board with the halogen ban.
Here comes the technical side. According to the Mail article the LEDs “will be difficult to use with the dimmer switches and wiring circuits used by many halogen bulbs” but this could not be further from the truth. Once again it’s the time that the LED Bulbs Fight Back – There is no need to rewire your entire electrics when it comes to replacing a halogen for an LED, anyone who tells you so is more than likely a cowboy trying to make a fast buck. When it comes to replacing your dimmable halogen with a dimmable LED bulb it’s still quick and simple to do. There is no mass rewiring needed. Simply buy a dimmable LED bulb to replace your halogen bulb and a Varilight Pro dimmer switch to replace your current dimmer switch. You don’t need to be an expert in electrics to update your halogen dimmers to LED. Anywhere you can purchase the dimmable bulbs will be happy to assist you in finding the perfect switch that meets your requirements. Therefore the most complicated aspect on buying an LED bulb is figuring out which lamp base you require, the same as replacing any bulb within the home.
There is no need to rewire your entire home, or change the switches in each room when you buy simple LEDs. Simply purchase your chosen bulb and fit in place of your halogen. In a matter of minutes you can enjoy the crystal clarity of LED light.
One aspect of the article that comes screaming off the page is the reluctance to let go and move onto better and brighter things. Reminiscing about the past and the incandescent light bulbs that used to illuminate the darkness, is all well and good but just as we have now embraced household recycling and even electric cars, LEDs are the smart decision for the future.
For a writer that complained within the first few lines of his article in the Mail that he is constantly changing his halogen bulbs and being careful not to burn himself, the change to LEDs would seem the wisest choice. If not for the longer life for the simple fact that an LED bulb does not get hot. This means that when they do need changing over it is done quickly and with no pain at all.
The final word from the Mail article stated that ‘if this new generation of light bulbs are as good as they’re cracked up to be, then we don’t need to be forced to buy them by EU diktat — we’ll buy them of our own volition’ well that’s just what thousands of people have already been doing. From the smaller companies servicing over 2000 customers every month to the larger organisations and supermarkets selling even larger quantities. This is all before the enforced ban on halogen lights.
The Mail writer needs to look closer at the sales figures and understand the choice has been made. It is not one that has been dictated for them but one they have willingly chosen with the advancement of technology. The sales of LEDs will just keep on growing every year.
Hopefully this has cleared up some of the mess about LEDs that has been shown in the media. However, the best way to know how energy and cost efficient having LED bulbs in your home is to make the change today. Why not embrace the ban and throw away your financially draining halogens. The future’s bright, the future’s LED. Let the LED Lights Fight Back!