LED vs Halogen

If you’re considering getting some lighting for your home, then you’ll want to know the difference between the different types of lighting. Although in the past this wasn’t much of an issue, in recent years there’s been a massive push to try and convert people into LED users as opposed to halogen.

But, how do LED lights and Halogen lights compare? Well, it really depends on what you’re going to use them for. As well as looking at general lightbulbs, we’ll also take a look at some other circumstances where LEDs might be preferable over halogen e.g. in car headlights. So, let’s take a look at the two different types of lights and see what the differences are.

LED vs Halogen

If you aren’t fully aware of what the big difference is between LED lighting and Halogen lighting, then quite simply, it comes down to the cost. LED lighting is significantly cheaper to run than Halogen lighting in the long term, which is why LED lighting has become more popular in everyday use. LED lights will generally last a lot longer than their halogen counterparts, and this is due to the way that they use energy.

Energy Efficency

The main reason that we’re transferring to LED lights from other types of lighting like halogen and incandescent lighting is for one thing; efficiency. Generally, an LED light will get a much better return on it’s power usage, and typically they’ll use at least 80% less energy than a halogen bulb (and more than this for an incandescent one). So, it’s very easy to see why governments are taking drastic action, with the EU even banning halogen light bulbs.

This makes sense, as not only does using an LED light save you money over the long term, but it’s also important not to waste energy. So, from an energy efficiency perspective, LED lights are by far the best choice.

Lumens vs Watts

One of the most common things people get confused about when considering lighting is the measurements used. In the past, the wattage would refer to the energy consumed, but with incandescent and halogen lights, the brightness of the light was a direct result of the wattage.

But in recent years, we tend to use lumens to refer to the brightness of a light as opposed to the wattage – this is really so we can measure the brightness of different lightbulbs against each other. Here’s an example of what I mean;

Say we have two lightbulbs of 450 lumens – this means they have the same brightness. One is an LED lightbulb, and the other is a halogen lightbulb. The Halogen lightbulb has a wattage of 40w, whereas the LED bulb has a wattage of only 4w. This shows that the LED used 10x less energy than it’s halogen counterpart.

So, it’s important to have an independent metric to measure different types of lighting by. And, this example easily shows why LED lights are much more energy efficient.


A common misconception of LED bulbs is that they create more heat than halogen – in fact, the opposite is actually the case. I think the reason people might think this is because LED lights are much cooler to touch, so maybe it is assumed that internally, they’re hotter than other light bulbs. This isn’t the case at all, and LED lightbulbs are cooler than other lighting (which is why they’re much more energy efficient).


A big concern with LED lights is that they’re going to cost you a ton more than the halogen equivalent. And, if you’re thinking about using LED lights through your entire house, then the initial cost is undoubtedly going to cost quite a bit more than if you opt for another form of lighting – LED lights cost more to make.

But although you’ll have a bigger outlay with LED lighting, over the years you’ll make back your money in multiples due to the lower energy used by LEDs. This is because whilst a Halogen light might cost you $50 over the cost of a year, and LED light will probably cost between $5-8 a year. So in the long run, LED lights are actually much more cost efficient.

Is LED lighting bad for you?

One of the concerns with LED lighting is whether it might actually be bad for your health or your eyes. Whilst LED lighting may cause temporary blurs in your visiion (like pretty much any bright light), there’s actually a ton of regulations around lighting, which help to ensure that LED lighting is safe for the long term. So whilst it definitely pays to be cautious around the short term effects of LED lighting – e.g. temporary vision disturbances or overuse of LED affecting your sleep – then for the long term, LED lights are as safe as other forms of lighting.

Can I switch from Halogen from LED lighting?

For the most part, you can easily switch from Halogen to LED lighting without much of an issue, as the light fittings will be the same. The way that LED works is that generally a conversion will have to be made from AC to DC, but this takes place in the LED bulb itself, so you don’t need to worry about this yourself.


Overall, it’s pretty clear to see why the transfer from halogen to LED is important not only for your pockets, but for energy consumption too. Although LED lighting in your home may not be something that everyone is used to, it’s definitely worth converting over at some point – whether you’re just talking about lightbulbs or lights in your workshop, then LEDs are going to have a longer life and in turn, cost you a lot less. With Halogen lightbulbs being made illegal in the EU, it’s probably not a matter of if you’re going to have to switch over, but when.

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