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LED or halogen?

When it comes to ceiling or recessed lights in your bathroom, you’ve got two options for choosing your light bulbs - LED and halogen. There are pros and cons to each of these styles of bulbs, but, ultimately, it’s down to personal preference.

If you’re wondering what the difference is between each, then we’ve got all the answers to help you to make an informed decision.

LED lights

LED stands for Light Emitting Diode. LEDs are made from a semi-conducting solid material which glows when electricity passes through it. The LED then releases energy in the form of light. Unlike most ordinary incandescent bulbs, LED bulbs do not have a filament that burns out towards the end of its life (at which point the bulb will need replacing). Additionally, LED bulbs do not get especially hot when in use, as you might expect with conventional bulbs.

The myths surrounding LED lighting are that LED bulbs are significantly more expensive than conventional halogen bulbs and that the light they emit is more of a dull glow than the bright white or warm yellow light of a halogen bulb.

While LED bulbs tend to be slightly more expensive than standard halogen bulbs, they typically last significantly longer – usually, around 50,000 hours. A standard halogen bulb lasts for approximately 1,000 hours, so you won’t need to replace an LED bulb nearly as often. Additionally, LED lights are incredibly energy-efficient and use between 50% and 90% less energy than conventional halogen bulbs; therefore, they are likely to significantly reduce your energy bills, especially when electricity prices continue to climb.

Early versions of LED bulbs were criticised for emitting a dull or cold blue light, originally making them a much less appealing choice for many households. However, they have advanced significantly over the years, while you’ll also find that our LED lights emit a similar warm yellow light to that you’d expect from a standard halogen light. The latest generation of LED lights are difficult to distinguish from conventional halogen lights with the light that they emit.

Halogen lights

An advanced form of an incandescent light, a halogen light bulb has a tungsten filament (like most conventional light bulbs) which is heated by electricity to give off both light and heat. Unlike most conventional lights which are encased in a glass envelope, a halogen lamp is encased in a small quartz envelope – this is because the tungsten filament is so close to the envelope that the heat from the filament would cause the glass to melt.

The tungsten in the element evaporates and eventually causes the filament to break, at which point the bulb will burn out and need to be replaced.

Halogen lights have long been a popular choice for illuminating kitchens and bathrooms. The warm colour of the light they emit makes them the ideal choice for the bathroom. Halogen lights are also particularly popular in feature or statement bathrooms where certain colours or focal points in the space need to be highlighted (accent lighting).

One of the reasons that halogen lights have been popular for such a long time is because they tend to burn brighter for longer, whereas standard bulbs gradually dim over time. However, halogen bulbs are typically more expensive than regular bulbs, owing to the quartz envelope and protective casing.

Additionally, halogen lamps aren’t especially energy-efficient as they use a lot of electricity to shine so brightly. Because they are prone to burning out relatively quickly (usually after about 1,000 hours of use), you can typically expect to purchase replacement bulbs on a regular basis – halogen bulbs have an expected life span that is less than two years.

The type of light bulb you choose is purely down to personal preference. Overall, LED bulbs have more expensive upfront costs, but as they’re extremely energy-efficient and long-lasting, you’re more than likely to save on your energy bills, as well as not needing to replace bulbs often.

Halogen lights are a popular choice as they emit a pure bright white light, perfect for general illumination in the bathroom. While the upfront cost is typically less than that of LED bulbs, halogen bulbs are more expensive than conventional light bulbs and are likely to need replacing at least every couple of years.

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