In a bid to encourage Europe to reduce its ‘Carbon Footprint’, it’s now not permitted for retailers to replace their stocks of halogen lamps and bulbs. As of September 1st 2018, LED light bulbs will be taking their place, despite the higher purchase price. LEDs use around 5 times less electricity than their halogen counterparts, mainly due to the huge amount of heat they produce.

In energy rating terms, halogen bulbs are energy efficiency class “D” (which is bad) whereas LED light bulbs generally fall into the “A” class (which is good).


You’ve probably already noticed the change taking effect either in your own street or one nearby. Many energy guzzling halogen streetlamp bulbs have already been replaced by LED lamps in a bid to cut energy costs whilst reducing carbon emissions at the same time.

It’s Lights Out in the EU for Halogen Bulbs

Whether you like it or not, the change is here to stay so if you love your halogen bulbs, we hope you have a good stock to fall back on.

Since the ban on 1st September 2018, non-directional halogen lamps, as well as the standard pear or candle-shaped bulbs, will be kicked to the curb. If you’re a frequent user of GU10 bulbs, you may already know that these were banned by the EU back in 2016 following on from the ban of incandescent light bulbs way back in 2009. If you want to crunch some numbers, here’s a guide on energy efficient lighting courtesy of the European Commission.

Is it Illegal to Carry on Using Them?

No. All you’ll need to do is replace your halogen bulbs when they finally give up the ghost. In fact, unless you’ve got a stash of them stored away, you won’t have much choice anyway as you’ll struggle to find anyone still selling them.

Will I be Able to Buy LED Lamps in all Fittings?

As far as we’re aware, yes. The only problem you might come across is if you want to replace your halogens in light fittings that use a transformer. This is because the significantly lower wattage that LEDs use may cause them not to be detected as ‘on’ by the transformer which may cause them to flicker. It’s a good idea to make sure your dimmer switches (if you have them) are working properly and also be sure to buy LEDs that specifically say on the packaging that they’re suitable for use with dimmer switches.

Not Everyone is Happy

Understandably, there are still plenty of people that have had their backs rubbed up the wrong way about this latest directive from the European Union. Whether or not Brexit goes ahead, we’re still part of the EU so must comply with the ban. The problem is, LED technology is still fairly new and the bulbs are still quite costly to buy. They can also be unreliable and the time they last is not always the same as what is stated on the packet, so make sure you keep your receipt when you buy them.

Add to the mix that not everyone likes the type of glow LEDs give off compared to the light emitted by a halogen bulb and are fed up with being told that they now can’t buy an alternative to LEDs anyway.

One thing is clear, whether you like them or not, halogen bulbs will certainly be costing you more money as soon as you switch them on.

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