How much will the halogen to LED bulb switch cost households?

Households face a potential £200 bill to replace halogen light bulbs with LED ones thanks to the cost of making fittings compatible

  • Halogen lightbulbs are banned as of September by the Government 
  • It is thought the change to LED bulbs will cut 1.26m tonnes of CO2 
  • It could cost some UK households £209 to replace the light fittings

Households face a potential £2billion collective bill for new light fittings following the September ban on sales of halogen bulbs, new research has revealed.

The Government announced earlier this month that halogen light bulbs will be banned from September and should be replaced with LED bulbs.

It is thought the change to LED bulbs will cut 1.26million tonnes of CO2, helping the environment.

Replacing the existing 54million halogen bulbs in UK homes with LEDs will cost households an estimated £109million — £27million more than the cost of replacing burned-out bulbs with halogens, according to data from Uswitch.

Consumers face a potential £2bn bill for new light fittings following ban of halogen bulbs

However, the greatest cost falls on the estimated ten million households with light fittings that are incompatible with LED bulbs.

Some low-wattage light fittings like kitchen and bathroom spotlights need replacing as their transformers are too overpowered for the small amount of electricity required by LED bulbs.

With households needing to fork out for 4.4 new fittings on average, Britons face a £2billion bill — an estimated £209 per household.

The change in lightbulbs will dramatically help reduce Britain’s CO2 emissions, say experts.

Sofia Hutson, senior energy manager at Compare The Market, said: ‘Traditional light bulbs, known as halogen bulbs, work by passing an electric current through a metal filament. 

‘When the metal gets hot enough, it produces light. However, a lot of the electricity used to light the bulb is lost as heat.

‘Although they cost more to buy initially, energy saving light bulbs can use up to 80 per cent less electricity than a traditional bulb, which could result in savings on your energy bills. 

‘Typically, they also last far longer than standard halogen bulbs, so you shouldn’t have to replace them as often.’

The change in lightbulbs will dramatically help reduce Britain's CO2 emissions, say experts

The change in lightbulbs will dramatically help reduce Britain’s CO2 emissions, say experts

Three in 10 households say they will find it difficult to afford to replace their lighting, the Uswitch research found. 

News of the ban has taken some consumers by surprise, with 32 per cent saying it is coming into effect too early whilst 22 per cent will get around the ban by hoarding halogen bulbs.

The Government also plans to apply a new A to G energy efficiency label to light bulb packaging.

At present, 24 per cent of people find energy efficiency labels confusing, while 22 per cent don’t understand wattage information on packs.

But it is likely to take some time for halogen bulbs to be phased out completely. 

Incandescent bulbs were meant to have been phased out in 2016, but there are still 29.5million in use across the UK.

Fluorescent light bulbs, of which there are still an estimated 28million in use in the UK, will also be phased out from September 2023.

Sarah Broomfield, energy expert at Uswitch, said: ‘LED light bulbs come with lots of benefits, not least the fact that they will help save over a million tonnes of CO2 while also helping people save on their energy bills.

‘While this change may be inconvenient in the short-term, people will soon reap the benefits through cheaper energy costs and the fact that LED bulbs have a long life.’

Tom Lyon, director of energy at Energy Helpline, added: ‘LED lightbulbs can cost a little more per bulb, however, as they last up to five times longer the move should see costs tumble for households overall, as well as being considerably better for the environment.

‘The new rules will also see the energy efficiency ratings on all lightbulbs change, with the old system which saw scores going up to A+++ being binned, in favour of a simple A to G rating system, with only the most efficient bulbs getting a coveted A grade.

‘Along with the banning of fluorescent strip lighting due to come in next year, these combined measures will result in a significant reduction of the UK’s carbon footprint.’