Replacing Your Halogen Lights with LED Lights
Last Updated Oct 30, 2013 · Written by Jaclyn Fitzgerald
Lighting is an essential part of your home but the ever popular halogen lights are actually quite the energy sucker! You can reduce your energy consumption and still have high quality light by replacing those halogens with new LED lights. Here’s what you need to know.
What is an LED Light?
LED stands for light emitting diode and it is a type of semiconductor that generates light when electricity passes through it. An LED light is composed of one or more LEDs but they are commonly a number of LEDs grouped together. LED lights are becoming so popular because they are incredibly energy efficient and they also last for a very long time.
Why Should I Replace My Halogen Lights with LED Lights?
Standard halogen lights are quite popular in homes, especially as downlights, but the bad news is that they are actually quite energy inefficient and could be costing you a lot of money. This is because an average halogen light will use only 10 percent of the electricity flowing to it to produce light, and the other 90 percent is wasted as heat. Some halogen lights also require transformers to step the standard electric current down from 240 volts to 12 volts, and these transformers also use energy.
LED lights on the other hand, are incredibly energy efficient and produce high quality light without producing heat. Not only will the lights themselves be cheaper to run, the fact that they run cooler means that your air conditioner will not have to work as hard, saving you energy there. In fact, replacing all your halogen lights with LED lights means that you’ll reduce the energy you use for lighting by up to 90 percent. LED lights also last for an incredibly long time (up to 50,000 hours), so you won’t have to worry about replacing your lights for a very long time!
Choosing LED Lights
So what do you need to look for choosing LED bulbs?
- Wattage - with LED lights you get the same light output from much smaller wattage, so expect to see bulbs in the 4w - 14w range. In terms of light output, expect a 7W LED to equal a 100W incandescent bulb or 24W CFL. Product descriptions often detail the equivalent in other bulb types, making choosing the right wattage easier.
- Colour temperature - for a warm feel choose bulbs labelled 'warm white', for a colder, cleaner light go for 'cool white'.
- Lumens - this is a rating for light output, so higher ratings mean brighter bulbs.
- Beam - this rating, expressed in degrees details the angle of coverage of the light beam. Higher values indicate wider coverage, for e.g. 60 degrees.
- Fitting - you need to know what type of fitting or connector you have. Common types include E27, GU10, MR16 & E14. Each has a unique method of either screwing or pushing into the light fitting and are not interchangeable.
Is it Difficult to Replace Halogen Lights with LED Lights?
The good news is that replacing your energy hungry halogen lights with energy efficient LED lights is not a difficult task at all! This is because the new wave of LED lights is designed to be a like for like replacement for halogen lights. You do however need to check if yours are 240v or 12v first. All you have to do is to remove your existing halogen bulbs and install an LED replacement bulb in its place.
Alternatively, if you want to take advantage of better performance, the entire light fitting can be replaced with a completely new LED fitting. You will need a licensed electrician
to do this for you.
Did you know that all states and territories require electrical work to be carried out by a licensed contractor? Visit our handy trade licensing
page for everything you need to know where you live.