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Sales of halogen light bulbs banned from September 2021

August 2, 2021

We should be more than three-quarters of the way to being carbon net zero by 2050 and helping us to achieve this milestone is a change to the availability of halogen light bulbs. 

The current Government is serious about improving the nation’s eco credentials. In fact, it has set in law the world’s most ambitious climate change target, pledging to cut emissions by 78% by 2035, when compared to levels seen in 1990. We should also be more than three-quarters of the way to being carbon net zero by 2050 and helping us to achieve this milestone is a change to the availability of halogen light bulbs. 

What are halogen lightbulbs?

A halogen light bulb is an enhanced version of an incandescent light bulb, with tungsten filaments housed in a quartz capsule, and filled with iodine and bromine gases. The quality, colour temperature and cost of halogen light bulbs make them a natural choice in the home. 

Banning halogens: a lightbulb moment

Considered an easy and effective eco win, the Government has announced that halogen light bulbs will no longer be on sale in the UK from September 2021. The ban will cut 1.26 million tonnes of carbon emissions a year and deliver consumers savings in the shape of cheaper electricity bills. 

The following halogen light bulbs can’t be restocked from 1st October 2021:-

  •     Compact Fluorescent Helix Light Bulbs
  •     Halogen Linear R7s Light Bulbs (over 2,700 lumens)
  •     12V Halogen Spotlight Bulbs (MR11, MR16)
  •     Lower performing LED lamps

Where might halogen lightbulbs be in my home?

Anywhere that needs a small, compact yet powerful source of light. Halogen light bulbs are commonly used in kitchen spotlights but they can also be found in desktop lamps, security lights, floodlights, in reptile tanks where they are used as a source of heat as well as light and in white goods, such as ovens and cooker hoods. As halogen light bulbs can be dimmed, they’re also common in overhead pendant fixings.

What can I buy as a replacement?

The Government wants us to buy low-energy LED light bulbs instead of halogens, with a prediction that LEDs will account for 85% of all bulbs sold by 2030. LED lights last five times longer than traditional halogen bulbs and produce the same amount of light. They also use up to 80% less power, making them a great green alternative.

Are there any other changes concerning light bulbs?

Yes. As well as an imminent ban on halogen light bulbs, high-energy fluorescent lights will be banned from sale from 1st September 2023, which will spell the end of strip lights commonly seen in offices. A number of LED alternatives will be available to replace fluorescent examples, so the fittings can be retained.

The following fluorescent light bulbs can’t be restocked from 1st September 2023:-

  •     Fluorescent T8 Tubes (2 foot, 4 foot, 5 foot only)
  •     Halogen G9 capsules
  •     12V Halogen capsules (G4 and GY6.35 caps)

Are these light bulbs really banned?

Light Bulb stockists and retailers can continue to sell halogen and fluorescent light bulbs in their possession beyond their respective banned dates but they can’t order in any new stock after the ban. How long the sales continue depends on each retailer’s stock levels, so there could be availability for months or even years. It’s also worth noting that not all halogen and fluorescent light bulbs will be banned.

There is also confusion over a ban on lighting fixtures and fittings where the bulb is fixed or non-replaceable. The Lighting Industry Association (LIA) explains that such lighting designs are not banned but they are being discouraged from manufacture. If you want any further lightbulb and light fitting clarification, the LIA released this helpful statement 

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