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LED vs Halogen Lighting

LED vs Halogen Lighting

In recent years, there has been much debate over whether or not the cost of LED lights makes these a justifiable alternative to halogen. However, that debate is progressively waning as LED technology becomes more sophisticated and less expensive. For the average homeowner, it now comes down to understanding the characteristics of both kinds of lights.

For the record, both halogen and LED technologies have been around for decades. Lighting manufacturers did not do a lot to develop either one through the 1980s due to incandescent lighting being the de facto standard. Today it is a different story. Incandescent lighting is largely being phased out in favour of more energy-efficient alternatives.

The halogen light bulb is just a newer version of the incandescent light bulb. Both halogen and incandescent lighting utilise a tungsten filament to convert electrical current into light energy. However, halogen has one major advantage over incandescent. Halogen light bulbs contain a small amount of a halogen gas that creates a chemical reaction with the tungsten filament.

When electrical current is applied to tungsten, it causes the filament to glow. Nevertheless, regular application of electrical current gradually breaks down the filament until it no longer works. In a halogen light bulb, the gas contained inside reacts with the heat energy produced to create a new coating over the tungsten element. This heating and re-coating cycle gives the halogen light bulb its longer life.

LED lighting is entirely different. With an LED light bulb, there is no gas, no filament, and no chemical reaction. Instead, light emitting diodes are mounted in semi-conductors surrounded by a plastic case. When electricity is introduced to the diode, electrons within it instantly enter an excited state to produce light energy.

Halogen lighting was the best alternative to incandescent when it was first introduced. People who swear by halogen love its brightness, long life, and relatively inexpensive price tag. Unlike LED, however, halogen's reliance on the tungsten filament means that it ultimately wears out and does not use energy as efficiently as possible. Halogen does tend to be cheaper than LED though.

The main advantage of LED lighting is its incredibly long life. One could purchase a round of LED light bulbs for the home and, at least in theory, never replace them again. Practically though, the average LED light bulb can burn faithfully for about 60,000 hours. Other advantages of LED bulbs include:

Halogen lighting comes in a single colour: white. LED lighting runs the full spectrum from red to blue to green. This makes LEDs ideal for Christmas and other holiday lighting.

Some people complain about the cold feeling of LED lighting as compared to halogen. Nonetheless, the opposite side of the coin is a more brilliant and bright light that does a better job of illuminating spaces.

LED lighting uses significantly less energy as compared to halogen lighting. Further savings are realised in the longer life LED offers.

A halogen light bulb incorporates a tungsten filament and a transparent globe to hold the gas. This makes it fragile. LED lighting is preferred because it is much more durable. It is a lot harder to damage a single semi-conductor than a glass bulb.

There are those who insist on halogen lighting as the best choice for their homes and businesses. Still others prefer LED lighting. Understanding the differences between the two helps the consumer to make wise decisions when choosing which lights to buy.

Lighting throughout the home is incredibly important – whether that is your ceiling lights, wall lights, outdoor lights, bathroom lights or picture lights. So make sure you do some proper research, to get the best product.

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