LEDS vs Halogens: Which is the Right Lighting Choice for Your Home?

I recently switched the bulbs in my bedroom lights to LEDs to save energy.

Wondering about the differences between LEDS vs Halogens? Whether you’re wondering which lightbulb will work better with the ambience of your home, or you’re making energy efficient changes to your space, there are a few key factors that differentiate LED lightbulbs and Halogen ones.

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Generally speaking, LEDs are more energy-efficient, longer-lasting, cooler, and environmentally friendly, while halogens are less expensive and are better suited for certain applications.

Let’s shed a little more light on this illuminating topic, shall we?

LEDS vs Halogens: The Basics

I chose LED lightbulbs for this chandelier I hung in my bedroom, because I was worried that the wooden sticks would get too hot with halogens.

LEDs (light-emitting diodes) and halogens are both types of lighting technology, but there are some key differences between them:

  1. Energy efficiency: The biggest difference between the two types of lightbulbs are that LEDs are more energy-efficient than halogens. They use up to 80 percent less energy to produce the same amount of light, which can result in significant cost savings over time. LEDs are generally considered more environmentally friendly than halogens.
  2. Lifespan: LEDs have a much longer lifespan than halogens. They can last up to 25,000 hours or more, while halogens typically last around 1,000 to 2,000 hours. This means that LEDs will need to be replaced less frequently, which can also lead to cost savings.
  3. Heat output: Halogens produce a significant amount of heat (even moreso than incandescent bulbs), while LEDs produce very little. This can make LEDs a safer choice, particularly in areas where heat could pose a risk, such as near flammable materials.
  4. Upfront cost: If you’ve ever had sticker shock in the lightbulb aisle, you were probably looking at an LED lightbulb. LEDs are more expensive than halogens at the outset, but again, they make up for the cost over their lifespan. Since they last longer, you’ll have to replace them less frequently.

Now that we’re covered the basics, here’s a bit more detail about each big difference.

LEDs vs Halogens: Energy Efficiency

I used an amber-colored LED light in our bookshelf sconces to create a warm glow at night.

LED lighting has been gaining popularity in recent years due to its energy efficiency. LEDs use significantly less energy than halogen bulbs, making them a more environmentally-friendly and cost-effective option. While halogens are known for their brightness, they’re also known for their high energy usage and short lifespan.

On the other hand, LEDs use up to 80 percent less energy and can last up to 25 times longer than halogens. When it comes to energy efficiency, LED lighting is the clear winner over halogen.

LEDs vs Halogens: Lifespan

In addition to being more energy-efficient, LED lighting also has a longer lifespan than halogen bulbs. The typical lifespan of a halogen bulb is around 2,000 hours, while LEDs can last up to 50,000 hours. That means if you use your lights for an average of three hours a day, a halogen bulb will need to be replaced in less than two years, while an LED could last over 45 years.

While LED bulbs may cost more upfront, their extended lifespan means they will ultimately save you money in the long run. Plus, with fewer replacements, you’ll save time and hassle as well.

LEDs vs Halogens: Brightness

When it comes to brightness, the difference between halogen and LED bulbs is quite significant. LED bulbs produce brighter light than halogen bulbs at a lower wattage. This means that you can achieve the same level of brightness with an LED bulb that you would need a higher wattage halogen bulb for. For example, an LED bulb with a wattage of 10 can produce the same brightness as a halogen bulb with a wattage of 50.

The brightness of a light source is typically measured in lumens, which is a unit that describes the total amount of visible light emitted by a source. A typical 50-watt halogen bulb might produce around 800 lumens of light, while a 10-watt LED bulb could produce the same amount of light (800 lumens) or even more.

It’s worth noting that the brightness of a light source can also be affected by other factors, such as the angle and direction of the light, the color temperature of the light (which can affect how “bright” it appears), and the type and quality of the fixture or lamp that the light source is installed in. So while lumens can provide a useful way to compare the relative brightness of different light sources, they may not always tell the whole story when it comes to how a particular light source will perform in a given setting.

And lastly, LED bulbs also have the advantage of being dimmable without affecting the quality of light produced. Halogen bulbs, on the other hand, do not always work well with dimmer switches and can produce that annoying buzzing or humming sound when dimmed.

LEDs vs Halogens: Upfront Cost

Historically, LED lightbulbs have been the most expensive, followed by halogens and then incandescent bulbs. As LED technology becomes more common and prevalent, however, the cost per bulb is going down.

A pack of standard indoor halogen bulbs or globe-style bulbs average $1-$5 per bulb. LEDs, on the other hand, average $3-$6 per bulb. Overall, it’s not a huge difference, especially when you consider how much longer an LED bulb will last.

LEDs vs Halogens: Which is better?

Comparing the two bulbs, LEDs are the better choice in almost all cases. They last longer, they use less energy, and they don’t get hot. They also offer the same range of color temperatures, and tend to work better on dimmers. The only time halogens may work better is in certain outdoor lighting applications.

LEDs vs Halogens in Outdoor Space

Halogens can be better suited for outdoor lighting in certain situations because they are more resistant to damage from exposure to the elements (such as rain, wind, and temperature fluctuations) than LEDs. In addition, halogens tend to produce a warm, yellowish light that can be more flattering to outdoor spaces, such as gardens or patios, and can create a cozy ambiance. Halogens may also be preferred for certain types of outdoor lighting that require high levels of brightness, such as security lights, where LED lights may not be as effective. Finally, halogen bulbs are often less expensive than LED bulbs, which can make them a more cost-effective choice for outdoor lighting in some cases.

Overall, if you want brighter and more efficient lighting, LED bulbs are the way to go. While they may have a higher upfront cost, their long lifespan and low energy usage make them a cost-effective investment for your home.

LEDS Vs. Halogens: Color Temperature

Image via Philips / The Home Depot

One of the similarities between LEDs and Halogens is that both come in a range of lighting temperatures. Unlike classic incandescent bulbs, white put out a soft, white light, LEDs and Halogens are available in temperatures from cool, bright white, to yellow-toned amber. This allows you to tailor the ambience of your space, and will also affect the way your paint colors, furniture and decor look. At the same time, you’ll need to remember the temperature of the bulbs you use so you can keep them consistent in each room of your home.