Led downlights or Halogen – LED vs CFL vs Halogen let’s compare

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Licensed Electrician at United Electrical Services
Licensed Electrician in Melbourne, Registered Electrical Contractor. Currently servicing Melbourne and surrounding suburbs I've been working actively in the electrical industry for 30 years and registered with Energy Safe Victoria.
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Led downlights or Halogen – LED vs CFL vs Halogen let’s compare

For as long as I can remember Halogen downlights have been a popular recessed light fitting installed in homes and businesses. Way back in the early eighties 12 volt halogen downlights come on the lighting stage and superseding the large 240 volt brass rimmed monsters with mirror back incandescent bulbs and the Halogen downlight has never looked back.



12 volt downlights would have to be one of the most used lights for lighting a room , feature lighting on wall paneling and adjustable downlights used for wall paintings to put on show. Downlights make a room ceiling feel higher and lighter, they are an asset above the kitchen bench tops and sinks since they don’t create any shade when installed professionally.

Since the introduction of halogen downlights in the eighties, the price of halogen dowlights have become cheaper as the year’s went by and as a result there have been thousands of halogen downlights installed in homes and offices around Australia, if you have taken any notice I can guarantee at least every second home you walk in too will have some downlights in a property somewere.

Now we are in the year 2013 and as a society we are becoming more conscious about our decisions to use energy more wisely and electricity prices increasing a new kid is on the block, introducing the LED downlight. “LE what” Led Light Emitting diode, after almost 20 years of halogen downlighting we now have LED down-lights. Diodes are semiconductors, that will conduct energy in only one direction. LED bulbs and tubes use diodes instead of gas or heated filaments like incandescent to produce light making them the most energy efficient lights available.
White led-downlight-fixed

White led-downlight-fixed
White led-downlight-fixed

Firstly let’s not forget CFL down-lights (compact fluorescent), CFL’s were not as popular due to the amount of light they produced, well lack of. CLF’s use gas, mercury particles and phosphor to create light. The gas becomes excited by electricity, and when combined with mercury particles, produces invisible ultraviolet light. The UV light then hits the white phosphor coating inside the bulb causing it to fluoresce and emit white light. There is circuitry inside the base of the light that stops it from flickering like in old fluoro lights.


CFL down light were a great stepping stone to the LED downlights, but the LED technology has leaped forward in tremendous speed and the CFL down lights could not keep up what the crisp energy efficient light the LED and Halogen downlight can produce.
So that only leave’s the two big guns LED down-light Vs Halogen down-light. Which one would you put your money on.

Well lets have a look at the pro’s and con’s, if both units have the same manufacturer standards and equal in quality. I say this because you can spend between $2.50 to $30.00 on a halogen bulb and the difference in quality is light output with reliability. So amusing both LED and Halogen as of same quality lumen quality.

In short lumen, the lumen (lm) additionally recognized as the luminous flux rating of a lamp and is largely a measure of the amount of light a lamp can produce. The better the lumen rating, the more light the lamp will emit, read more….
Downlight power consumption

In point form Halogen Downlight running costs

Superior light output
If used with light dimmer, bulb life up to thee to five years.
No dimming issues
Great use foe all type of lighting design
Operating temperature very high
High maintenance with cheaper halogen light kit brands
Lamp holders burn out from high temperatures
Iron cor transformers are reliable but have high temperature issues and not as energy efficient as electronic
Electronic transformers are more energy efficient but not as reliable
8000 light hour bulb life.
Not to be installed near flammable materials
Cost to buy – between $9.50 up to $45.00
Operating cost per kwh – 50 watts each 6 down-lights in one room.
( 300 Watts x 24 hours ) ÷ 1000
= 7.2 kWh x .30 cents/kWh ( kwh-power company charge )
=$2.16 for 24 hours use.

LED Downlight running costs

Superior light out put
Globe life in available in daylight and warm white
Not all led downlights are dimmable the more expensive kits have dimming capabilities, and you need to make specify when buying your downlight
Globe life approx 50,000 hours
Led units operate warm and arr not hot to touch
Since operating temperatures are low maintenance is low to non- existent
LED’s come in all type of sizes to retro fit existing halogen light cut out holes
Although LED’s do operate cooler they are still considered a recessed light fitting and the rule still applies not to be installed near flammable materials
Cost to buy – between $35.00 to $110.00
Operating cost per kwh – 9 watts each 6 LED down-lights in one room.
( 54 Watts x 24 hours ) ÷ 1000
= 1.2 kWh x .30 cents/kWh ( kwh-power company charge )
=$0.38 for 24 hours use.

The differences between the LED down-light Vs Halogen down-light seem to be quite clear especially when it come to energy usage. So if you had to chose I think the LED down lights are at an advantage. For more information on appliance running costs visit here United electrical Services appliance running costs calculations.