A Guide To A Commonly Asked Question - LED Bulbs Vs Halogen Lamps - Which Should I Use ?

March 30, 2015 6 Comments

LED Bulbs Vs Halogen Lamps

LED or halogen ? You often catch yourself asking that question when you are strolling down Home Depot or Lowes. In this article, 12Vmonster is going to explain some pros and cons of both types of lamps. Lets start with the very first thing that most people are concerned with - PRICE !!!
Halogen lamp = cheap to buy initially , but uses more power in the long run.
LED light bulb = higher upfront cost - but uses less power as time goes by.
Using any light bulb/lamp responsibly is also a big factor in power usage , if lamps are turned off when not needed , just this small action can save you a ton of money in power cost.
Now that we got the pricing out of the way. lets look at some other deciding factors when choosing a replacement light bulb
Exactly how does a halogen bulb work ?
The modern halogen light bulb is a new improved version of a traditional incandescent light bulb. Its basically a driver update of a 160 year old vintage incandescent light bulb - a tungsten made wire filament is in the center of the halogen light bulb , it is surrounded by a envelope of quartz that contains halogen gas. The tungsten glows when powered by electricity. In halogens , the gas has a chemical reaction that magically re-applies the tungsten atoms back to the wire filament. This chemical reaction extends the lifetime of a halogen light bulb for much longer. 
halogen or LED
Halogen lamps - PROs
1.) Rich color rendering - great for displaying items or bringing your home decor to life
2.) Runs very hot - could be a good thing in cold climate locations
3.) Readily available in any retail store - convenience is also a factor when we are buying replacements
4.) For low voltage models - halogens works with almost any transformer power supplies
5.) All dimmer friendly - all halogens can be dimmed with any dimmer device
Halogen lamps - CONs
1.) Short lifetime - 2000H , which is still a lot if you use responsibly 
2.) Runs very hot - a issue for hot climate countries
3.) Fragile - halogens are easily broken and shattered , causing a dangerous mess - USE caution when installing
4.) Short warranty - compared to LED manufacturers , halogens have almost no warranty.
OK - so how does a LED light bulb work ?
The ingredients of a LED bulb is the chips - semiconductors. The chips are bundled together on a circuit and paired with light bulb socket fitting. LEDs have been around for a long time , but the cost was high and it did not go mainstream. However recent times has been exciting for LED , the cost per lumens have been falling drastically and its becoming a viable substitute for traditional lighting. LED actually stands for Light Emitting Diode - when power is applied , the semiconductor's electrons start dancing and moving , which produces energy , the LED is specifically designed to exert this electron energy in the form of light. That light is shot out of the LED chip and into your living room.
LED light bulbs - PROs
1.) Long lifetime - most are advertised as 10000H to 50000H , which easily beats halogens and saves time and money
2.) Runs much cooler than halogen - most low wattage LED can be touched while powered and lit
3.) Wider working voltage range - LEDs can use a much wider band of voltage making it convenient for specific applications
4.) Environmentally friendly - low power consumption + long life time = increased sustainability
5.) Wide range of colors - from red to green , LEDs can image any color while halogen can only be a shade of white
LED light bulbs - CONs
1.) Lower color rendering - lighting would be as intense or vivid as a halogen lightings
2.) For low voltage models - some transformer power supplies will not work and requires a specific output transformer.
3.) Not all are dimmable , make sure before buying , and make sure that the dimmer you want to use is LED friendly.
If you have any further questions regarding which type of bulb suits you , please hit us up using the contact button on bottom.
halogen or led blog

6 Responses

roger bourner
roger bourner

November 05, 2019

The 20cm glass sphere (Tom Dixon’s Melt) has a recomended E27 bulb 28w. Would I be safe fitting a 20w -30 COB lamp? The holder is attached to a substantial 10cm diameter aluminium top bracket which should act as a heat sink. I’d appreciate your guidance as these have t be functioning lights and not just decorative.

Sonia Gray
Sonia Gray

November 07, 2018

Can I swap a 12v ceiling halogen bulb for a 12v led bulb??

ron sutherland
ron sutherland

March 07, 2018

will g9 led bulbs fit light fittings that use g8 halogen bulbs???

Paul Wallbridge
Paul Wallbridge

December 06, 2017

Hi – l’ve just replaced my G4 halogen bulbs in my ceiling lights for LED equivalent (G4).

The light is brighter but nowhere near as bright
Can you help?

Pierce Mc Auliffe
Pierce Mc Auliffe

November 20, 2017

Ihave a number of uplighter,halogen lights,with dimmers.# of them ,so far started lighting up very slowly and eventually stopped lighting.Is this due to the Dimmer?? and if so can I just bypass it to direct,full power????
Ta Pierce


July 27, 2017

I’d like to get the max lumens in ceiling can lights that are rated for 60w incandescent. Would the lifxa21 be safe?

Leave a comment

Comments will be approved before showing up.

Join The Coolest Low Voltage Network.