Light Bulbs > LED vs Halogen
Buying LED light bulbs is about as complicated as buying an HDTV. Well, maybe not quite that complicated, but pretty close. LED bulbs come in a variety of shapes, sizes, wattage and prices; they can be as cheap as $5 or as much as $100 for a single bulb. The expensive ones can be very bright (100W incandescent bulb equivalent). These LEDs are in the 7 to 13 watt range. The 2.5W to 5W range LEDs will be not be as bright and should not be as expensive. In the photos below we will compare a 50W Halogen to a 2.5W LED bulb. The Halogens go for about $5 each and the LEDs were $12 each. Currently, they cost $14 each, but shop around, the prices bounce up and down.
2.5 watt LED is on the left, the 50 watt Halogen on the right.
At Full brightness the Halogen is obviously way brighter than the LED.
A 50W Halogen bulb can produce nearly 1000 lumen. The Halogen bulb in the photo on the right hand side is producing about 600 lumen. I’m guessing. As I understand, it depends on the light bulb. I think this is a 50Wpar30 Halogen.
Next when dimmed halfway, the LED and the Halogen are producing about the same amount of light. Note the colour difference. The LED light bulb on the left being tested is a ‘Natural’ warm white (more yellow, less blue) but it’s still much less yellow than the Halogen at this brightness.
In really low dimmer settings, the LED will dim but stays brighter (perhaps because the LED isn’t dimming at the same rate as the Halogen).
Not all LED light bulbs can be dimmed. For instance, this $30 Pharox 4W LED bulb pictured below will start to turn on and off when the dimmer switch is turned down halfway. This bulb has a yellowish green colour to it (it’s quite nice actually) and it’s about as bright as a 40 watt incandescent light bulb. Even after being on all night, the bulb will be cold to the touch (the metal part does get hot though).
LED bulbs and Halogen do not contain any mercury, where as Compact Fluorescent Light bulbs (CFLs) have mercury vapor (which you should not breathe if you break one). Overall, I also find the light is more pleasant for both LED and Halogen when compared to CFLs.
Read more about Light Emitting Diodes (LEDs) on Form+Function.
Where to buy LED lighting in the UK – Cool Strip LED Lighting.