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Halogen Downlights vs LED Downlights

Comparing a LED downlight with a halogen downlight it is easy to find that each has its own benefits and disadvantages. LEDs are the more cost-effective downlight where they are less expensive to run. When changing from halogen to LED downlights it is important that an electrician performs the job. Here at The Local Electrician, we offer the best light installation services to every person in Sydney. 

A halogen light is an incandescent light which is cheaper in price but is not as cost effective than LEDs. LED downlights last longer, are more energy efficient and provide better lighting. It is highly recommended that halogen downlights are upgraded to LED downlights, especially for modern homes.

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What is the Difference Between LED and Halogen Downlights?

Comparisons Halogen LED
Energy Usage 35-500 watts per hour 7-20 watts per hour
Quality 460 Lumens 630 Lumens
Life Span 1000-2000 hours Up to 50,000 hours

Energy Usage

When comparing the two lights it is clear that LED lights use less energy to provide light than halogens. The incandescent bulb in a halogen bulb does not use energy as efficiently as LED downlights. To produce the same amount of light the halogen will need much more electricity than LEDs. This will mean that energy saving will be hard if halogens are installed. 

With one third of the overall power bill coming from lighting, it is important to have efficient lights. This is a main advantage of LEDs over halogens due to using energy more efficiently. Halogens will require more power to light up a room meaning more costs are spent.


LEDs are built with newer technology which means that they can shine brighter than halogens. Comparing 460 to 630 lumens, LEDs light up the room by 30% than halogens. A halogen light bulb also creates much more heat than LEDs which can be dangerous. 

Both are great at lighting a room but LEDs work to light a specific direction. Also, halogens are suitable for dimmers, where not all models of LED lights have dimmers available. 

Life Span

The LED lights will last longer than the halogen downlights. From 50,000 hours to only 1000 to 2000 halogen lights will need replacing more often. Even though halogens are cheaper, it is more cost effective to have LEDs installed even though they are expensive. Purchasing one LED can last up to 10 years where the halogen will only last up to 1 year.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Halogen Lights

If these lights are installed in the home there are some advantages which come with them:

  • They are cheaper to purchase and can provide a temporary downlight when waiting for better lights.
  • These lights offer a warmer glow compared to newer lights which are often more white. 
  • Can be installed into older homes more easily if upgrading the electrical system is too expensive.

There are also many disadvantages which come with halogen lights and why LED lights are often preferred:

  • Halogen lights become extremely hot which means that they can start fires at times. In places like the kitchen to the living room this extra heat might also be unsafe.
  • Exploding halogen downlights can happen at times if there is high pressure present.
  • They do not use energy that efficiently which will raise the power bill by a lot.
  • Having a shorter life span means that they need to be replaced constantly which is less cost effective than having LED lights installed.

Can I Replace Halogen Downlights with LED?

It is possible and recommended that halogen downlights are replaced with LED downlights. It is strongly encouraged as well that an electrician undergoes the process of installing the new lights. The electrician will make sure to correctly inspect the system and understand how the lights will be installed.

Purchasing the new LED lights should be the same in terms of the connector at the bottom. The new LED might also provide information on what current halogen it can replace. Having an electrician undergo the process is important to ensure no complications occur. Such as incorrectly installing the lights or experiencing electrical shock, the electrician will install the lights properly. 

We recommend reading our blog ‘10 designs of LED downlights for your home’ to see the best ones to replace the halogen downlights with.

Are Halogen Downlights Safe?

Halogen downlights are safe but can also be risky in how much heat they produce. If the light is not correctly insulated then this can cause a fire as they can reach up to 370C. That is why regularly scheduling maintenance with the current halogen lights will help prevent these concerns. A licensed electrician will inspect each light and ensure that they will not cause a fire. 

Halogen lights are also recommended to not be installed close to timber due to providing a lot of heat. Ceiling insulation should also not cover the transformers and lights in case they might ignite from the heat.

Reliable Light Installation Services

Here at The Local Electrician, we are able to easily work with installing lights and replacing old ones. We can install new halogen lights if needed and also replace them with LED downlights. Our electricians are fully qualified and can work in any residential and commercial property and install lights.

Our light installation services are available to all of Sydney, including the Northern Beaches and South Western Sydney. We are here as well with our Emergency Electrician and Level 2 Electrician service to help with all kinds of electrical jobs. 


For professional light installation and replacement services – contact The Local Electrician on 0439 823 190!

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Our skilled electricians are qualified to carry out any electrical repair or installation within Sydney. We strive to deliver absolute customer satisfaction by offering electrical services that are affordable, safe and long lasting.

Hamish Baker