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Halogen light bulbs could disappear from Australian stores within two years

Manufacturers will act early on September 2020 ban as LED already the preferred option

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Halogen lamps



Halogen lamps, which will be banned from September 2020, use four times the energy of LED globes.
Photograph: Richard Leighton/Alamy Stock Photo

Halogen lights will disappear from Australia within two years, as the industry and federal government pivot towards more efficient and environmentally-friendly LED lighting.

A ban on halogen bulbs, which use four times the energy of LED globes, was announced last month at a meeting of state and federal environment ministers.

The ban is to come into effect from September 2020 but the bulbs could start disappearing from retail stores in as little as 12 months, according to the industry’s peak body, Lighting Council Australia.

The council’s chief executive, Richard Mulcahy, said manufacturers would act early to phase out the bulbs.

“Many consumers already prefer LED products and sales volumes of halogen lamps continue to decrease,” he said. “Good quality LED lamps last five to 15 times longer than halogen lamps and at most will consume one-quarter of the energy to produce the same light output.”

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Most domestic halogen lamps could be directly replaced by LED ones, he said. The government estimates the switch will save Australian consumers $1.48bn over 10 years.

While exact details of the ban and the phase-out period were yet to be confirmed, Mulcahy said he expected very few exemptions.

“Halogen lamps are manufactured overseas and imported into Australia,” he said. “We expect the halogen phase-out will set a date when halogen lamps can no longer be imported into Australia, while specifying a grandfathering period to deal with stock already in the country.

“We expect there may be exemptions – for example for oven lights, which are required to operate in high temperature environments. [But] unless the particular product is subject to an exemption, we expect that halogen lamps will not be available on the retail market.”

The federal environment minister, Josh Frydenberg, did not respond to a request for comment.

A 2016 survey from the department of industry found 32% of households were using halogen lights (mains voltage and low voltage) and 15% LEDs. A further 13% used incandescents, 31% compact fluorescent lamps and 9% linear fluorescents.

Overall, 55% of homes were using high-efficiency lighting such as LEDs and fluorescents, while 45% used low-efficiency bulbs such as halogen and incandescents, the report found.

In 2010, only 2% of homes used LED and 35% used halogen.

The ban on halogen lighting is based on an EU policy that will also come into effect in September 2020. The Australian government will also enforce new minimum standards for LED lights – mirroring the EU policy.

Most incandescent lights, which waste 90% of their energy produced as heat, were phased out between 2009 and 2012.

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