Cost Comparison: LED spotlight versus Halogen spotlight

Comparing LEDs with Traditional Halogen Lighting

LED bulbs are the (relative) new kids on the block when it comes to home lighting and if you go in to a shop today to buy one you will see that they are considerably more expensive to purchase than traditional halogen bulbs. Is the extra upfront expense worth it?

The answer, as our numbers suggest below, is a resounding yes!

The table below shows the lifetime costs associated with running a 5w LED spotlight versus a 50w halogen spotlight.

Type of lightbulb 5 Watt LED Spotlight 50 Watt Halogen
Cost per bulb £5.00 £1.50
Cost of electricity (@ £0.15 / kWh) £18.00 £180.00
Light bulb projected Lifespan (Hrs) 24,000 2,000
Bulbs needed to last 24,000 hours 1 12
Bulb price £5.00 £18.00
Total cost of buying and running the bulb £23.00 £198.00

So this shows that for each halogen bulb you replace with an LED equivalent, you are potentially going to save £175 over its lifetime.

The table below shows you typical savings per year – based on 5 hours usage per day (typical for a kitchen or lounge).

Type of lightbulb 5 Watt LED Spotlight 50 Watt Halogen
kWh used per year 9.13 91.25
Cost of electricity per year (@ £0.15 / kWh) £1.37 £13.69

So based on the fact that you are saving about £12 per year on each bulb, the payback is a little over a year if you were to use them for 5 hours per day!

The final table looks at the savings you can make from swapping out 6 halogen spotlights in your kitchen with 6 5W LED bulbs, and it assumes that you only buy new halogen bulbs every two years – so every 3650 hours (instead of the 2000 hours which is their expected lifeline, we need to give them a chance!).

>>> Click here to see our comparison between MR16 LED bulbs with GU10 LED <<<

The yearly energy costs are as follows:

For LED bulbs – 6 x £1.37 = £8.22

For Halogen bulbs – 6 x £13.69 = £82.13

 5w LED Yearly Costs   50w Halogen Yearly Costs 
Electricity Cost Cost of Bulb Cumulative Cost Electricity Cost Cost of Bulb Cumulative Cost
Year 0 £0.00 £25.00 £25.00 £0.00 £7.00 £7.00
Year 1* £8.22 £0.00 £33.22 £82.13 £0.00 £89.13
Year 2 £8.22 £0.00 £41.44 £82.13 £9.00 £180.26
Year 3 £8.22 £0.00 £49.66 £82.13 £0.00 £262.39
Year 4 £8.22 £0.00 £57.88 £82.13 £9.00 £353.52
Year 5 £8.22 £0.00 £66.10 £82.13 £0.00 £435.65
Year 6 £8.22 £0.00 £74.32 £82.13 £9.00 £526.78
Year 7 £8.22 £0.00 £82.54 £82.13 £0.00 £608.91
Year 8 £8.22 £0.00 £90.76 £82.13 £9.00 £700.04
Year 9 £8.22 £0.00 £98.98 £82.13 £0.00 £782.17
Year 10 £8.22 £0.00 £107.20 £82.13 £9.00 £873.30
Year 11 £8.22 £0.00 £115.42 £82.13 £0.00 £955.43
Year 12 £8.22 £0.00 £123.64 £82.13 £9.00 £1,046.56
Year 13 £8.22 £0.00 £131.86 £82.13 £0.00 £1,128.69
Year 14 £8.22 £0.00 £140.08 £82.13 £9.00 £1,219.82
Year 15 £8.22 £0.00 £148.30 £82.13 £0.00 £1,301.95
Year 16 £8.22 £0.00 £156.52 £82.13 £9.00 £1,393.08
Year 17 £8.22 £0.00 £164.74 £82.13 £0.00 £1,475.21
Year 18 £8.22 £0.00 £172.96 £82.13 £9.00 £1,566.34
Year 19 £8.22 £0.00 £181.18 £82.13 £0.00 £1,648.47
Year 20 £8.22 £0.00 £189.40 £82.13 £9.00 £1,739.60
TOTAL £164.40 £25.00 £189.40 £1,642.60 £7.00 £1,739.60
Type of lightbulb 5 Watt LED Spotlight 50 Watt Halogen
Light bulb projected Lifespan (Hrs) 24,000 2,000
Cost per bulb £5.00 £1.50
kWh of electricity used over 24,000 hours 120 1,200
Cost of electricity (@ £0.15 / kWh) £18.00 £180.00
Bulbs needed to last 24,000 hours 1 12
Bulb expense £5.00 £18.00
Total cost of buying and running the bulb £23.00 £198.00

LEDs last 12-15 times longer, they use 90% less energy and so overall contribute to enormous savings on your electricity bills – so what are you waiting for? The reason for these savings is because halogen bulbs, much like traditional incandescent bulbs produce light as a by product when they get hot. LED bulbs however work differently – providing light as electrons pass through a semi conductive material, so first and foremost they produce light far more efficiently.

Year 1* – This is the time it takes to pay for the additional cost of the LED bulb, and remember after that you are saving about £12 per year on electricity per bulb you replace.

Please remember not all LED bulbs are built the same though, if you want to see why our LEDs are the best, be sure to check out our LED buyers guide!