House Grail is reader-supported. When you buy via links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission at no cost to you. Learn more.

LED Light Bulbs vs. Halogen: Key Differences & Best Uses

LED Light Bulbs vs. Halogen

Every home or office needs at least one or more artificial light sources. Light bulbs were first introduced in 1835 by British inventors who demonstrated to the public that electricity could produce light with the arc lamp. This came almost 40 years before Thomas Edison patented and started commercializing the incandescent light bulb in 1879.

If you first forward to 2022, incandescent bulbs are among many sources of electrical lights we have. However, the two most popular bulbs are LED and halogen. Homeowners and business people are aware of their superior qualities and how energy-efficient they are. Latest surveys also show they are commanding a large market despite working differently. Let us compare them and outline major differences, as well as how and when to use them.

divider 4

At a Glance

LED Light Bulbs vs. Halogen
Image By: JumpStory


LED Bulb
  • Emit light when electric current flows through a semiconductor
  • The bulbs are usually small
  • Brighter, up to 200 lumens per watt
  • Expensive
  • The overall cost of energy bills is low
Halogen Bulb
  • A filament is heated to incandescence
  • Are large due to several protective layers of glass
  • Less bright, about 16 to 24 lumens per watt
  • Relatively cheap
  • Are costly in the long run



Overview of LED Light Bulbs

LED or Light Emitting Diode bulbs are semiconductors that produce light when electric current flows through them. The diodes are basically microchips embedded on the motherboard using a computer, and other than light, they also produce heat.

These small light bulbs make an ideal alternative for incandescent and fluorescent bulbs since they have remained standard in many appliances such as clocks, stereos, and other electronic displays for a long time, which has pushed their demand from 4% in 2015 to 47% in 2020 according to Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) experts.

One reason is that the bulb can produce up to 200 lumens per watt. Realistically, one lumen equals the amount of light produced by a small birthday candle. If you multiply that by 200, LEDs use less energy to produce more light.

The 4 Types of LED Light Bulbs

There are golf balls, LED panels, filament bulbs, globe, and candelabra LED light bulbs suitable for a wide range of applications.

1. Golf Balls

white light bulb on a yellow surface
Image By: Riki Risnandar, Pexels

Looking for a new lighting solution for all your incandescent and halogen light fixtures? Golf balls should be your best option. The bulb can be used for about 50,000 hours and has a lifespan of about 25 years. Buying one of these helps you cut your lighting expenses by up to 90%.

Even better is that these light bulbs come in various finishes, such as matte pearls and milk. Golf balls LED light bulbs are the ideal option if you want a peaceful, cozy atmosphere inside your home.

2. LED Panels

An LED panel is a large, flat, screen-like bulb with a wall mounting more frequently found in businesses than in homes. It produces more light than LED bulbs; thus, it is suited for the outdoors.

Their use in residential settings has, however, become more popular recently. They can be installed as rectangle, square, and round panels on a room’s walls or ceiling. These unique shapes and availability in many colors beautify a home at night. So, LED panels are a beautiful, modern, and environmentally-friendly addition to a home or workspace.

3. Filament Bulbs

hanging light bulbs
Image Credit: xegxef, Pixabay

If you love retro home décor, LED filament bulbs should be your go-to option. These bulbs produce a golden glow reminiscent of the original Edison creation rather than modern bulbs’ customary bright white light. The fact that they use less energy than incandescent and fluorescent bulbs means they can save you a lot of your money on monthly electric bills.

4. Globe

Globe LEDs are identical to incandescent bulbs in that they are dimmable large round bulbs used for decorative purposes. Differences start manifesting after the electricity bill arrives. That is when you see a considerable decrease in electricity costs when using an LED globe.

divider 1 What Are LED Lights Good For?

LED light bulb
Image By: Karol Olson, Pixabay

The real-world applications for LED lights are incredibly diverse. Their high efficiency and multi-directional nature make them ideal for industrial and residential settings, exhibits and displays, special events, entertainment, and signs. Lastly, you will find them adorning most showrooms.

Pros and Cons of LED Light Bulbs

  • Reliable
  • Highly durable
  • They are great for accent lighting since they come in a variety of color temperatures
  • Environmentally friendly
  • They are available in a wide range of soft colors and shapes
  • Have a higher initial cost than halogen bulbs
  • They may suffer damage because of high voltage

divider 1 Overview of Halogen Light Bulbs

Halogen light bulbs are a type of incandescent light bulb, and if you have ever seen one, they have a filament encased in a halogen gas. They are, however, more efficient than most incandescent bulbs due to a modified design that reduces energy-consuming infrared light emissions and increases the amount of visible light generated.

Normally, these bulbs use a tungsten filament that heats up to white-hot when current flows through it. Unlike LEDs bulbs which are rarely used in heating, homeowners comfortably use halogen bulbs in winter to warm up the indoors and areas around caged pets.

Unfortunately, the filament must be enclosed in a smaller quartz envelope to prevent the outer glass casing from melting. Furthermore, halogen bulbs work well as accent lights but are restricted to certain fixtures designed to withstand excess heat.

The 4 Types of Halogen Light Bulbs

1. T Halogen Bulbs

halogen bulbs
Image Credit: Piotr Wytrazek, Shutterstock

The tubular-type halogen bulbs are great for desk lamps, torchiere lamps, pendant lights, microwaves, and wall sconces. Because they have a small diameter, they are less likely to overheat.

2. A19 Halogen Bulbs

When you envision a typical light bulb, chances are it’s an A bulb. Due to this, these bulbs are considered a common replacement for conventional incandescent lamps and can be used in any location where A bulb sockets are present.

3. PAR Halogen Bulbs

Halogen Bulbs
Image Credit: jniittymaa0, pixabay

PAR halogen bulbs emit light via an electric arc, making them practical for locations that require more precise lighting. They come in various sizes, including PAR14, PAR16, and PAR20, and can be used for floodlights in yards, recessed lighting, accent lighting, and desk lamps.

4. G Type Bulbs

G-type bulbs are often used in outdoor spaces like bars or restaurants. As their name suggests, these bulbs are spherical, providing a distinctive appearance.

divider 1 What Are Halogen Lights Good For?

Halogen lights are used in a wide range of residential and commercial applications. They are often used in under-cabinet lighting, automotive headlamps, jewelry stores, and work lights. Those with reflectors like PAR and MR lamps are usually preferred for directed lighting, such as floodlights and spotlights.

halogen headlights
Image Credit: WStudio, Shutterstock

Pros and Cons of Halogen Lights

  • Their initial cost is cheaper than that of LED lights
  • They produce quality light similar to natural sunlight
  • Suitable for unique and low-profile applications like inside tools and appliances.
  • They are dimmable
  • Extremely hot
  • They could explode due to high-pressure
  • A lot of energy is wasted through heat

divider 1

How Are LEDs and Halogen Bulbs Different From Each Other?

The battle for supremacy to meet domestic and commercial lighting needs still rages on between LED and halogen bulbs. To a typical homeowner, choosing between the two is a bit challenging, given that they take care of almost 70% of the USA’s lighting needs. But there are a few differences.

Brightness Level

LEDs emit up to 200 lumens per watt, while halogen is between 16 and 24 lumens per watt.

SYLVANIA Halogen Light Bulb


While halogen bulbs are cheap, filaments burn out after 2,000 hours or so. This means their lifetime is 25 times shorter than LEDs which boast up to 50,000 light hours.

Economic Viability

The economic viability of a bulb can be analyzed using the acquisition price and the consumption of electricity.

Halogen lights are cheap, but up to 80% of the energy they consume is converted into heat while 20% to light. In contrast, almost 90% of the energy used by LEDs is converted to light. So you will pay up to 5 times less for LEDs electricity bills than halogen bulbs.

In terms of cost, LEDs are 20 to 30% more expensive than halogen bulbs.

This table summarizes everything.

Energy wasted to heat production 80% of total energy 20% of total energy
Brightness per watt 16–24 lumens 100–200 lumens
Estimated life expectancy 2,000 hours 50,000 hours
UV & IR emission Some None
Dimmable Yes Rarely

divider 4 Conclusion

Shifting to LED doesn’t mean giving up the warm glow given off by halogen bulbs. There are many differences between the two, but it ultimately depends on energy bills, the price of individual bulbs, and purpose. Buy LEDs if you want to save more on energy bills but go for halogen bulbs to beautify your home.


Related posts

OUR categories

Project ideas

Hand & power tools