Halogen & LED Bulbs — What’s The Difference?

With LEDs becoming cheaper and more available, halogen bulbs have slowly begun gathering dust — especially when it comes to trade show displays and lighting.

Knowing the difference between halogen lights and LED bulbs is a necessity when determining the best solution for things like trade show lighting or when considering lighting at an event or inside a new house.

You might be wondering why. Read on for a list of differences between the two.

Halogen vs LED Bulbs


Features LED Halogen
Heat emissions  10% – 20% of total energy 80% – 90% of total energy
Power consumption  8 watts (.008 kilowatts) 90 watts (.09 kilowatts)
Lifespan (hours) 50,000 – 60,000 hours 800 – 1,200 hours
Cost (USD) $15 – $20/bulb $3 – $5/bulb
UV emissions None Minimal

 So what’s the difference?

There’s a couple differences between LEDs and halogen bulbs that we can see right off the bat:

  1. Their heat emissions. Halogen bulbs put out almost all of their energy as heat. Not only does this make them much harder to replace (juggling a hot light bulb is no fun), but it also makes them a fire hazard if they’re placed next to combustible materials. Since LEDs put out only 10 or 20 percent of their energy as heat, they’re much cooler when it comes to handling them — and much less likely to accidentally set something on fire. Because of this, many conventions have begun to enforce regulations on halogen lights, citing safety issues and power consumption.
  2. Lifespan. LED lights last much longer than halogen bulbs — more than 40 times longer.
  3. Cost. LEDs cost more per unit, but the overall lifespan of LEDs means that you’ll buy fewer LEDs than you will halogen bulbs. Let’s put this in perspective: one LED will cost you about $17.50 and last you 55,000 hours, on average. The equivalent number of halogen bulbs will cost you $220!

How can I use my LED lights?

LED lights have a ton of different real-world uses. From signs, exhibits and displays, to special events, entertainment and more, LEDs have uses across a variety of real-world industries. One of the biggest real-world uses is in showcasing merchandise — both at a trade show or on the showroom floor. Why are LEDs such a good choice when it comes to showing products to people?

Here’s the deal: when people go to look at products (especially things that can change in the light, like jewelry, flooring and furniture), they want to see what the product looks like under natural light. Why? Natural light is going to be the environment these products are in most often, so that’s how customers want to see them. Halogen light bulbs affect the lighting of a room in of two ways: one, because the yellow light they give off is much warmer than the cool blue light of an LED and two, because halogens give off light in all directions compared to the directed beam of an LED.

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