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Why halogen downlights could be costing you money $$$$ and putting you at risk

With my knowledge of electrical installations, I can tell you that Melbourne went through a crazy love affair with the recessed halogen downlight from the late 90’s to just recent. Personally I believe I would have installed thousands.

There is no denying that the aesthetics of a Halogen globe is very desirable and pleasant to be around, not to mention cheap to initally buy but the downfalls are becoming all to glaringly obvious.

Did you know:

  • Less than 10% of the energy on average used to power a halogen is converted into light the rest is simply heat
  • A 50watt halogen spot can reach temperatures of around 240 degrees celcius
  • A standard halogen downlight including transformer consume 60watts (50watt globe + 10watt for transformer)
    • So if you had 6 in one room that is 360watts
  • Many halogen downlights before circa 2005 where not installed with protective cans and can create the potential for a fire.
    • Take a look at this goverment site
  • Maintaing halogen downlights can be more costly than other alternatives as they have more parts (globe, lamp holder, housing, transformer)

So what can you do?

If you already have halogen downlights:

  • Ensure that they are safely installed with protective cans and away from the house structure and have a suitable clearance of wiring
  • Have an electrician  replace the globes with LED globes. Companies are now making retro fitting LED globes to suit original halogen downlights. LED globes consume between 4-10watts
  • Have an electrician replace the fittings with compact fluroescent downlights that only consume on average 9watts a fitting, with much less heat.

If you want brand new recessed lighting installed

  • Have LED downlights installed.
    • these can be expensive ranging from $50-150per complete fitting only
    • However the life of a LED is guaranteed in many cases for 5-10years
    • Only consume 4-10watts
    • Light can vary depending of quality of globe
    • Run alot cooler
  • Have recessed compact fluroescent downlights installed
    • These give a nice light in my opinion, though some people find the lights a little off putting
    • Are cheap to buy, at around $22 including a globe
    • Run cooler
    • HAve very little to go wrong, a solid long lasting fitting

A quick comparrison:

12volt halogen = 63watts each

12volt LED       = 4-10watts each

Compact fluroescent = 9watts each

So the savings and safety are there, now it’s up to you,

for a free safety appraisal or quote on anything discussed please feel free to contact K-POW ELECTRICAL


Keith Powell


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