Consumers in search of energy efficient lighting have many options. Though fluorescent bulbs offer energy efficiency at a competitive price, concerns over safe disposal of the bulbs or a dislike to the type of light emitted by fluorescent bulbs has led some people to consider halogen or LED lights.
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Though recent technological refinements have made both LED and halogen bulbs more popular with consumers, the technology for both has been around a while. Elmer Fridrich and Emmet Wiley received a patent for a tungsten halogen bulb in 1959. Nick Holonyah, Jr., known as "the father of the LED," developed the light-emitting diode while working for General Electric in 1962.
Halogen bulbs contain halogen gas sealed in the bulb. The gas allows a halogen bulb to put out about 30 percent more light as a conventional bulb that uses the same amount of electricity, according to Montana State University. LEDs produce light by moving electrons through semi-conductor material in a computer chip. LEDs marked with the energy star rating use at least 75 percent less electricity than equivalent incandescent bulbs.
Halogen bulbs produce a large amount of bright, white light while using less electricity than incandescent bulbs. LEDs also use much less electricity than incandescent bulbs. LEDs are cool to the touch and available in different colors.
Halogen bulbs are very hot to the touch and have been linked to fires. Some universities forbid the use of halogen bulbs in dorm rooms. Halogen bulbs aren't available in very many sizes. Some LEDs do not produce even, white light. Poor design can lead to early failure of LED bulbs. LEDs aren't available to fit a wide variety of fixtures and cost more than other types of bulbs.
Halogen bulbs last 2000 to 4000 hours, two to four times longer than a standard incandescent bulb. Energy Star rated LED bulbs last a minimum of 25,000 hours, or 22 years of average household use, as computed by the US government's Energy Star program.