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Difference Between Halogen and Fluorescent Lamps

Halogen vs Fluorescent Lamps

If you are building a house or renovating one, you often face the decision of what types of lighting fixtures to use. The most common options are fluorescent and halogen lamps. There are many differences between the two, but the most significant for the common user is the power efficiency because this directly translates to the electric bill. A typical halogen lamp has an efficiency of around 3% while a fluorescent lamp has anywhere between 10% and 15%. So to produce the same amount of light, halogen lamps would consume anywhere between three to five times the power consumption of fluorescent lamps. This can be a pretty significant sum in homes where you have multiple fixtures turned on at the same time.

Another advantage of fluorescent lamps is their lifespan. Fluorescent lamps can last anywhere between 6,000 to 15,000 hours of operation. You can probably find the exact number on the packaging of the lamp. In contrast, the typical halogen lamp will only last for about 3,000 hours. It is, therefore, more convenient to use fluorescent lamps as you do not have to change them as often.

The wasted power in any electrical device goes to the heat, and lamps are no exception. Because halogen lamps waste more power, it is logical that it also produces more heat. In colder areas, excessive heat may be forgivable, but in warmer climates it is very undesirable. The much higher temperature of halogen bulbs is also a fire hazard, and users should be careful not to have combustible materials like cloth or paper in close proximity while they are in operation.

The biggest advantage that halogen has over fluorescent lamps is that it’s very cheap. Fluorescent lamps have other mechanisms like the starter and the ballast which increases the price of each lamp. But the increased lifespan and reduced power consumption more than makes up for the cost in the long run. That’s why most homes are now using fluorescent lamps.

One area where halogen lamps still win over fluorescent lamps is dimming. You just need a dimmer switch, and you can easily control how bright a halogen bulb should be. With fluorescent lamps, the ordinary dimmer switch is not enough. You need to have a specialized ballast for dimming, and that increases the price even further.


1.Fluorescent lamps are considerably more power efficient than halogen.
2.Fluorescent lamps last longer than halogen lamps.
3.Fluorescent lamps produce significantly less heat than halogen lamps.
4.Halogen lamps are cheaper than fluorescent.
5.Halogen lamps are easier to dim than fluorescent lamps.

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