Ask G

Ask G: Halogen energy savers

Are they a good eco-option?

What are those new energy saving light bulbs that look exactly like the old incandescent ones?

Philip, NSW

Light bulb with warm glow

Credit: Wikimedia

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You're probably thinking of bulbs advertised as "new halogen energy savers", which use up to 30 per cent less electricity than incandescent bulbs, are dimmable and produce a warm-looking light.

Our guess is that manufacturers are aiming to provide a more efficient alternative for those who are fussy about light colour, but compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs) are still the more efficient, commonly available option for baton-style light fittings (screw-in or bayonet).

You can get dimmable CFLs in "warm white" tones and they use up to 80 per cent less electricity than incandescent lights.