How to upgrade your lights from halogen to LED

General News

As the good quality halogen dichroic lamps start to disappear, now is the time to consider upgrading your downlights from halogen to LED. With a saving on energy consumption per fitting from 50w to 12w, you will also help lower your energy bills which is ideal at this time of higher energy pricing. Not only will an upgrade offer you energy saving, but it is also an opportune time to revisit the lighting design and give you the chance to enhance your interiors.

We have recently undertaken several such upgrades on projects we designed the lighting scheme for 14 and over 20 years ago:-

Family London Home, Richmond

exmpale of upgrade from halogen downlights to LED in open plan living room

The first project is a family detached London home encompassing a superb open plan living/kitchen/dining space. We had designed the lighting scheme over 14 years ago but with the children leaving home and the arrival of a dining table instead of the pingpong table, the clients, Julian and Tess felt the time for an upgrade was never better. They wanted to add new LED wall lights and felt the latest LED solutions were more attractive and controllable than halogen lights. They were also keen to move to the latest control system with the addition of greater security options.

On the initial site visit by one of our team, it was established that there was no need for a new downlight fitting, with just a new LED engine and driver required. To be able to use the same cut-out was important to Julian and Tess to minimise disruption, though the ceiling did need a repair and repaint after installation.

Kitchen with downlights, floor washers and LED strip

Our site visit also enabled us to upgrade the lighting scheme to include lighting of new art, changing of the LED strip from blue to white over the kitchen island, Vorsa spotlights over the dining table and the introduction of Contour HR at high level to the pitched roof.

When asked how they felt the quality of light differed from halogen to LED, Tess says “The quality of the light seems much more natural to me. It feels warmer and really soft compared with the halogen.” Julian added, “The fact that the light can be dimmed to 1% is absolutely fantastic and create what I call a “cigar”, moody scene.”

“I am delighted with how it has come out. It is far better than I thought it would be. The effect that we have, the variety of lighting from very bright to very subtle and the additional functionality and controls. The whole way the system works allows us to tell a story in each room now the children have moved out and the ping pong table removed! We also worked with Argile paints having been introduced to them in your showroom and we are thrilled with their paints”

In summary Julian says “I am really pleased with the way the whole scheme works. The product is clearly fab and it turns up in a box and you have everything you need… it just works.”

View to artwork across lit dining table

Overall 120 downlights were changed from halogen to LED throughout the property. The original scheme equated to 6,000 watts for all the fittings and this now sits at 1,440 watts, equating to a 76% reduction in energy consumption.

Townhouse, Notting Hill

For this five floor townhouse in Notting Hill, we worked with an electrician to upgrade the lighting from halogen to LED for a scheme which was designed by ourselves over 20 years ago.

The quality of the Polespring downlights was still excellent, so again we were able to simply change the halogen lamp to our new LED engines and switch to a driver instead of a transformer. The control system was by a company called Leax and the LED was compatible with this old system ensuring an easy transition.

Again over 100 downlights were changed ensuring a big saving of energy from 50w per downlight to 12w. However it was the change from the old Clickstrip linear light which made the real difference to lowering the power consumption – Clickstrip uses 100w per meter against the new Contour HD LED strip which is 9.6W. For the shelving unit alone which used 12 meters of Clickstrip, the energy saving reduced by 90% across the unit.

basement living area with comfortable seating and shelving

The basement used over 40 downlights along and not only was the energy consumption considerably lower for the downlights, the client remarked “since having the upgrade, we have not had to use the air conditioning so much”, thus creating a further energy saving.


For help on how to upgrade your scheme from halogen to LED, contact our halogen upgrade expert Andreia Dias. All interior fittings now have a 5 year warranty offering you peace of mind when installing the latest LED versions.