I recently saw a B&Q advert for Diall GU10 eco halogen litghtbulbs. I am sure Diall are a good manufacturer. Not one I was previously aware of but I am sure they make a wonderful halogen lamp. But I do not understand what makes it “Eco”.

Let’s be clear, the point of a lamp is to produce light. Light is measured in lumens. The good old tungsten filament lamp will produce 12 to 15 lumens per Watt (Watts being a measure of the electricity consumed by the lamp, and what we buy from our electricity supplier).

The compact fluorescent lamps (the ones with little white tubes, that have not met with unbridled popularity) produce 50 to 60 lumens per Watt, which is a significant improvement on the old style lamps. LED lamps produce up to 100 lumens per Watt. Now we are talking Eco.

Halogen lamps produce 12 to 20 lumens for lamp (the variation being due to the quality of the lamp) and it is ridiculous to claim eco-credentials for a lamp that is virtually equivalent to its old fashioned tungsten filament lamp alternative. It can be argued, with some justification, that halogen lamps give less useful light than any of the alternatives and therefore consume more energy to achieve the same thing. It seems that now ‘Eco’ can be appended to any product to give it some sort of warrant, that it is ecologically better than its alternative, irrespective of whether the appellation has any merit whatsoever. The only way that “eco” can reasonably be applied to a halogen lamp is when it is used in conjunction with the word disaster.

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