5W LED Downlight vs Osram 50W Halogen Downlight

April 09, 2013
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This weeks comparison series takes an in-depth look at the 5W LED Downlight and an Osram 50W Halogen 50W. We examine light-distribution and lux readings, and we also take a look at financial calculations of owning and operating both options.

The Products

Below you will find the specifications of the lights.

As you can see the LED Downlight uses only 5 Watts compared to 50 Watts which equates to a 90% running costs saving. In addition, the LED downlight lasts over 40 times longer which results in massive maintenance savings over its lifespan. We will go into more detail into that later 

  5W LED Downlight  50W Halogen 
Wattage 5 Watts 50 Watts
Beam Angle 45 Degree 35 Degree
Lifespan 40,000 Hours 1,000 Hours
Lumens 350 Lumens 650 Lumens




As can be seen from the below picture our new 5W LED Downlight is only a few millimetres longer than the 50W Halogen downlight. We have in fact tested the 5W LED in many standard downlight holders and it fits in the majority of downlight holders available with no issues whatsoever.




Light Distribution 

We took pictures of the light distribution of both lamps from a distance of 2 meters.

While the Halogen downlight is supposed to have a narrower lighting angle (35 deg vs 45 deg) it is evident from the picture that this is not true and it throws the light in a much wider angle than stated on the label. Although not evident on the picture the light is quite patchy with a number of dark spots.

The 5W LED Downlight, however, throws a clean and even light spread at it's stated 45-degree beam angle. There are no dark spots and the light distribution is uniform.




Lux Readings

Lux is a measure of light intensity at a certain distance, in this case, we took readings from both the Halogen and LED downlight from a distance of 2 meters. The halogen downlight had a max reading at this distance of 179 lux. The LED downlight, on the other hand, had a maximum LUX reading of 255 at the same distance, resulting in 76 more lux or 42% more than the Halogen downlight.



Financial Calculations

You can buy a 5 Pack of Halogen downlights for around R25 a lamp, whereas the LED Downlight will cost you R75. With today's electricity costs soaring purchase price should definitely not be the only consideration when buying lamps - you should be considering what the running and replacements costs are going to be and we will look into that with the help of the below table.

Item 50W Halogen 5W LED LED Savings
Wattage 50 Watts 5 Watts 45 Watts or 90%
Lifespan 1,000 Hours 40,000 Hours 39,000 Hours or 97%
Electricity Cost Per Unit R1.25 R1.25 Constant Figure
Daily Operating Hours 10 Hours 10 Hours Constant Figure
Daily Watts Used 500 Watts 50 Watts 450 Watts or 90%
Daily Running Costs R0.62 R0.06 R0.56 or 90%
Monthly Running Costs (Daily x 30) R18.60 R1.80 R16.80 or 90%
Yearly Running Costs (Monthly x 12) R223.20 R21.60 R201.60 or 90%
Yearly Replacement Costs (Lifespan / Running Hours) R91.25 R6.84 R84.41 or 92%


The above table clearly indicates the massive financial advantages that LED lights have over Halogen even though the Halogens are 3 times cheaper to purchase. 

It shows that while the halogen will cost you R25 to buy, it will cost R223.20 per lamp per year in electricity costs. The same LED costing you R75 will only cost you R21.60 per year to operate. The nett result is that it is CHEAPER to buy and own LED Downlights than Halogen Downlights.

So if you own just 10 Halogen downlights you could be saving over R2,000 a year in electricity costs alone by making the change to LED downlights instead. 

What this highlights is the long term benefits of LED lighting. The energy savings more than make up for the higher purchase price and the LED downlight will pay for itself by saving you money.

With electricity costs still increasing at above inflation rates the argument for more efficient LED lighting only gets stronger.

We hope this posting has addressed some questions regarding the benefits of LED Lighting but please do not hesitate to contact us if you need further assistance!


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