LED replacements bulbs - pros and cons

For a very long time I have been trialling and testing LED bulbs, for about 10 years in fact. I am actually quietly in awe of them! I buy standard mains halogen replacements in their LED incarnations and see how they perform.

I'm a photographer so I know a bit about quality of light. From the cheapest very cold, very directional budget units to the much more pleasing end of the spectrum where you would probably not immediately notice the difference, although they they do still give off a cooler light compared to halogen.

Most recently I have bought three of these high end GU10 replacements for my halogen spots from Xanlite, Osram and Samsung. They don’t come cheap at around 8 times the price of their halogen counterparts but they consume only about an eighth of the power. In my house we have lots of these GU10 spots, they are cheap to install but not a week goes by without me replacing at least one of the halogen type bulbs that they are often supplied with.

That is no longer the case as I have found what I believe to be an excellent value and high quality replacement bulb. Out of two Xanlites that I tested, one of them failed after a month, it felt cheap and it looked cheap but was a similar price to the rest and for that reason I won't be recommending them.

The Osram gives off a pleasing light but Samsung is a nicer looking lamp as it is finished in white, so it’s a close call but the Samsung gets my vote.

From my local Bricomarche they are all around 12- 15 euros a piece, but I get mine from Amazon as they are much cheaper, a four pack will cost you around 32 euros delivered.

LED Pros: Life expectancy 40,000 hours - Consumption 4 watts - Working temperature is cool

LED Cons: Cost is around eight times the price of halogen - Bluer/cooler than halogen

Halogen Pros: Warm light - cheap to buy

Halogen Cons: Short life expectancy 4000 hours - Working temperature is very hot - Consumption 35-50 watts

Get yours from Amazon here

Have you made the switch?

Well I won't waste time on any comment as your wife has clearly laid down her standard.

I want LED my wife wants bright light. Regardless of what a lamp says she insists in bunging 100W bulbs in. Finding LED's that have matched her exacting expectations has been a nightmare - the box of rejected lights just seemed to grow. In London last week I dragged her to a small specialist lighting/electrical shop called Mr Resistor - they have a huge selection and best of all what they call a light room so you can compare the out put of the lights you're looking at (it's actually a light corridor!). For standard lights (to go in lamps) we've gone for the lights in the link below (they come in bayonet and screw) and for downlighters we've gone for 50 and 75W GU10 replacements. All of these have met the exacting standards of my wife and I am pleased to report that all major lamps will now have LED bulbs chez nous.

How long they last? how much our EDF bills will reduce by? only time will tell...


I was keen to embrace this technology when it came out and I bought over 50 of them for work. They were the most powerful available at the time around 7 watts if I recall. However they all failed very early within 18 months of purchase! They were the GU10 variant. What I thought was going to save us money ended up costing a lot more than I was hoping. Hopefully the technology has come on since then and the reliability improved.

You can easily get warm white led lamps nowadays (meaning a orangy white like regular bulbs, not the sort of bluey white colour). Some people (moi inclu) think that the bluey white is bad for you when used at night by fooling your brain into behaving as if it's still daytime thus mucking up your sleep which at its worst has quite serious health consequences. The warm white is better (but probably as yet not better enough)

I have just retired the longest serving led bulb I own after 1 year of always-on use.

It still worked but the light output was going down and down :(

Thanks, Peter, that is a great help!

Thanks for this blog, buying powerful low energy bulbs is a mine field

Will be looking out for those James we have a hell of a lot of GU10 around the house and have tried various makes the best so far were LEXMAN which made a huge difference to our light in the kitchen. But will now look out for the samsung

You could try these John 5.5w

A little less bright than what you currently have. But well worth the investment in my opinion.

I have 6 GU10 50W mains voltage Halogen spots they run very hot have thought often about replacing the bulbs for LED but which one,its rather baffling at our Bricomarche tiny shop with limited stock very often empty shelving

For Mark: I Googled convert lumens watts and came up with this link, from which comes the following:

Lumens to watts table

Lumens Incandescent
light bulb
375 lm 25 W 6.23 W
600 lm 40 W 10 W
900 lm 60 W 15 W
1125 lm 75 W 18.75 W
1500 lm 100 W 25 W
2250 lm 150 W 37.5 W
3000 lm 200 W 50 W

I recently installed 60 LED bulbs in an apartment. Within 6 months 50% of these bulbs had failed. I think the problem comes from a regular flickering coming from the supply which happens on the do 23 minutes after alternate hours. I have noticed this flickering in other parts of France as well. They were very cheap bulbs sourced in the UK. I have now replaced them with more expensive Kosnic bulbs that don't relay the flickering and survive.


Thanks a lot for the link to mini in the box. Looking good!!

Having just come across this thread, and thinking about either a new build or rebuild, I'd be pleased to get people's views on:

1. Should I use low-voltage LED GU10 equivalents or mains-voltage versions? If low-voltage, what sort of transformer/power-supply would be best, given that there won't be any halogens to consider.

2. What sort of dimmer would be best for each voltage type, again keeping in mind that all the bulbs to be controlled would be LED-based? (Even if I use low-voltage for the GU10 equivalents, I'll probably invest in LED-based 240V bulbs elsewhere, & might want to dim them also.)

All advice would be very welcome. TIA.

Ilike the idea of low energy use but many LEDs are sold on a "20 watt equals 10,000 lumens" basis. How does this translate to "20 watt equals 100 watt conventional bulb"? That I can understand!

Is there a conversion chart?

LIDL are having a promotion on LED (and Halogen) bulbs this week :> http://www.lidl.fr/fr/offres-513.htm?id=474

Hi Don, these are very good in that situation and at 6-7w (more powerful are available) with either B22 or E27 thread, amazing light output due to the phosphorous coating that glows as well.

John Withall - I am using standard lamp bulbs, some with bayonet and some with threaded sockets, in conventional vertical standing table lamps.

I am not saying they won't work Vic, it's just the expense of LED's means you'll want to look after them and the driver definitely helps over the old transformers for halogens. I have some really good auto ranging Philips transformers that power the LED's very well considering the transformers were from halogens but I seem to get more flicker and shorter life from the LED. I will change those out but they are really difficult to reach, who put them there! ;-) oops!