A SCOTTISH lighting industry expert has predicted that a fresh change to European legislation could “slash” energy bills for homes and businesses.

As of Saturday, the EU has banned retailers from replacing halogen lightbulb stock due to their high energy use in favour of LED compact fluorescent bulbs, in a move to that will also reduce carbon emissions.

James Crouch from Scotlight Direct explained the impact for consumers. He said: “The ban will slash household and business energy bills by up to 15% as traditional lamp bulbs only use approximately 5% of the electricity to convert into visible light.

“Although the perception that LEDs are not as bright as traditional lamps and that they give off a cold light, the reality is that LEDs have come a long way and are now available in a vast range of colour temperatures and brightness, the Kelvin scale – to suit any taste.

“Many people also don’t realise that LEDs come in dimming and non-dimming varieties and are instant starting.

“LEDs can also increase the lifespan of your light-fitting as there is less chance of it burning out the lamp holder. Halogen lamp bulbs produce a lot of heat whereas LEDs produce little to no heat.”

According to the Energy Saving Trust, halogen lightbulbs, originally patented in 1959, last for around 2000 hours – compared to 25,000 hours for LED lights. A halogen bulb burns through about £11 of electricity a year, while an LED bulb costs about £2 a year to use.

Halogen bulbs are also responsible for more than 15,000,000 tonnes of carbon emissions in the UK each year.

James Crouch added: “Brazil and Venezuela began phasing out incandescent bulbs in in 2005, Australia in 2009, Russia in 2012, United States, Canada, Mexico and South Korea in 2014.

“It’s a good move for the consumer as LEDs come with a warranty and are more affordable… as well as being good for the planet.”

The EU law, which will apply to the UK post-Brexit, will not necessarily phase halogens out of existence, however.

Remaining stocks may still be sold in stores and used in the home as the legislation does not demand immediate replacement.