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LED replacement for Halogen



One thing about having the Tesla App for my Solar and Powerwall is I'm more aware of my power usage, which reminded me that my floor lamps use 300 watt halogen bulbs. Over the past few years I've on occasion looked for a suitable replacement for the lamp, but never had any luck. This time around I found an LED Replacement bulb that looked interesting, it's even dimmable. Only 200 watt equivalent though, so I ordered 1 to try it out:

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Looks good, and the dimming feature works well with my Insteon smart switches, but I like to read in the living room and the decrease in brightness is enough that I don't care for it in this room. However, I have 2 of the same lamps in my TV room and those are always dimmed so the LED replacement will work fine in there. So I plan to order another for that room, and keep looking for something for the living room.


Addendum - swapped the lamp with LED with the right lamp in TV room. I'd configured INSTEON way back when to dim them to 50% when turned on, so I changed the right one to to 75% as 300 * .5 = 200 * .75


Double-tap the on button puts the lights to 100%


Addendum 2 - oops, been so long since I set up my Insteon devices that when I changed the setting to 75% I only changed it for the physical button on LampLinc module itself:


Under Manage Links... there are level settings for every switch that can control the light. They were still at 50%.


Changed them to 75%


Current 75% photo:


Current 100% photo:


Addendum 3 - second bulb has arrived. Had an issue in that it wouldn't fit! Turned out the reflective insert for the left lamp had a different shape and height:



One interesting thing about those inserts - they have a couple of slits in them, allowing some of the halogen bulb's light thru to the bottom, which causes the blueish green section of the lamp to glow. Due to the design of the LED replacements, no light made it thru the slits so no glow (can also see this in the previous photos if you show them full size):


I was slightly disappointed about this, so was pleasantly surprised when the removal of the shield caused the glow to return! So I removed the shield from the right lamp as well:


Both lamps with LED replacement:


Addendum 4 - dimming test of halogen. Light off:


Light on:



Dimmed 66%:




Dimmed 33%



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These dimmable halogens are really wasting energy. Even if you dim them to the lowest setting, they are still using more than 50% energy compared to full brightness. So maybe you should put them into your TV room first.


I got rid of mine 10 years ago (energy prices are high in Germany) and replaced it with a non-dimmable CFL. This lasted until two weeks ago, where I replaced it with a dimmable LED. It is even brighter than the old CFL.

BTW: If you like warm light, make sure that you get 2700K or lower. 3000K are listed as warm white too, but IMO they produce pretty cold light. Also make sure that the CRI is high if your are sensitive to color deviations, aim for 90 or more.

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I ditched my halogens years ago in favor of CFLs. Then when LEDs became affordable, I ditched the CFLs (got tired of the flickering, buzzing and other problems). Since then, I haven't had to change a single bulb.

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Yeah, power is quite cheap here so not much impetus from that to replace the wattage sucking lights. I have been swapping incandescents for LEDs for a while now, in large part due to their longer expected life. Besides the halogens, the Tesla App has lead me to swap out the last of my incandescent bulbs.


Years back I had a large fly land on one of the halogen bulbs, the fly burst into flames - that's the primary reason I've been periodically looking for a replacement, just haven't had any luck finding anything remotely suitable until now.


If 30w LED is comparable to 200w halogen then I most like will need something around 45w. Found some like this 50w, but they're too long to fit.

I like both cool and warm lighting, just depends on when it's going to be mostly used. Evening settings like watching TV I prefer warm, daytime settings like my office I prefer cool.

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Nathan, as an artist, how important is the CRI for you?


That's an interesting question. Since I work mostly digitally now, the color accuracy of the monitor is more important than CRI of lighting in the room. If I was still creating art traditionally, then CRI would be much more important. It's still very important when looking at color prints, but I do very little work traditionally now.


When shooting video, CRI is critical, which made the adoption of LED lighting a bit slow since there are gaps in the color spectrum with some LEDs. They're getting much better though, especially in the commercial units used in film production. We use such lights for our life drawing classes at work, and these were all quartz halogen for years. But the housings got insanely hot, and they were a maintenance issue since the bulbs needed regular changing and the interior components of the light fixtures would literally cook and need rebuilding. A few years ago, we upgraded them with LED kits. The lighting is barely distinguishable from halogen, except for not being as bright at the top end. But the lights are maintenance free, dimmable without any external controllers, use a fraction of the power (which means less blown circuit breakers) and most importantly - completely safe to handle when they're on.


Color temperature (CCT) and ambient light is more critical when working digitally. If you have too strong of a color cast in the room, it affects your color perception. It's kind of like wearing yellow ski goggles, and when you take them off, everything looks purple for awhile.


In our labs at work, all of our desktop backgrounds are a neutral gray, and the students can't change them. We use dimmable fluorescents and try to keep the lighting around 3500K-4000K (depending on the space) - not blue, but not warm, and we paint the walls a neutral gray of around 25% (if we go much darker, it looks like a cave). The problem is, when our Facilities people replace the lamps, they usually use whatever is lying around, and we end up with a kaleidoscope of different color temperatures anyway. :roll:

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Oops - that 75% photo is wrong, I missed some settings so the light was still at 50%. See addendum 2.

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Addendum 3 - slight hiccup with second LED replacement, workaround for which resulted in a happy side effect :)

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These dimmable halogens are really wasting energy. Even if you dim them to the lowest setting, they are still using more than 50% energy compared to full brightness.

Addendum 4 - was curious about this, so test screenshots added.

  • light off my home was using 0.8 kW.
  • light on usage increased to 1.1 kW
  • dimmed to 66% usage dropped to 1.0 kW
  • dimmed to 33% usage dropped to 0.9 kW
Increase was expected amount for 300 watt light, each dim amount matched the expected drop of 100 watts.


Seems the dimming implementation of the INSTEON Smart Dimmer Switch is quite efficient.

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