The Glory Days of Lighting: Halogens vs LEDs

When it comes to lighting, many of us in the industry have a fond memory of our MR16 halogen lights. They were, and still are, known for producing a pure and beautiful light with an amazing color rendering index (CRI). But times have changed, and in recent years, premium quality LEDs have surpassed halogens in many aspects.

One of the main advantages of LEDs is their ability to produce a more uniform light distribution with less hot spots. Halogen lights typically use a reflector to focus the light, which can create a bright area in the center of the beam. That is caused by the fact that the center beam of light is not controlled by the reflector. In contrast, Our lights often use a single source LED with a Total Internal Reflector (TIR) optic, which helps to distribute the light evenly and minimize hot spots. This optic controls 100% of the light. This can make LED lights more suitable for certain applications where a more uniform light distribution is desired, such as in museums or art galleries.

Another advantage of LEDs is the longevity. On average, an LED will last 25 times longer than a halogen bulb (if the proper thermal management is designed in the LED). This not only reduces maintenance costs, but also saves on the cost and labor of frequent bulb replacements. Additionally, LEDs are much more energy efficient than halogens, which can help to lower energy costs and reduce the environmental impact.

While it's true that halogens produce great light with an amazing CRI, premium quality LEDs have come a long way in terms of color rendering and are getting closer to halogens. We are now getting 97 CRI out of a number of our fixtures.

In conclusion, while halogen MR16s may have a certain nostalgia and charm associated with them, we have been working on building luminaires with premium quality LEDs, and these have many advantages over their halogen counterparts. They offer a more uniform light distribution, longer life span, and are more energy efficient. We believe that our current Sterling Lighting fixture line exceeds the best that halogen fixtures were able to accomplish. We believe our next line will completely put an end to the romanticizing of halogens, that so many of us old timers have engaged in over the years.

~ Patrick Harders, Co-Owner of Sterling Lighting