Microscopes - LED vs Halogen


Just like everything else, microscopes are moving to LED.  While most current models are now manufactured with LED, there are still many Halogen options – both new and refurbished.  So you may ask the question, “Which is right for me?”  Of course, there is no right or wrong answer, as it really is a matter of personal preference.  However, it does present an opportunity to look at the pros and cons of the two lighting options.

LED +/-

When it comes to LED, there are three basic advantages. 1) It produces little to no heat, making it much more energy efficient. 2) There is no color temperature change, and therefore, no need for constant white balancing with a camera. 3) Bulbs have a long life-span, which means less time and money spent constantly changing them.

The one disadvantage is that if an LED bulb fails, it can be costly to replace.  In some situations, you may need to send the microscope to a professional to have this done.


In terms of an advantage, Halogen bulbs are easier to change.  So when they fail, there is no disruption to your work.  The corresponding disadvantage is that you will spend more money on bulbs over the course of the life of the microscope.


Again, it has a lot to do with personal preference.  Some people simply prefer the look of Halogen light, which is fine.  If you do decide to go with LED, they can offer the same level of brightness as Halogen.  Just be sure that the LED scope you purchase is designed to make bulb replacement simple and easy.