No Incandescent Bulbs in EU

A directive that aimed to ban the sale of incandescent light bulbs across the European Union was passed on September 1st 2009. The ban was phased in over a three-year period, first targeting 100W filament bulbs. They were followed by 60W incandescent bulbs being phased out two years later, and finally, in 2012, the removal of the 40W light bulbs and any other incandescent bulbs still in use.

The news was met with a mixture of praise and criticism (LEDLights was on the side that praised), but the ban could not be effected fully as, despite the legislation, there was a loophole which, up until this month, remained open and allowed companies to continue to sell incandescent bulbs. At the end of February 2016, however, this loophole will reach a dead end and companies will be forced to join the LED revolution.

Let’s backtrack a little and think about why the ban was introduced and furthermore, why so many people did not support it. On one side of the equation some people considered the ban to be an effort on the part of the EU to get rid of inefficient technology. For the record, 90% of the power generated by incandescent bulbs is lost to heat. On the other hand, for those who didn’t support the ban, it was an erroneous move that did not include more affordable alternatives. Many of these consumers were still attached to the warm, filament glow produced by incandescent light bulbs.

This sentiment was upheld even though the UK government had motivated the decision by stating that the United Kingdom would receive a net benefit of £108-million between 2012 and 2010. The media questioned the logic and the public remained divided as it does when we start to challenge the things we used to do, or the way we used to do them.

And, while the expectation was for the removal of inefficient lighting technology, there was a class of incandescent bulb that had been excluded from the ban. This was to soften the blow of the ban to industrial and trade sectors of the economy.

25 Jan 2016 10:16:11 By Chris Angus

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