EU bans old-fashioned light bulbs

Critics should also mention what need to be done in the event you should break one of them. Read this (and check out the comments to find out how many people are unaware of the dangers). Go here to see the EPA’s recommendations. And what about disposal? How many people know you can’t just throw them in the trash, unless you want them ending up in landfills, with mercury leeching into the ground? But, at least they’re “green,” whatever that means in this particular instance.

From The BBC:

A European Union ban on the manufacture and import of 100-watt and frosted incandescent light bulbs, in use since the 19th century, has come into force.

They are being phased out to encourage the switch to more energy-efficient fluorescent or halogen lamps, which use up to 80% less electricity.

Critics say the new bulbs are gloomy, and can trigger headaches and rashes in people with light sensitive disorders.

The ban is one of a series of measures in the EU to tackle climate change.

The less powerful clear bulbs will be progressively banned until all traditional bulbs disappear from shops across Europe in 2012.

The new rules follow an agreement reached by the 27 EU governments last year.

Some consumers have been stockpiling the old-style versions over concerns about the higher cost of the long-life bulbs, or for medical and sentimental reasons.

Several nations including Australia, New Zealand, the US, Canada and the Philippines have also announced plans to phase out traditional bulbs.


One Response

  1. Well, once all factors are considered, supposed savings end up pretty marginal….

    Europeans (like Americans) choose to buy ordinary light bulbs around 9 times out of 10 (European Commission and light industry data 2007-8)
    Banning what people want gives the supposed savings – no point in banning an impopular product!

    If new LED lights – or improved CFLs etc – are good,
    people will buy them – no need to ban ordinary light bulbs (little point).
    If they are not good, people will not buy them – no need to ban ordinary light bulbs (no point).
    The arrival of the transistor didn’t mean that more energy using radio valves/tubes were banned… they were bought less anyway.

    The need to save energy?
    Advice is good and welcome, but bans are another matter…
    people -not politicians – pay for energy and how they wish to use it.
    There is no energy shortage – on the contrary, more and more renewable sources are being developed –
    and if there was an energy shortage, the price rise would lead to more demand for efficient products – no need to legislate for it.

    Supposed savings don’t hold up anyway, for many reasons:
    about CFL brightness, lifespan, power factor, lifecycle, heat effect of ordinary bulbs, and other referenced research

    Brief examples
    Effect on Electricity Bills

    If energy use does indeed fall with light bulb and other proposed efficiency bans,
    electricity companies make less money,
    and they’ll simply push up the electricity bills to compensate
    (especially since power companies often have their own grids with little supply competition)
    Energy regulators can hardly deny any such cost covering exercise…
    – in which case money savings affected

    Since energy efficiency in effect means cheaper energy,
    people simply leave appliances on more than before This has actually been shown by Scottish and Cambridge research, as linked on the website
    (in the case of CFLs they’re supposed to be left on more anyway, to avoid cutting down on their lifespan)
    – in which case energy savings affected

    The fact that they are not as bright as stated is another reason against supposed savings
    See comparison test

    Also, since lifespan is lab tested in 3 hour cycles, any increased on-off switching reduces it, as does (as said) leaving the lights on to combat it.

    CFLs typically have a “power factor” of 0.5
    Power companies therefore typically need to generate more than twice as as much power
    than what your electricity meter – or CFL rating – shows, taking everything into consideration.
    Of course you end up having to pay for this anyway, in electricity charges being higher than they otherwise would have been.
    Without going into technicalities, this has to do with current and voltage phase differences set up when CFLs are used.
    There is nothing new or strange about this
    Industries are today penalized if they present such a work load to the power station.

    Does a light bulb give out any gases?
    Power stations might not either:
    Why should emission-free households be denied the use of lighting they obviously want to use?
    Low emission households already dominate some regions, and will increase everywhere, since emissions will be reduced anyway through the planned use of coal/gas processing technology and/or energy substitution.

    Direct ways to deal with emissions (for all else they contain too, whatever about CO2):

    The Taxation alternative
    A ban on light bulbs is extraordinary, in being on a product safe to use.
    We are not talking about banning lead paint here.
    This is simply a ban to reduce electricity consumption.

    Even for those who remain pro-ban, taxation to reduce the consumption would be fairer and make more sense, also since governments can use the income to reduce emissions (home insulation schemes, renewable projects etc) more than any remaining product use causes such problems.

    A few euros/dollars tax that reduces the current sales (EU like the USA 2 billion sales per annum, UK 250-300 million pa)
    raises future billions, and would retain consumer choice.
    It could also be revenue neutral, lowering any sales tax on efficient products.
    When sufficent low emission electricity delivery is in place, the ban can be lifted

    Taxation is itself unjustified, it is simply a better alternative for all concerned than bans.

    Of course an EU ban is underway, but in phases, supposedly with reviews in a couple of years time…
    maybe the debate in USA and Canadawill be affected by the issues being raised over here?

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