May 9, 2009

EU to ban some light bulbs

The European Union is set to ban the sale of incandescent light bulbs, forcing consumers to buy more energy efficient alternatives, officials said.

Taken off store shelves by September will be conventional 100 and 60 watt pearl bulbs, as well as frosted 25 watt and 40 watt bulbs, The Daily Telegraph reported Saturday.

Shoppers will be forced to buy low energy compact fluorescent lamps or low energy halogen bulbs.

Other clear bulbs which have low energy-efficient ratings will be phased out by 2012.

We are seeing people coming in and bulk buying. People like frosted bulbs because they have a softer light, said James Shortridge, owner of lighting chain Ryness.

Officials said frosted bulbs are in the first wave of the ban because they are the least efficient of all incandescent bulbs

From September 1 it will be illegal for manufacturers to sell frosted incandescent bulbs to EU retailers. Anyone who has them in stock can still sell them off, said a spokesman for the Department of Environment Food and Rural Affairs.

A spokesman for the Lighting Association said there was no need for consumers to stockpile banned bulbs.

Consumers will realize in the end that the alternatives provide substantial savings and have equivalent light quality to incandescents, he said.