Saturday 1 September was a day I’m sure many of you were hoping wouldn’t come. Yes, it was the day that the final incandescent light bulbs, 40 and 25 watt, were banned from sale.
Due to an EU directive, retailers will no longer be able to sell incandescent light bulbs of any form. Bans on 60W and 100W have been and gone, as I’m sure you know, but now 40W and 25W bulbs have joined them too.
It’s said that by 2020 the ban will save 39 terawatt-hours of electricity across the EU each and every year. The UK government has even said that it will save the country £108m between 2010 and 2020.
However, I know many Convo commenters aren’t happy with the switch off.
Poor performance of energy saving bulbs?
Apart from the annoyance of being forced by the EU into ditching your incandescent bulbs, many of you haven’t been impressed by the performance of energy saving light bulbs. Your complaints with the most common energy saving bulb (CFLs) range from the amount of time they take to warm up, to being difficult to dispose of responsibly.
However, Peter Hunt, chief exec of the Lighting Industry Association, has said the ‘phase-out has been very smooth’ and added:
‘Concerns about poor performance of replacement bulbs have been proved wrong. The new LED replacements for halogen downlighters that have come on to the market over the past year work just as well, for example. Price is still a barrier, but that’s coming down almost daily as volume increases.’
Are LEDs the answer?
Ah yes, LEDs. These are said to be game changers – the energy saving bulbs that will answer all our calls. They’re said to be much more durable than other energy savers (lasting as long as 25 years), will reach full brightness instantly and some will work with dimmer switches. Of course, they can cost quite a bit more than your old incandescents or CFLs, but the price is coming down. And since they are even cheaper to run than CFLs, they should pay you back over the years.
If we have a look at the Philips MyVision 5W LED, although it will cost you a pretty hefty £12 to buy, it will only cost you 73p to leave on for 1,000 hours. Compare that to the cost of its 40W incandescent equivalent and you’d be looking at £5.80 for the same amount of time. So, presuming you have this one light turned on for 1,000 hours per year, you’d make back that £12 in under three years.
Still, it would be nice to see the price of LED bulbs dropping sooner rather than later – if they were cheaper would you happily give up your old bulbs?
No way around the ban
Some have mentioned that you can get around the ban by going to specialist lighting and hardware stores. However, Peter Hunt told the Guardian:
‘The law is clear: they should not be sold for household use. It says so on the packaging. Any retailer is risking a visit from government inspectors if they continue to sell them.’
So it’s best to steer clear of that then! Though maybe you’ve been stockpiling incandescent light bulbs? Or have you taken to energy saving bulbs like a duck to water?
Are you sad to see the end of incandescent light bulbs?
Yes - I don't think energy saving bulbs are up to the job (56%, 604 Votes)
No - I'm happy to move to energy saving bulbs (44%, 472 Votes)
Total Voters: 1,090