While not ‘de-lighted’, I’m certainly not mourning the passing of the incandescent light bulb. I think energy efficiency is a good thing and have had no problems with low-energy bulbs. That’s until I moved house…
And thanks to an unnamed energy company and their CERT (Carbon Emissions Reduction Target) requirements, until recently, I had a decent stash of CFLs. I reckon these would have lasted me another five years before I had to actually go and buy a new bulb.
But alas, my stash is no more. Well it is; it’s just no longer with me. The reason? I moved house into a new build property. And in order to meet ‘Part L’ of the building regulations – where 30% of lighting must be low energy – my house uses non-standard light fittings ‘to ensure only low-energy lamps can be used’. So it’s bye, bye to my bulb stash, hello three-pin light bulbs.
If you’ve not already met the three-pin light bulb, let me introduce you. While it may look like a normal low-energy bulb, it’s far from it.
The BC3 (to give it its correct name) is a non-standard, three-pin CFL light bulb, which meant my small stash of two-pin bayonets wouldn’t fit into my new home’s three-pin light fittings. So they all had to be donated to the future tenant of my old flat.
Where’s my choice of bulb?
Don’t get me wrong. I don’t have anything against energy efficiency, I think it’s a good thing (but I know not everyone likes energy-saving bulbs).
I’ve been using low-energy bulbs since my Dad packed a few in my bag when I went off to uni. And I have nothing against the BC3 either. Except… I like choice. And in this case my choice has been taken from me. I can’t get these three-pin bulbs in my local shop and they cost more than I would expect to pay for a light bulb.
But more importantly, unless there are three-pin LED equivalents out there, I can’t upgrade to a more efficient bulb. And, to me, that seems to go against not only the rule, but the spirit of the building regulations.
I suppose I could change my light fittings, but the cost of getting in someone who knows what they’re doing without blowing the place up, would probably far exceed any savings I might make. And although the company offers an adapter to fit other bulbs, they’re only for what they call ‘standard four-pin CFLs’, which again isn’t a bayonet or screw fitting!
So, do any of you bright sparks out there have a solution for my light bulb dilemma? Or will I just have to sit in the dark?