Incandescent lightbulbs are officially banned in the UK after 3 years of being phased out.
Although many of us will already be familiar with the energy-efficient bulb, the initial removal of the 100W and 60W traditional bulbs from the market in 2009 and 2010 was not without its controversy; something we came to learn when we published ‘Come on, it’s just a lightbulb‘ in defense of the phase out.
Many felt that energy-efficient light bulbs had a lower quality light, were slow, ugly, expensive and represented an unwelcome intereference from the government.
In response, the industry made strides to improve their quality, and now modern energy-efficient efficient light bulbs now quicly reach their full brightness, have a range of tones of light and have a more flexible look.
In fact, some light bulbs are difficult to distinguish from the old ones… see that picture above? They are both energy-saving bulbs with one is doing a passable impression of a traditional bulb.
Traditional bulbs phased out
The traditional light bulbs were initially phased out because 95% of the energy they use is lost on the heat they emit.
A Defra spokesman said: “The final stage of the EU phase-out of incandescent light bulbs will mean that from September 1, 25W and 40W bulbs will no longer be allowed into the market. However, this does not prevent retailers selling existing bulbs they already have in stock.”
Peter Hunt, joint chief executive of the Lighting Industry Association, called the phaseout ‘smooth’ thus far:
“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.”
Meanwhile, a spokesman from B & Q said that we have more to come: “Modern energy-saving bulbs are now much more stylish and highly cost-effective across their lifetime.
“The next generation of energy-saving light bulbs are LEDs which use even less electricity, last longer and reach full brightness instantly.”
Things to remember about energy efficient light bulbs
– Avoid installing halogen lighting – don’t be fooled by the low voltage, they are incredibly wasteful.
– Use side-lights with low energy bulbs installed in them if you are stuck with fixed halogen lights that are difficult to replace.
– Find the right light output that the room needs – divide the output of your old traditional lighting by five to calculate the low energy equivalent.
– Energy-saving light bulbs last a lot longer than the old ones, so you can now think of light bulbs as one-off purchase that will last you years.
– They are more expensive – but only initially. When you work out the cost of an energy-saving light bulb over its lifetime, you will have saved overall.
Energy efficient lighting: a breakdown of all the facts and figures of energy-saving lighting.
Free energy-saving tips: our top tips for saving energy for free.