Sunday, 6 September 2009

Spotlight and downlighter bulbs next to be banned by EU

Traditional spotlights and some kinds of halogen downlighters used in kitchens and bathrooms are expected to fall foul of the regulations being drawn up by the European Commission.

The new ban, due to come in next year, is being pushed through despite an increasingly bitter consumer backlash against existing rules which outlaw the selling of "non-directional" incandescent light bulbs of the kind used in living rooms and bedrooms.
Energy saving experts are currently drawing up recommendations for the new rules on so-called "directional" light bulbs, which focus and reflect light in a single direction, but the ban is expected to include incandescent spotlights and mains voltage halogen reflector bulbs.
The regulations are also expected to encourage the use of new technology such as LED lamps, but currently these cost up to £40 for a single LED light bulb.

Peter Hunt, chief executive of the British Lighting Association which represents the lighting industry, said: "We expect the least efficient bulbs will be banned and there are now energy efficient halogen lamps that save around 30 per cent of energy used.

full article


Panta Rei said...

RE "Halogens still allowed"
-as politicians keep saying too:

= sure, but not frosted ones
In Britain, as in most other European countries, the overwhelming demand is (was) for frosted light bulbs, including halogens

Because they don't have the strong glare, as when used as replacement ceiling lamps

It seems a petty EU decision to ban frosted lights too, for whatever marginal savings that may give.

More about the ban,
what bulbs are banned etc:

Panta Rei said...

Spotlights etc too...
what a surprise ;-)

Unlike many people against all these bans,
I agree with the need to do something about emissions (for all they contain, whatever about CO2)

But banning light bulbs is not the way forward,
and I think people who are less in agreement with
the background arguments will just be turned off from cooperating in more important environmental measures.

Let's think about this:

Europeans, like Americans, choose to buy ordinary light bulbs around 9 times out of 10 (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 were banned… they were bought less anyway.

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

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...

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,
and if there was an energy shortage, the price rise would lead to more demand for efficient products anyway – no need to legislate for it.

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.

A direct way 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.
Even for those who remain pro-ban, taxation to reduce consumption would make much more sense, 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 pounds/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.

However, 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 Canada will be affected by the protests.