Jump to content

Stock up now....


Recommended Posts

Ten days left to buy traditional lightbulbs: EU ban means only low-energy ones will be on sale


Banned: Pearl, incandescent lightbulbs are being cleared from shelves in a bid to slash energy bills and carbon dioxide emissions


Traditional lightbulbs will disappear from our shops in just ten days.

All conventional pearl, incandescent lightbulbs are being banned by the European Union to slash energy bills and carbon dioxide emissions.

The move covers every type of frosted traditional bulb, from the 60 watt pearl bulbs used in table lamps to more specialised opaque 25 and 40 watt bulbs shaped like golf balls and candles.

Clear and frosted 100 watt lightbulbs will also not be on sale from September 1.

The measure, introduced with little fanfare, aims to force consumers to fit energy-saving lights.

The Department for Environment said a typical home will save at least £37 a year on electricity bills by fitting low-energy fluorescent and halogen bulbs.

Ministers said the move will also slash national carbon emissions by five million tons a year.

But independent retailers and critics believe the change has been rushed and badly advertised. They also claim that many of the low-energy alternatives are ugly, expensive and produce unpleasant light.

In January, leading retailers announced a voluntary ban on the sale of 100 watt lightbulbs, triggering stockpiling and panic buying. However, independent stories have continued selling them.

Elsewhere, Germans, Austrians and Hungarians are hoarding the energy-hungry bulbs. Sales of incandescent light bulbs have risen by 34 per cent year-on-year in Germany in the first six months of 2009, German consumer research group GfK found.


'Ugly': Many critics believe low-energy bulbs are expensive and produce an unpleasant light


Under the European Directive, manufacturers in Europe will not be able to sell the banned bulbs to retailers. It will also be illegal to import energy-guzzling bulbs from outside the EU.

Independent retailer James Shortridge, owner of the Ryness chain, said customers were stockpiling frosted lightbulbs and 100 watt bulbs to beat the ban. He said: 'If you are sensitive to light, you will notice the difference.

'People aren't aware that the 100 watt and 60 watt pearl bulbs are going - it's a huge change.'

After the ban, householders will have to buy one of two low-energy alternatives. The most economical to run are CFLs - compact fluorescent lights. They cost around £3 each, use a fifth of the energy of a conventional incandescent bulb and can fit every type of socket.

Dimmable CFLs that work in dimmer switches are available, but cost more than £15 each. In theory, they should last six or seven years.

Critics said the light of many CFLs is inferior, some describing them as sickly, harsh or green. They can also take a minute to reach full brightness.

Manufacturers have also created low-energy halogen bulbs which look like traditional bulbs.

These work with dimmer switches, have a warmer light but save just 30 per cent of energy. These are not available as frosted bulbs and last only a couple of years.

Traditional bulbs are being phased out gradually to allow manufactures to adapt. Europe plans to phase out 60 watt clear lights from September 2011.

A Government spokesman said: 'There are many myths around low-energy bulbs. People don't always realise they have improved beyond recognition.'

Link to comment
Share on other sites

"The initial Europe wide ban only applies to 'non-directional' light bulbs, so does not affect any bulbs with reflective surfaces (eg. spotlights or halogen down lighters). Bulbs will be banned in a phased approach. The first types of bulbs to be banned are non-clear (frosted) bulbs, these will be phased out completely by September 2009. Also from September 2009 clear bulbs over 100W must be made of more efficient types. This limit will be moved down to lower wattages, and the efficiency levels raised by the end of 2012." From wiki


And I'm FAIRLY sure that the Mail will of told everyone about it this weekend.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I've had energy saving lamps in my UK residences for the last 8 years.


The only complaint I have is that the older ones seem to take a while to get going. Not a problem with the newer ones.


I've also fitted a 3W (I think) LED lamp to the light on my front porch. Not particularly bright, but it doesn't need to be. Just enough that I can see the keys and the key-hole.


Slightly off topic, does anyone know if there is a CFL suitable for dimming via a normal dimmer switch?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Slightly off topic, does anyone know if there is a CFL suitable for dimming via a normal dimmer switch?
Somewhere there is a thread on this subject where I reported trying some in house-lights. I can't remember the make, but they were OK when set at a desired level, but didn't fade nicely at lower levels.


Prices quoted in the OPs piece are way off. I bought my last batch of CFLs for 50p each; Aldi or similar shop.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Slightly off topic, does anyone know if there is a CFL suitable for dimming via a normal dimmer switch?


Screwfix sell some that claim to be dimmable with any standard dimmer, but I haven't tried them.


Megaman lamps make quite a range of CFLs that dim on a standard dimmer, some are the ones sold by Screwfix, a better choice is available from International lamps.

They are about £7 each, rather less than the £15 qouted above.


Non dimmable CFLs of reputable make, are regularly sold for as little as £1, and at present Robert Dyas have Osram CLs in popular sizes on offer at 5 lamps for 50 pence, with any other purchase.


I would avoid very cheap lamps of unknown manufacture, since they may be unsafe.


LED lamps are now widely available, some are very good, but most dont live up the claims made especialy as regards lifetime.

I have some 12 volt 5 watt MR16s that have been lit for several thousand hours without any problems, they appear as bright as a 35 watt halogen.

I also have some 240 volt 2 watt LED candle lamps on test, these are as bright as a 5 watt CFL or a 25 watt incandescent, they seem impressive but have only been lit for a few dozen hours as yet.


At present electricity is so cheap that most people dont really care how much they use, substantial price increases are however likely, especialy if climate change targets are to be met.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Although many won't strictly be illegal, the wholesalers are just not going to order them.


We have been using clear, large bubble ES 150W lamps in our houselights. The usual supplier has no more, and won't re-order as demand is so low. He has a smaller version that fits, but we've just bought a pallet, because they said they won't be ordering these again either. The problem seems to be we use very small quantities of these kind of things as the rest of the users are migrating fast, and don't seem bothered about light quality or even brightness as long as they can wave the green flag.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Megaman lamps make quite a range of CFLs that dim on a standard dimmer, some are the ones sold by Screwfix, a better choice is available from International lamps.

They are about £7 each, rather less than the £15 qouted above.

Have you tried them?

Those are the worst 'dimmable' CFL brand I've seen to date.

They don't die when you run them from a dimmer, but they don't really 'dim'.


I tried a few of that particular brand a few months back, and it snapped to what looked like 50% brightness at around 70% and went up from there, and faded down to around 30% brightness at 40% or so before going out.

However, all that's really vague because it behaved extremely differently depending on how warm it was and how many there were on the circuit.


That's probably why he's looking at the more expensive ones - the Varilite ones seemed reasonably good, as far as dimmable CFLs go.

However, I have yet to see a dimmable CFL that will go below around 15-20% apparent brightness, and they almost all flicker below approx. 25% on the dimmer (modified S-Law curve).

Link to comment
Share on other sites


This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

  • Create New...

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.