Since september 1, retailers are no longer allowed to sell 40-Watt and 25-Watt incandescent bulbs. The restrictions, regulated by an EU directive, are predicted to save 39 terawatt-hours of electricity across europe anually by 2020.
Despite the substantial long-term financial savings expected, the higher price of replacemente bulbs has been criticised by those opposing the ban. According to Peter Hunt, Chief Executive of the Lighting Industry Association, “price is still a barrier, but that’s coming down almost daily as volume increases”.
Green Groups have welcomed the action since it could cut bills by almost 200 euros per year so this is good news for consumers. According to James Russil, Technical Development Manager at the Energy Saving Trust, “fitting just one energy-saving light bulb can save you an average 4 euros a year. And by swapping all the incandescent bulbs in your home for energy-saving alternatives you could save around 40 euros a year from your energy bills and 110 kg of carbon dioxide.
LED and other lighting alternatives
Since several years, manufacturers are developing innovative technologies that offer better benefits than the filament. LED lighting provides longer life (25,000 to 45,000 hours) compared to 1,000 hours for traditional bulbs, and offers over 80 percent energy savings. The absence of UV and IR radiation, excellent light quality, the possibility of change color and intensity makes LED lighting one of the best alternatives both for domestic and urban use.
However, the market has other alternatives: halogen lamps, very similar to incandescent but still 30 percent more efficient and suitable for any point of standard household light, and compact fluorescent lamps, which are distinguished by their high brightness and energy savings of up to 80 percent.