halogen bulb

Halogen bulbs to be banned in the EU; phase-out starts next week

Image credit: DT

A ban on the sale of halogen bulbs is to come into effect next week under EU regulations designed to increase the efficiency of lighting on the continent.

The phasing out of inefficient ‘D-class’ halogen lamps will start on 1 September, although consumers may still be able to buy them in shops for some time as retailers will be allowed to clear out existing stock.

Some specialised halogens will remain on sale, namely “capsules, linear and low voltage incandescents” that are used in ovens, but other than these, LED bulbs will be left as the primary option for consumers.

The electricity consumption of a halogen lamp is often more than five times higher than an energy-efficient LED.

The phasing-out process was originally going to occur two years earlier in 2016, but the EU decided this was too early as LED technology was too expensive and not mature enough at that time.

The EU previously phased out incandescent light bulbs from 2009 due to their inefficiency and short lifespans.

LED bulbs will supposedly pay for themselves after a year of usage due to the lower running costs, while consumers could save over £100 over the course of their 15-20 year lifespan in comparison to halogens.

The Europe-wide switch to energy-efficient lamps will bring yearly energy savings on the continent equal to the annual electricity consumption of Portugal (48.0 TWh of electricity) and will save 15.2 million tonnes of CO2 emissions by 2025, equivalent to the emissions generated by around two million people per year. This equates to reducing the EU’s import of oil by 73.8 million barrels.

However, not everyone is happy with the halogen ban.

Speaking to the Guardian, Jonathan Bullock, UKIP’s energy spokesman said: “The EU’s attempt to ban halogen bulbs is wrong because consumers will suffer financially and it’s always the poorest who suffer most from these kinds of policies.”

“Customers should have the freedom of choice in bulbs and it shouldn’t be imposed by the EU.”

Halogen bulbs are typically cheaper upon initial purchase than LEDs, but considering their much shorter lifespan (two years) and higher electricity usage, LEDs will undeniably provide savings for consumers in the long run.

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