Anyone who has been reading this blog for a decent amount of time will know that we have recently written about the possibility of the sale of halogen light bulbs being phased out by the European Union (EU) by as soon as next year. Well, with a vote having now taken place on the issue, we can confirm that inefficient “D”-class halogen lamps will now remain on UK store shelves until at least 1st September 2018.
That was the proposal of the European Commission that was agreed to by Member States on 17th April, following an extensive review process that was open to the public. Active contributors to this assessment included Members of the European Parliament, Member States authorities, consumer organisations, environmental NGOs and the lighting industry.
It is the low efficiency of halogen light bulbs that is leading to them being phased out, with a halogen lamp often consuming five times more than an energy-efficient LED. This led to the 2009 decision by Member States to phase out such inefficient “D”-class halogen lamps from 1st September 2016. However, the Commission has now decided that this would be too early for LED technology to fully replace halogen lamps, hence the further two-year delay.
This is good news for those of you who still shop for halogen light bulbs here at Easy Light Bulbs, and were concerned about the upfront costs of LED light bulbs if you had been forced to make the switch next year. However, 2018 is still early enough to the bring the significant benefits to the environment that the more efficient LED alternatives are capable of delivering. In the additional two years, it is also a fair bet that more efficient and affordable LEDs will become available.
The decision means that from 1st September 2018, certain non-directional mains-voltage halogen lamps – mainly the pear-shaped ones – will no longer be brought to the market. However, directional halogen lamps, such as popular spotlights, are not affected, and nor are the halogen lamps that tend to be used in desk lamps and flood lights.
In addition, the measures only apply to the offering of new products for sale, and do not impact on products that are already on store shelves, so it looks likely that online shops like Easy Light Bulbs will still have supplies of these bulbs for some time after that date.
Of the decision by the Commission, Diederik de Stoppelaar – Secretary General at the lighting industry association LightingEurope – commented: “The industry strongly supports and has for years the changeover to more energy efficient lighting solutions. While 2020 was the ideal date for a phase-out of the popular domestic halogens, 2018 is an acceptable compromise.
“What consumers must realize, is that alternative developing technologies take time to be fully realised—and then to subsequently be widely available on the market.”