Incandescent Lighting Phase Out

World governments have passed measures to phase out incandescent light bulbs for general lighting. The aim is to encourage the use and technological development of more energy-efficient lighting alternatives, such as LED lamps.

The European Union’s withdrawal of traditional light bulbs started in August 2009 – a move aimed at introducing new energy efficient lighting technologies into more widespread use and, as a result, hitting a 2020 CO2 reduction target of one million tons per annum.

At the end of 2008, the Eco Design of Energy-using Products Directive was passed. This, in the short term, will limit construction and foreign sales of incandescent light bulbs, leading up to a total ban from 2012 onwards. The directive will be delivered incrementally: 100 watt light bulbs being banned initially, and lower-wattage bulb bans following thereafter.

Lighting Phase Out Timescales

The first phase of the incandescent light bulb ban has now taken effect.

* As of 2009 it is illegal to produce and import 100W incandescent bulbs, frosted incandescent bulbs and frosted Halogen Energy Savers! (Selling existing stocks is still permitted.)

But it will not stop here. This is the full schedule:

* 1 September 2010: clear 75W (over 750 lumen) lamps will be banned (through minimum efficiency requirements).

* 1 September 2011: clear 60W (over 450 lm) lamps will be banned.

* 1 September 2012: clear 7W-40W (over 60 lm) lamps will be banned.

* 1 September 2013: tightened standards on CFLs and LEDs. No lamp type will be removed from the market, only lamps with poor performance.

* 2014: Review of the regulations by the EU Commission.

* 1 September 2016: tightened standards for clear halogen lamps. Only energy class B halogen lamps (C for some special cap lamps) will be permitted, which currently only the super-expensive IR halogen lamps with integrated transformer. All other halogen lamps will be banned!

Exceptions: "special-purpose lamps designed essentially for applications such as traffic signals, terrarium lighting and household appliances and clearly indicated as such on accompanying product information are not subject to these eco-design requirements." Examples of special-purpose lamps: aquariums & terrarium lamps; germicidal lamps, lamps for display/optics; stage, studio, TV & theatre lamps; photo flash lamps; projection lamps, IR lamps; traffic signal lamps for roads, trains & aviation; car headlight lamps; oven & fridge lamps; temperature- & shock-proof lamps; mirror lamps.

Street, Office & Industry Lighting

The EU Commission has also just put through a regulation on office, industry and street lighting. [4, 5]

* 2010: Phase out of T8 halo phosphate fluorescent tubes (through minimum efficiency requirements).

* 2012: Phase out of T12 fluorescent (FL) tubes.

* 2012: Phase out of high-pressure sodium (HPS) standard quality lamps (only E27/ E40/ PGZ12 affected).

* 2012: Phase out of less efficient metal halide (MH) lamps (only E27/E40/PGZ12 affected).

* 2014: Review of the regulations by the EU Commission.

* 2015: Phase out of High-Pressure Mercury (HPM) lamps.

* 2015: Phase out of plug-in/retrofit high-pressure sodium lamps (= direct replacement for HPM). Plug-in lamps must correspond to Super/Plus HPS level; almost all plug-in/retrofit lamps will be banned.

* 2017: Phase out of Poor performing metal halide (MH) lamps: (only E27/E40/PGZ12 affected).

It also means that every EU country will be forced to replace the whole street luminaries when stocks of replacement lamps run out. This will be good for the environment but may be more costly than some countries or counties can afford. Carbon trust loans are available to most U.K companies please go to Carbon Trust Loans for more information.