Fort Lauderdale, Florida (PressExposure) September 04, 2009 -- Our friends across the pond made a big step towards energy-efficient living today, with the announcement that the European Union is banning frosted incandescent bulbs as well as 100-watt clear bulbs. The move was made with the stated goal of boosting efficiency by a fifth before 2020. This will make businesses and consumers adopt much more eco-friendly bulbs such as halogens, compact florescent (CFL) bulbs, and LED lights. Some consumers are angered by the need to give up a familiar product, but the benefits to all stakeholders are beyond reproach.
Some Europeans, German citizens in particular, have actually begun hording the incandescent bulbs. This is more about old habits dying hard rather than any sort of actual benefit. Although incandescent bulbs retail cheaper, the average European household could initially save about $70 a year by making the switch. Going green pays for itself, and quickly. If anything the hording is a plus, as it clears off the remaining supply of old fashioned, giving more shelf space to their energy efficient counterparts.
Details of the plan present it as a gradual phasing out, not an immediate retail ban. Factories must immediately stop production of frosted and 100-watt incandescent bulbs. These two types were selected because they consumer energy particularly poorly. Both generate far more heat than light, which of course does not make for an effective light bulb. Incandescent bulbs, which were first produced commercially in 1879, stopped making efficiency gains approximately 50 years ago. By 2012 the goal is to have no more new incandescent light bulbs being manufactured. Of course, retailers and wholesalers will be able to sell their existing inventory despite the production ban.
Equally important as what is being banned are the energy efficient alternatives. These include compact fluorescent (CFL) bulbs, LED light bulbs, and Xenon. All provide much more efficient energy use (measured both by input and output calculations), and will save money in the long run. All last much longer: Energy efficient CFLs (http://www.superiorlighting.com/) last between 8 and 15 times longer than incandescent. This equals a lifespan of 6,000 to 15,000 hours. This longer life also means less waste entering our landfills.
Although many EU citizens are put-off by receiving an eco-friendly mandate rather than suggestion, it is generally thought that they will quickly adapt and all will see, and experience, the advantages of shifting to eco friendly lighting. Less landfill waste, more efficient energy usage, and saving in the long run. What is not to love? It is clear that CFLs make economic and environmental sense. They provide a cheaper, longer lasting, energy efficient alternative to traditional incandescent lamps. Everyone should make the switch today.