Incandescent lamps ban in EU

Ban on incandescent lamps is progressing. Say goodbye to incandescent lamps – soon they are no longer visible in stores. Incandescent light bulb ban has progressed gradually. As early as September last year, the 60-watt incandescent bulbs were banned. The manufacturing of 40W and the weaker light bulbs in the manufacture and importation of the end of August. The EU directive requires producers to provide a less energy-intensive models in place of incandescent light bulbs. The replacements are energy saving compact fluorescent bulbs, LED lamps and halogen bulbs. Lamps are developing at a tremendous pace.

Product development is now so rapid that a new lamp generation will be available twice a year. Home energy saving light bulbs used to be disturbing large and LED light bulbs used to be much weaker light output than the incandescent lamps they were designed to to replace, but now the situation starts to be useable. Still new light bulbs light performance will differ from those of the old. When choosing bulbs you well need to now look at the lumens output instead of watts. You should also check the the color of the light you get from the new bulb. Lamp manufacturers estimate that led lamps pass the existing energy saving light bulbs in the near future.

Using more efficient lighting would reduce the carbon dioxide emissions, but not for the full amount of the saved electricity. During winter time (and spring and autumn) most of the electricity wasted as heat in light bulb heats up the space it is operated. When you replace the lamp with more energy efficient lamp, you need to turn up to heating to keep the temperature same. So the decision to ban incandescent lamps might not save as much energy in cold countries as the politicians think it would.


At the beginning of September, the light bulb ban, according to which the 15′s, 25′s and 40-watt light bulbs will soon be history. Hehkulamppukiellossa porsaanreikä vielä pari vuotta article tells that EU Directive setting reveals a loophole: The regulation is an exception that allows a special light bulbs. According to the Central Europe-wide level is thought that the sauna is the exception rather than the use of a normal room. In practice, therefore, you could sell a normal light bulb as a special light bulb when the package says that it is intended for the sauna and not suitable for normal room lighting. At the moment, sauna light bulbs may be sold. Loophole, however, may soon be blocked so that in the special allowed are anymore halogen lamps or other light bulbs replacements. If the schedule holds true, in 2014, also “special” sauna lamps are history.


  1. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Here is one article that gives tips how to increase the lifetime of incandescent bulb.
    If you like those light bulbs and can’t get those soon anymore, this could be useful or not.

    Saving $$ around the house – Part I—around-the-house—Part-I?cid=Newsletter+-+EDN+on+Analog

    (At the risk of annoying my more eco-friendly readers, I like incandescent bulbs and will continue to use incandescent bulbs for as long as my supply of 40-W, 60-W, 100-W, 3-way, and rough-service bulbs lasts.)

    Just the other day, I replaced a burned-out incandescent bulb in a table lamp. No big news here, as that’s what you have to do when a bulb burns out.

    the last time I replaced the bulb in that table lamp was 4 years ago!

    in about 1993 I wired into every table lamp in the house that was rated for a 100-W bulb, an inrush current limiter in series with the lamp’s hot lead (by the way, it’s a KC013L-ND, still available from Digi-Key).

    the inrush current limiter mentioned previously works on a wide range of bulbs up to 100 watts.

  2. patrick says:

    Finnish Physics Professor Matti Lehtonen in YLE program thinks the ban is pointless,
    as do many others, partly because of the room heating effect
    (useful for saunas:-) )
    but also for other reasons…. and later on the same website

    • tomi says:

      This is a very good point you mentioned. I have also read on that room heating effect also.
      There are cases where the light bulb works as a room heater at better efficiency than traditional electrical heating radiator!
      (has to do with facts how the heater is positioned inside the room and the fact that lots of IR radiation from light bulb gives warm feeling at lower temperature)

      I know the Professor Matti Lehtonen ( ).
      He is the head of the research group that does research on electrical power distribution networks, including Energy efficiency issues.
      He knows his field. I have actually done some research on lab with him.

  3. patrick says:

    Re the bulb lifetime increase by the current limiter you mention, there have been similar ones before
    = extend lifetime but at expense of brightness
    = same with the rough service bulbs EU exception
    typically 100w of these bulbs = 75w regular bulb in brightness
    see posts

    So ironically, for those who like incandescents, the EU law is leading to more energy use to have the same bright bulbs !

  4. patrick says:

    Energy saving is not the only reason to choose a light bulb you want to use!

    Besides, whatever the Household savings- it is Society savings that
    might be relevant to legislators, not “what light bulb Johnny uses in
    his bedroom”! As it happens, the society savings are next-to-nothing

    Small Society Savings
    Cambridge University Network, Scientific Alliance

    ” The total reduction in EU energy use 0.54 x 0.8 x 0.76% = 0.33%
    This figure is almost certainly an overestimate…
    Which begs the question: is it really worth it?
    The problem is that legislators are unable to tackle the big issues of
    energy use effectively, so go for the soft target of a high profile
    domestic use of energy …this is gesture politics.”

    Cambridge University Network under Sir Alec Broers, Chairman of the
    House of Lords Science and Technology Committee, the Scientific
    Alliance newsletter, involving Physics dept professors etc
    Similar figures from other EU sources, and for that matter the US Dept
    of Energy, grid electricity data breakdown (they use 4 categories),
    again as linked above.

  5. patrick says:

    Thank you Tomi
    Interesting you know Prof Lehtonen.
    There are also Canadian and other Physics professors who say the same.

    But the politicians never listen.
    The Freedomlightbulb site via the short link refers to manufacturer-political collusion. Maybe.
    I am anyway surprised that manufacturers **welcome** a ban on what they can make!

    The EU Commission and supporters say
    “But only an idiot heats rooms with bulbs, it is not an efficient way.. etc”
    There is German research also about the IR effect..
    Cant find it, but the German people behind the heatball venture (to try and sell the bulbs as heaters!) = link to it somewhere.

    Of course, even if it was an “inefficient” type of heat,
    the bulbs are not used as heaters but as lighting, so the heat is just an “extra” benefit anyway in cold conditions (and when dark, often cold!)

  6. patrick says:

    btw all the ceiling (roof) insulation now promoted in EU countries to save energy also keeps light bulb heat in :-)

    the Ceolas site has a list of reasons why the ban is especially wrong in Nordic countries, it’s not just the heat replacement…

  7. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Why the EU are wrong to ban low voltage halogen lamps

    News in from the EU and here is my gist of why it’s stupid! So I’m away for half term and I get an email stating the EU are getting rid of “low voltage” halogen lamps in 2013 as they are classed as “inefficient!!!!!!!”

    How did they come to that conclusion I hear us all cry?

    I ask you surely the facts speak for themselves that these items are far more efficient than the 240v halogens with clearly better light output. What are the EU playing at!

    Just to put the tin hat on it I wonder if anyone has done a calculation of the total amount of fittings and transformers that will be skipped between now and the death of the LV halogen. I bet it’s over a billion in the EU.

  8. patrick says:

    re EU are getting rid of “low voltage” halogen lamps
    Yes there is a “stakeholder” kevan shaw (lighting designer) who sits on the EU Ecodesign panel.
    But the EU people were very angry when he revealed the LV Halogen bulbs were indeed going to be banned!
    (they said of course something like
    “We are ONLY raising the energy standard required”)

    LV Halogens may be efficient like you say, but even if they are not…

    “If I was Paavo Nurmi, or Juha Vaateinen or Lasse Viren I could probably run fast too. But I can’t. Still I feel I have useful qualities too! ”

    Or, to return to the lamps, the society saving is some ridiculous small amount anyway from previous comments.

  9. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Researchers tout shatter-proof alternative to fluorescent lights

    Researchers at Wake Forest University say they have developed a flicker-free, shatterproof alternative to fluorescent light bulbs for large-scale lighting.

    The researchers say the new lighting technology, based on field-induced polymer electroluminescent (FIPEL) technology

    This new lighting solution is at least twice as efficient as compact fluorescent (CFL) bulbs and on par with LEDs, according to Carroll’s team. But these bulbs won’t shatter and contaminate a home like CFLs or emit a bluish light like LED counterparts, the researchers say.

    The Wake Forest team uses a nano-engineered polymer matrix to convert the charge into light. This allows the researchers to create an entirely new light bulb—overcoming one of the major barriers in using plastic lights in commercial buildings and homes. The research supporting the technology is described in a study appearing online in advance of publication in the peer-reviewed journal Organic Electronics.

    The device is made of three layers of moldable white-emitting polymer blended with a small amount of nanomaterials that glow when stimulated to create bright and perfectly white light similar to the sunlight human eyes prefer. However, it can be made in any color and any shape, the researchers say.

    Carroll’s group is the first to make a large-scale FIPEL based on natural white light that can replace current office lighting

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  15. Tomi says:

    LED Bulb Reviews, Evaluations and Teardowns

    [ElectronUpdate] has posted many great reviews of commercial LED bulbs that one can purchase to replace standard E26 incandescent light bulbs. In his reviews he evaluates the light emitting performance and does a thorough and detailed teardown, evaluating and understanding the circuit technologies used.

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  18. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Different Types of Lamps LED, CFL, Halogen, Tungsten Filament, Bayonet Cap & Edison Screw (Bulbs)

    Student training aid for the different types of lamps (bulbs). We look at tungsten filament, halogen, LED and compact fluorescent lamps. This video also includes at look at the lamp ends Edison screw and bayonet cap.


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