For the last few years the EU have been trying to phase out the traditional incandescent light bulbs that have been used since the 1800’s. Currently the UK is working with the EU to phase out these bulbs permanently by 2012 with the United States following through by 2014. There are some places such as Brazil that have phased them out completely and use more energy efficient lighting in the home.
Energy efficient light bulbs are currently handed out for free by some energy suppliers for those who are on low income, they are cheaper to run therefore save you money on monthly electricity bills. The downside to them are that they take a long time to light up completely as they do not come on instantly like incandescent light bulbs, they also flicker sometimes which can cause problems with vision causing headaches and other sight related problems. Energy efficient lighting has also said to be bad for photosensitive epilepsy sufferers as the flickering lights can cause seizures, they have tried to get a get out clause for those that cannot tolerate the new lights but the government are not backing down on this one.
The ban has already forced retailers to stop stocking up on 100watt bulbs but by September retailers will not be allowed to buy 60watt bulbs either. Most places are not selling bulbs above 40watts anymore as there is a scheme being backed by the government to stop them from doing so. As a result of this ban manufacturers are increasing the price of energy efficient lighting as there will no longer be any competition. Currently the cheapest you can buy a light bulb is 33p this price is estimated to rise to £1 or more within the next few months, depending on the light fitting you may also be expected to pay as much as £3.
This will come as a blow for many as there are a vast majority of people who dislike energy efficient lighting and those that are adamant that they cause vision problems. Unfortunately these isn’t much we can do and it will also be the end of free light bulbs from energy suppliers as the government urges them to stop handing them out for free.
Expats abroad have vented their anger as although the prices are increasing in the UK they cost far more in the EU with light bulbs selling for as much as €9 compared to £1-£3 here.