Halogen bulbs banned in EU as of September 1

halogen bulbs
CC BY 2.0 Wikipedia/ halogen hotties

The LED revolution will not be stopped.

Finally, after a two-year delay, the European ban on hot, energy-sucking halogen bulbs kicks in on September 1. Stores are allowed to sell existing stock, and no doubt some people will hoard them, which is silly; LEDs consume a fifth of the power and last a very long time.

This is in contrast to the USA, where the big lighting companies and the Department of Energy are conspiring to roll back the 2020 standard for light bulb efficiency to save the halogen and specialty bulb market.


As in the USA, some feel that people should have the freedom to waste money if they want to. In Britain, the Brexiters are grabbing on to it as another example of European interference. According to the Guardian,

Jonathan Bullock, Ukip’s energy spokesman in the European Parliament told the Guardian: “The EU’s attempt to ban halogen bulbs is wrong because consumers will suffer financially and it’s always the poorest who suffer most from these kinds of policies. Customers should have the freedom of choice in bulbs and it shouldn’t be imposed by the EU.”

I suppose he is fighting for the freedom to spend five times as much on electricity with bulbs that burn out ten times as quickly, because the poorest have so much money to waste. Yes, the bulbs are more expensive, but get cheaper every week and pay for themselves in less than a year. They are a serious fire and burn hazard. Or as Eliot Whittington, a supporter of the ban, told the Guardian: “You ban things that threaten public safety and the wasteful use of energy is dangerous for us all in the end.”

Seriously, I had a ceiling full of MR16 halogen bulbs in pot lights and they were HOT, you could feel them underfoot walking on the second floor. Fire safety sites note that “their greatest disadvantage is that they emit an extraordinary amount of heat. A standard 75-watt light bulb operates at about 260 degrees Fahrenheit, while a 300-watt halogen light bulb can reach temperatures of up to 970 degrees Fahrenheit.”

I replaced them all with LEDs and the light quality is fine, and in 4 years I have only had to replace one that I installed behind the glass shield that the halogens needed, causing it to overheat.

As noted in the earlier post, the ban of incandescent bulbs unleashed an industrial revolution in bulb design and manufacture, making LEDs almost as cheap as incandescent bulbs. Where before one could just buy incandescent bulbs, now there is freedom of choice among bulbs that change colour, bulbs that dance to the music on your iPhone, bulbs that you can control from another continent. Soon they will be built into the fabric of your house and you will never change them again.

When that UKIP person tweeted about keeping bulbs, responses included, “Will you bring back outdoor toilets, please?” along with polio, child labour, and “I'd like to see a resurgence of babies sleeping in drawers and going down to the local green to beat my washing with a stick.” The LED revolution is the biggest deal of the 21st century so far and not even Donald Trump can stop it.

Halogen bulbs banned in EU as of September 1
The LED revolution will not be stopped.

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