Sunday, September 27, 2009

Germans resist EU bulb changeover

Every light bulb's phasing out and banning explained in the link below

GERMAN consumers (and, one suspects, plenty of others in Europe) are hoarding traditional light bulbs before the phase-out starts with 100-watt bulbs, according to Der Spiegel. Some Germans have bought enough light bulbs to last them for the next two decades and retailers have joined the craze by stocking up on the energy-wasters as the bulbs on the shelves or in stocks are still allowed to be sold until they run out. Ironically, this has boosted the profits of companies manufacturing the product. According to GfK, the sales of incandescent light bulbs in Germany were 20% higher between January and April this year compared to the same period in 2008. Consumers argue that CFL bulbs cannot match the light quality of incandescent bulbs, saying that they are two dim and distort colours. Moreover, concerns have been raised that the flickering fluorescent light could trigger migraines or epilepsy seizures.

Some also question the greenness of CFLs, which contain mercury and require proper recycling facilities. However, as coal-fired stations emit mercury, incandescent light bulbs indirectly emit more mercury by using up larger amounts of electricity, experts noticed.

The economic and environmental argument against incandescent lights is nevertheless convincing as they convert only around 5% of the energy they use to light, wasting the rest as heat. Fluorescent lights use up to 75% less energy than incandescent lamps, while efficient halogens that match the light quality of conventional bulbs save somewhere between 25-50% of energy.

NEXT STEPS:
Sept. 2009: Incandescent light bulbs of 100W and above will be phased out.
Sept. 2011: 60W incandescent bulbs phased out.
Sept. 2012: 40 and 25W incandescent bulbs phased out.
By the end of 2012: All inefficient light-bulbs phaced-out.

The complete picture for every kind of light bulb (courtesy of the EU)

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