Lights out for traditional bulbs

The EU is phasing out traditional light bulbs over the next three years in favour of a new generation of energy-efficient lighting.

Under new rules coming into force in September, manufacturers and importers can no longer sell clear incandescent light bulbs of 100 watts or above in the EU. However, shops may continue to sell bulbs already in stock.

Part of an effort to save energy and fight climate change, the ban will be expanded in September 2011 and 2012 to include lower wattages of clear incandescent bulbs. Frosted bulbs and high-energy halogen lights are also being phased out.

By 2020 the measures will save enough energy to power 23 million households every year, roughly the electricity consumption of Belgium. This will reduce emissions of carbon dioxide by 32 million tons each year, or about one-tenth of the world’s annual emissions of the greenhouse gas.