EU in Discussions to Ban Halogen Bulbs. Paving the Way for LED

The European Commission and green campaigners allege halogens fail to be much more efficient than traditional bulbs and are asking for Britons to replace them with fluorescent bulbs and LEDs.

However, these alternatives could actually result in costing up to 15 TIMES more than halogens.A number of fluorescent bulbs can even take up to FIVE minutes to reach full brightness, while some LEDs are not compatible with dimmer switches.

A ballot on the issue is due to transpire in April, when the European Commission may agree to go ahead with the proposed ban in 2016 or push it back until 2018. Consumer group Which? argued that delaying a ban could allow time for any compatibility issues with other bulbs that need to be fixed.

The European Commission and green campaigners allege halogens fail to be much more efficient than traditional bulbs and are asking for Britons to replace them with fluorescent bulbs and LEDs.However, these alternatives could actually result in costing up to 15 TIMES more than halogens.A number of fluorescent bulbs can even take up to FIVE minutes to reach full brightness, while some LEDs are not compatible with dimmer switches.

A ballot on the issue is due to transpire in April, when the European Commission may agree to go ahead with the proposed ban in 2016 or push it back until 2018. Consumer group Which? argued that delaying a ban could allow time for any compatibility issues with other bulbs that need to be fixed.

A spokesperson mentioned: "Delaying the phasing out of halogen lamps in to 2018 would allow more chance for some of the compatibility and user pitfalls to be resolved and allow a smoother switch to super-efficient residential lighting across Europe."However LED and CFL bulb technology still has some way to go to completely fill the gap that would be left by a halogen bulbs ban."

The proposed move has also been blasting by a campaign group of manufacturers named LightingEurope, that said any ban ought to be slowed until 2020 at the earliest. Diederik de Stoppelaar, the group’s secretary general, suggested: "A phase-out prior to 2020 is going to be costly and burdensome to consumers."The industry reinforces the transition to more energy efficient lighting... however, an earlier date doesn't enable alternative improving technologies to be widely available."

A traditional halogen bulb uses 10 per cent less energy than incandescent bulbs - which were just recently restricted by Brussels officials to cut greenhouse gas emissions.In comparison to, CFL's 60 to 80 per cent less energy than incandescent bulbs while LEDs can use use up to 90 per cent less.

A spokesperson of the LED Europe (a British lighting company), spoke out in support considering the ban.He explained: "We understand the concerns of experts who wish to delay the ban in an effort to iron out some issues."Implementing the ban sooner rather than later would see plenty of benefits for consumers, not to mention the environment."

An official response from the European Commission read: "A phase-out a number of halogen lamps on 1 September 2016 was decided by EU Member States and implemented by the European Commission in 2009.To re-assess the appropriateness of such phase-out, Regulation 244/2009 foresees a review of this provision before the phase-out begins to apply."

"The Commission services conducted this review starting in 2013, which showed that the phase-out date currently in the Regulation might not be the most appropriate one, because light emitting diode (LED) technology is not really ready to yet fully replace halogen technology."

"The review estimates that constant technological development, together with further price reductions, would permit LED technology to effectively replace halogen lamps in 2018 while delivering substantial financial savings to the European consumer."

Do you think you have the right to decide on what is used in your home? Let us know: info@ledeurope.co.uk

About Rory Greaves

Lighting Consultant