The EU is Banning the Sale of Halogen Lightbulbs from 1st Sepember

By Tom Pritchard on at

These days you can go down to just about any shop and buy an LED lightbulb for a reasonably low price. It may not be the exact bulbs you need for whatever weird sockets your landlord insists are best, but they're there. They're also a lot more efficient than older Halogen bulbs, which is why the EU has decided we all should have LEDs from now on. So its decreed a ban on halogen bulb sales, coming in on 1st September.

I say ban, that's not entirely what's happening. Existing stock can be sold to customers, and an exemption has been applied for any "capsules, linear and low voltage incandescents" that are used in ovens. But it means halogen bulbs are quickly going to die off, and people will have to swap over to LEDs. According to campaigners this is a good thing, because while LED bulbs cost more they're able to make up for that fact by using less energy - saving people money on their bills and reducing the number of emissions we produce trying to see in the dark.

All of which is a good thing. Energy bills are high enough as it is, and the planet does need some much needed relief from carbon emissions. LED bulbs also tend to last longer than halogens, and tend to come with significant warranties to boot, which is a good thing. Replacing light bulbs is an annoying task on par with changing the batteries in your TV remote.

But since this is a declaration from the EU, the anti-Europe pro-Brexit crowd are outraged at this development. Outraged that they can't force themselves into higher energy usage, by buying cheaper bulbs that don't last as long. Various anti-EU tabloids have already expressed their disgust at this development, as has Jonathan Bullock, Ukip’s energy spokesman in the European parliament who has been speaking to 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.”

This reminds me of those people who were celebrating just after the June 2016 referendum, because it meant they could go out and buy the even more power-hungry traditional incandescent bulbs once Britain left the EU. You know the ones with the filament that were basically heaters. I feel like if the EU were to announce they'd discovered the secret to eternal youth some of these nutters would find some way to spin it into something bad.

LED bulbs do cost more when you buy them, that's true, but they've been around for long enough that they're not that much more expensive. Experts say that they pay for themselves within a year, and that's only a fraction of the 10-12 year lifespan some of them have. Can you imagine not having to change bulbs for over a decade? What a time to be alive. [The Guardian]