100-watt and matt light bulbs already disappearing from store shelves
EU ban on use of traditional light bulbs comes into force in stages over three years
The European Union ban on incandescent light bulbs seems to be working splendidly in Finland. It is already difficult to find any 100-watt bulbs in central Helsinki stores, even though the ban on the product will not come into effect until next Tuesday, the 1st of September.
Ridding Europe of traditional light bulbs will take place in stages in the course of the next three years.
In September 2010, the 75-watt incandescent bulbs will disappear from the shop shelves, followed by the 60W bulbs a year later, and the 40W and 25W bulbs a year after that, in September 2012.
The only exception to the three-year transition rule is the matt-surfaced incandescent light bulbs, the manufacturing of which will come to an end next month completely, regardless of their power rating.
The matt-surfaced bulbs were seen as particularly energy-inefficient, as the matted glass of the bulb reduces the item's most important property, illumination.
The EU directive does not directly ban the use, sale, or manufacturing of incandescent lamps. Instead, the standards for energy-efficiency are set in such a way that manufacturing the old-style bulbs will become unprofitable.
After the beginning of September, shops are no longer allowed to buy in old-style light bulbs, but the present inventories can be sold until they run out.
However, it would appear that Helsinki stores do not seem to have such stocks of the bulbs, for it is already difficult to find 100W bulbs anywhere.
An S-Market in Helsinki’s Asematunneli underground shopping centre no longer displayed any 100-watt light bulbs or matt-surfaced bulbs of any size.
Apparently consumers aware of the upcoming EU directive have hoarded the remaining bulbs.
The EU directive is given justification by the fact that the traditional incandescent light bulb’s efficiency ratio is appallingly poor.
Around 95 per cent of the consumed energy is turned into heat and only five per cent into visible light.
Incandescent light bulb (Wikipedia)
Europa: Member States approve the phasing-out of incandescent bulbs by 2012 (Brussels, 8.12.2008)