The end is near for incandescent bulbs in Europe. The year 2010 to be exact.
Last week, EU energy ministers agreed to ban filament light bulbs across all 27 member states beginning in 2010. In the past year Australia, Cuba and the Philippines have all announced bans on the bulbs starting in the same year. The U.S. on the other hand, is a little late to the party, with a 2014 ban date.
The Energy Independence and Security Act, passed by the U.S in June 2007, requires 25 percent greater efficiency for light bulbs starting in 2012. This will effectively ban incandescents. The EU's decision comes days before it lifts duties on energy-efficient bulbs imported from China.
According to the conservation group WWF, if the EU switches to CFLs, it will decrease energy consumption for lighting by 60% and CO2 emissions by 30 million tons (out of the 4 billion tons emitted by the EU each year). This reduction equals about half the emissions of Sweden.
This energy savings isn't dramatic, but it's still progress in the right direction.
So while I support the EU's decision, and without getting into any arguments about CFLs and the issues of mercury/harsh lighting/higher cost that have been beaten to death, I do have to bring up this previous post. We shouldn't get hung up on CFLs as the only lighting or energy saving solution. CFLs are a good alternative to incandescent bulbs now, but we have to keep pushing towards better technology, whether it's improved LEDs or something we haven't even discovered yet.
I hope that these government bans won't contribute to a complacency in lighting technology and will instead inspire the world's great minds to think even bigger.
written by E, December 14, 2008
written by Robert Pritchett, January 27, 2009
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