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Phase-out of Incandescent Light Bulbs/Lamps

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Some governments around the world have passed measures to improve the energy efficiency of light bulbs used in homes and businesses. In the United States, this effectively bans current incandescent light bulbs for general lighting. The aim is to encourage the use and technological development of more energy-efficient lighting alternatives, such as compact fluorescent lamp (CFLs) and LED lamps. Manufacturers in the United States, at least, will still be free to produce future versions of incandescent bulbs if they are more energy efficient.

Brazil and Venezuela started to phase out incandescent bulbs in 2005,[1] and the European Union, Switzerland,[2] and Australia[3] started to phase them out in 2009.[4]

Likewise, other nations are implementing new energy standards or have scheduled phase-outs: Argentina,[5] Russia, and Canada in 2012,[6] and the United States and Malaysia in 2014.[7]

In the United States, there has been widespread consumer misunderstanding of what the legislation entails. [8]

In general, resistance to phasing out incandescent light bulbs centers on the public's preference for the quality of light produced from incandescents,[9]. Some tout the economic theory of free markets as being preferable to regulation, while others emphasize that only aggressive government intervention will improve energy efficiency.{cn} There are also environmental concerns about mercury contamination with CFLs. However, recycling of CFLs greatly reduces releases, and at least where power is derived from coal there is lower mercury release even if the bulbs end up in landfills. Formerly, instant availability of light was an issue for CFLs, but newer CFLs are available with an Instant On feature, as well as a wide variety of correlated color temperatures. CFLs and LEDs labeled for dimmer control are also becoming available, although typically at higher cost.

Regional developments


People's Republic of China
China will ban imports and sales of certain incandescent light bulbs starting October 2012 to encourage the use of alternative lighting sources such as light-emitting diodes (LEDs), with a 5-year plan of phasing-out incandescent light bulbs over 100 watts starting October 1, 2012, and gradually extend the ban to those over 15 watts on October 1, 2016.[10] Another source, however, has indicated that by October 1, 2016, all incandescent light bulbs will be banned.[11] According to this source, November 1, 2011 to September 30, 2012 will be a transitional period and as of October 1, 2012, imports and sales of ordinary incandescent bulbs of 100 watts or more will be prohibited. The first phase will be followed by a ban on 60-watt-and-higher incandescent light bulbs starting in October 2014. By October 2016, all incandescent light bulbs will be banned in China. The final phase may be the adjusted according to the results of interim assessment from October 2015 to October 2016.

While not a complete ban, the plan is to replace 400 million incandescent light bulbs with CFLs by 2012. The energy savings and resultant carbon emissions savings is expected to be around 55 million tonnes per year.[12]

The states of Tamil Nadu and Karnataka in India have banned the use of incandescent bulbs in government departments, public sector undertakings, various boards, cooperative institutions, local bodies, and institutions running on government aid.[13][14]

In February 2008, president Gloria Macapagal Arroyo called for a ban of incandescent light bulbs by 2010 in favor of more energy-efficient fluorescent globes to help cut greenhouse gas emissions and household costs during her closing remarks at the Philippine Energy Summit. Once put in effect, the country will be the first in Asia to do so.[15]


The Government will stop all production, import and sales of incandescent light bulbs by or before January 2014, as part of efforts to save power and to help cut greenhouse gas emissions.[7]

Phase out of 60w and over incandescent lightbulbs has been implemented from 1st January 2012. As a measure to increase awareness a national awareness campaign has been initiated by the Ministry of Energy where 3 CFL's will be sold at a subsidized price to the public.[16]


European Union
The initial Europe wide ban only applies to general-purpose, non-directional incandescent bulbs, so does not affect any bulbs with reflective surfaces (e.g. spotlights and halogen down lighters) or special purpose bulbs including those used in devices such as household appliances, traffic lights, and infrared lamps. The sale of the most inefficient bulbs will be phased out. The first types to go are non-clear (frosted) bulbs, which would be off the market by September 2009. Also from September 2009 clear bulbs over 100W must be made of more efficient types. This limit will be moved down to lower wattages, and the efficiency levels raised by the end of 2012.[17] Also, the EU has given the target of 2016 to phase out halogen bulbs, and any bulb available for purchase after the 2016 date must have at least a 'B' energy rating.[18] The Finnish parliament discussed banning sales of incandescent light bulbs by the beginning of 2011.[19]

The Irish government was the first European Union (EU) member state to announce a ban on the sale of incandescent light bulbs.[20] It was later announced that all member states of the EU agreed to a progressive phase-out of incandescent light bulbs by 2012.[21]

banned the sale of all light bulbs of the Energy Efficiency Class F and G, which affects a few types of incandescent light bulbs. Most normal light bulbs are of Energy Efficiency Class E, and the Swiss regulation has exceptions for various kinds of special-purpose and decorative bulbs.[2][22]

United Kingdom
The UK government announced in 2007 that incandescent bulbs would be phased out by 2011.[23] The UK followed the EU-wide ban on 60w incandescent bulbs that came into effect on 1 September 2011;[24] 40w and lower ratings will be phased out in 2012[citation needed]. In the UK a program is run by the Energy Saving Trust to identify lighting products that meet energy conservation and performance guidelines;[25] the intent of the program is to reduce consumer concerns due to variable quality of products.

North America

The provincial government of Nova Scotia stated in February 2007 that it would like to move towards preventing the sale of incandescent light bulbs in the province.[26]

In April 2007, Ontario's Minister of Energy Dwight Duncan announced the provincial government's intention to ban the sale of incandescent light bulbs by 2012.[27] Later in April, the federal government announced that it would ban the sale of inefficient incandescent light bulbs nation-wide by 2012 as part of a plan to cut down on emissions of greenhouse gases.[28] On Nov 9, 2011, the federal government approved a proposal to delay new energy efficiency standards for light bulbs until Jan. 1, 2014, when it will become illegal to import inefficient incandescent lighting across the country.[29][30] In Dec 2011, Ontario Energy Minister [Chris Bentley] confirmed that Ontario is scrapping the five-year-old promise "to avoid confusing consumers".[31]

The Energy Star program, in which Natural Resources Canada is a partner, in March 2008 established rules for labeling lamps that meet a set of standards for efficiency, starting time, life expectancy, color, and consistency of performance. The intent of the program is to reduce consumer concerns about efficient light bulbs due to variable quality of products.[32] Those CFLs with a recent Energy Star certification start in less than one second and do not flicker.

In January 2011, the province of British Columbia banned retailers from ordering 75- or 100-watt incandescent bulbs.[33]

The nation's Energy Efficiency Regulations are published on the Natural Resources Canada website.[34]

Cuba exchanged all incandescent light bulbs for CFLs, and banned the sale and import of them in 2005.[1]

United States
See also: U.S. Lighting Energy Policy

Individual state efforts

California will phase out the use of incandescent bulbs by 2018 as part of bill by California State Assembly member Jared Huffman (D-Santa Rosa) that was signed by Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger on October 12, 2007. The bill aims to establish a minimum standard of twenty-five lumens per watt by 2013 and sixty lumens per watt by 2018.[35][36]

Connecticut legislation was proposed by state Representative Mary M. Mushinsky (D-Wallingford).[37][38]

New Jersey Assemblyman Larry Chatzidakis introduced a bill on February 8, 2007 that calls for the state to eliminate incandescent bulbs in government buildings over the next three years. Chatzidakis said, "The light bulb was invented a long time ago and a lot of things have changed since then. I obviously respect the memory of Thomas Edison, but what we're looking at here is using less energy."[39]

USA Federal legislation

In December 2007, the federal government enacted the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007, which contains maximum wattage requirements for all general service incandescent lamps producing from 310–2600 lumens of light.[40] However, these regulations never became law, as another section of the 2007 EISA bill overwrites them, and thus, current law, as specified in the U.S. Code, "does not relate to maximum wattage requirements."[41]

The efficiency standards will start with 100-watt bulbs and end with 40-watt bulbs. The timeline for these standards was to start in January 2012, but on December 16, 2011, the U.S. House passed the final 2012 budget legislation, which effectively delayed the implementation until October 2012.[42]

Light bulbs outside of this range are exempt from the restrictions. Also exempt are several classes of specialty lights, including appliance lamps, rough service bulbs, 3-way, colored lamps, stage lighting, and plant lights.

The United States Environmental Protection Agency's Energy Star program in March 2008 established rules for labeling lamps that meet a set of standards for efficiency, starting time, life expectancy, color, and consistency of performance. The intent of the program is to reduce consumer concerns about efficient light bulbs due to variable quality of products.[32] Those CFLs with a recent Energy Star certification start in less than one second and do not flicker. Energy Star Light Bulbs for Consumers is a resource for finding and comparing Energy Star qualified lamps.

By 2020, a second tier of restrictions would become effective, which requires all general-purpose bulbs to produce at least 45 lumens per watt (similar to current CFLs). Exemptions from the Act include reflector flood, 3-way, candelabra, colored, and other specialty bulbs.[43]

In 2011, Rep. Joe Barton of Texas and 14 other Republicans joined to introduce the Better Use of Light Bulbs Act or BULB Act (H.R. 91), which would have repealed Subtitle B of Title III of the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007. Barton was opposed to regulation, while Rep. Michael Burgess pointed to jobs purportedly lost to China and voiced a fear of mercury problems resulting from CFL use.[44] On July 12, 2011, H.R. 2417 failed to pass by the required two-thirds[clarification needed] majority in the U.S. House.[45]


In February 2007, Australia enacted a law that will, in effect, by legislating efficiency standards, disallow most sales of incandescent light bulbs by 2010.[46] The Australian Federal Government announced minimum energy performance standards (MEPS) for lighting products. The new minimum standard efficiency level is 15 lumens per watt (lm/W). From November 2008, no non-compliant lighting (including some incandescent globes) were imported into Australia, and from November 2009, the retail sale of non-compliant lighting was banned.[47] According to the current proposal,[48] all regular light bulbs and some other kinds of light bulbs sold from October 2009 have to meet the new minimum energy performance standards. Incandescent light bulbs that meet the new standards, for example high-efficiency halogen bulbs, continue to be available.[49]

It is estimated that greenhouse gas emissions will be cut by 800,000 tonnes (Australia's current emission total is 564.7 million tonnes), a saving of approximately 0.14%.[50]

There have been some initiatives to encourage people to switch to compact fluorescent lamps ahead of the phase out.[51]

New Zealand
In February 2007, then Climate Change Minister David Parker, Labour party, announced a similar proposal to the one in Australia,[52] except that importation for personal use would have been allowed.[53] However, this proposal was scrapped by the new government in December 2008.[54]

South America

In Argentina, selling and importing incandescent light bulbs has been forbidden since 31 December 2010.[55]

As part of its electricity conservation program, Venezuela has a light bulb exchange program, which aims to replace millions of incandescent bulbs with compact fluorescents.[56]

As part of global efforts to promote efficient lighting, United Nations Environment Programme with the support of the GEF Earth Fund, Philips Lighting and OSRAM GmbH has established the en.lighten initiative. The initiative seeks to accelerate global commercialization and market transformation of efficient lighting technologies by working at the global level and providing support to countries. In doing so it aims at promoting high performance efficient technologies, phasing out inefficient lighting technologies, and substituting traditional fuel-based lighting with modern, efficient alternatives, with consideration for environmentally sound technologies (including mercury-free).



Global Phase-Out of Old Bulbs Announced by UN, GEF, and Industry

November 25, 2009 at 8:06 pm (GLOBAL BAN, INCANDESCENT BAN)

Seems more and more countries are being persuaded to phase out incandescent lamps:

Cuba: banned incandescent bulbs 2005.
Brazil: initiated phase-out 2005.
Venezuela: initiated phase-out 2005.
Argentina: bulbs will be banned by 2011.

European Union: gradual phase-out between Sept. 2009 and September 2012.
Italy (EU member): speeded up ban by 2011.
United Kingdom (EU member): speeded up ban by 2011.
Switzerland: 2009.
Finland: is considering a ban by 2011.

Russia: phase-out between 2011-2014, starting with the 100W like in EU.
Tajikistan: has banned import & production 2009.

Canada: plans ban in 2012.
U.S.A.: gradual phase-out between 2012 and 2014 (a few of the most efficient Halogen Energy Saves may still pass the efficiency requirements).

Australia: started ban 1 November 2009. (Lamps must be over 15 lm/W which means some Halogen Energy Savers still qualify.)
New Zeeland: 2007 ban plan got scrapped by the new government 2008.

Philippines: 2010.

September 7, 2009 at 4:15 am (EU BANINCANDESCENT BAN)
Tags: ceramic metal halide, CFL, EU, High pressure mercury, High pressure sodium, Incandescent, metal halide, Office lighting, Reflector lamps, Street lighting

The EU Incandescent Ban

The first phase of the absurd incandescent  ban has now taken effect.

* As of this month it is now illegal to produce and import 100W incandescent bulbs and frosted incandescent bulbs. And frosted Halogen Energy Savers!

(Selling already existing stocks is still permitted.)

The regulation also includes requirements for new product information on the packaging for all lamps (which I think is a good thing that should have been required long ago).

Manufacturers support this phase-out. “We are very positive”, says Magnus Frantzell, CEO of the Swedish Lighting Manufacturers Association to Expressen. Well, what a surprise…

But it will not stop here. This is the full schedule:

* 1 September 2010: clear 75W (over 750 lumen) lamps will be banned (through minimum efficiency requirements).

* 1 September 2011: clear 60W (over 450 lm) lamps will be banned.

* 1 September 2012: clear 7W-40W (over 60 lm) lamps will be banned.

* 1 September 2013: tightened standards on CFLs and LEDs. No lamp type will be removed from the market, only lamps with poor performance. Possibly non-dimmalbe lamps will be banned.

* 2014: Review of the regulations by the EU Commission.

* 1 September 2016: tightened standards for clear halogen lamps. Only energy class B halogen lamps (C for some special cap lamps) will be permitted, which currently only the super-expensive IR halogen lamps with integrated transformer reaches. All other halogen lamps will be banned! [1]

Exceptions: “special-purpose lamps designed essentially for applications such as traffic signals, terrarium lighting and household appliances and clearly indicated as such on accompanying product information are not subject to these eco-design requirements.” Examples of special-purpose lamps: aquariums & terrarium lamps; germicidal lamps, lamps for display/optics; stage, studio, TV & theatre lamps; photo flash lamps; projection lamps, IR lamps; traffic signal lamps for roads, trains & aviation; car headlight lamps; oven & fridge lamps; temperarture- & shock-proof lamps; mirror lamps. [2]

Street, office & industry lighting

* 2010: Phase out of T8 halophosphate fluorescent tubes (through minimum efficiency requirements).

* 2012: Phase out of T12 fluorescent (FL) tubes.

* 2012: Phase out of high-pressure sodium (HPS) standard quality lamps (only E27/ E40/ PGZ12 affected).

* 2012: Phase out of less efficient metal halide (MH) lamps (only E27/E40/PGZ12 affected).

* 2014: Review of the regulations by the EU Commission.

* 2015: Phase out of Hígh-Pressure Mercury (HPM) lamps.

* 2015: Phase out of plug-in/retrofit high-pressure sodium lamps (= direct replacement for HPM). Plug-in lamps must correspond to Super/Plus HPS level; almost all plug-in/retrofit lamps will be banned.

* 2017: Phase out of Poor performing metal halide (MH) lamps: (only E27/E40/PGZ12 affected).