The Incandescent Light Bulb Ban and the impact for chandeliers.

The History of the Light Bulb Ban

In 2008 the European Union ( EU) set out a regulation to phase out traditional incandescent filament lamps with more energy efficient alternatives. This initiative by the commission covered by the Ecodesign Directive is to replace the lamps with either energy efficient bulbs, compact fluorescent lamps ( CFL) or LED bulbs with the first phase being between 2009 and 2012. This is part of the EU’s fight against climate change to reduce the levels of carbon emission by 20% compared to business as usual by 2020. With lighting accounting for about one fifth of householders energy consumption then tacking this element is a major contributor to achieving the target. Here I will outline the directive and look at the implications for chandeliers.

Details of the Light Bulb phase out

In simple terms all inefficient light bulbs which covers standard incandescent light bulbs, which are the old filament bulbs together with conventional halogen bulbs will be phased out progressively between 2009 and September 2012. More detail on the timing and elements of this transition is covered below:-

  • All frosted and pearl incandescent light bulbs have been phased out from September 2009 as these are the most inefficient classification of incandescent light bulbs.
  • From September 2009 all clear light bulbs with an effective output of 100watts will need to be of energy rating C.
  • From September 2010 all transparent lamps with a wattage of 75 watts or more will need to have at least an energy rating of C.
  • From September 2011 all clear lamps which have an equivalent output of 60watts or more will need to have an energy rating of C or above.
  • From September 2012 all clear lamps of ant wattage will need to have an energy rating of at least C. This means that all D rated and higher light bulbs will be subject to this ban.

Energy Rating definition for Light Bulbs

For this to make sense it is important to understand the basics of the energy classification for light bulbs. Here is a brief overview:-

  • Energy Rating E,F and G covers the traditional incandescent filament light bulbs
  • Energy Rating D, E and F covers conventional halogen light bulbs
  • Energy Rating C covers conventional halogen 12volt lamps which will give approximately a 25% energy saving and Xenon filled halogen energy saving light bulbs which give around a 30% saving when compared to traditional incandescent light bulbs. These are one of the best types of light bulbs for chandeliers.
  • Energy Rating B covers CFL globe bulbs which have an internal spiral CFL and outer casing and some LED’s
  • Energy Rating A covers spiral CFL light bulbs and more energy efficient LED bulbs. These LED’s are particularly suited for chandeliers especially where environmental factors are on the agenda.

Details of which light bulbs are effected by the ban.

In simple terms this means that by September 2012 then no incandescent light bulbs will be allowed and all halogen bulbs will need to be the halogen energy saving light bulbs which have the Xenon gas filling which makes them more energy efficient. The directive says that  all bulbs which are imported of supplied by the manufacturer prior to the effectivity date are still allowed to be sold by retailers until there stocks run out. There are more regulations in the pipeline to further promote this migration to energy saving light bulbs so watch this space.

Effects for the Chandelier

The best light bulbs for chandeliers in my opinion are either the flame shaped halogen candle or the LED chandelier bulb . The halogen flame candle bulb is a beautiful aesthetic bulb which has similarities to the candles always used to light traditional chandeliers prior to electricity being available. The LED  dimmable candle flame bulb is a fabulous light bulb which is not only great looking but in addition it saves around 90% in energy costs which fits perfectly with this directive.