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European lamps become more energy efficient

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The EU has set new energy efficiency requirements that lamps produced for the EU market need to fulfil as from 1 September 2009. Traditional incandescent and halogen bulbs will be gradually phased out from the market by the end of 2012. However, particular care was taken to ensure that consumers will find lamp alternatives either offering the same light quality or higher energy savings.
Improved incandescent bulbs with halogen technology and light emitting diode (LEDs) lamps will also be available as alternatives to conventional incandescent bulbs, not just compact fluorescent lamps. Improved incandescent bulbs, which also produce light by incandescence, provide exactly the same light quality as conventional bulbs.

Lamps that are banned will not be removed from the shop shelves on 1 September. Retailers are allowed to sell their existing stocks.

Conventional incandescent and halogen bulbs which cannot fulfil the requirements will be gradually phased out from the EU market beginning in 2009 and finishing in 2012. However, there are many alternatives offering the same light quality and/or higher energy
savings, including:

  • Improved incandescent bulbs with halogen technology, fully equivalent to traditional incandescent bulbs in terms of shape and light quality
  • Efficient and long-life compact fluorescent lamps
  • Efficient lamps with the latest technology, light emitting diodes (LEDs)

All of these provide significant overall cost savings to the user due to lower consumption,
even taking into account that their purchase price is higher. The costs savings will amount to
25 to 50 € per year, depending on the size of the household and on the choice of alternative

More information, also regarding the claims that have been made about compact flourescent lamps is available here.