As part of the European energy saving scheme, the European Commission (EC) has been voting on when to ban halogen light bulbs in favour of CFL bulbs and LED’s.
The initial vote was to start the ban in September 2016, but recently there has been conflicting information regarding when the ban will take effect. The EC set the September 2016 date back in 2009, giving the industry a 7 year preparation time to gradually phase out the use of halogen light bulbs in households whilst also enabling suppliers to sell halogen stock. However, there is also conflicting news indicating the ban will be postponed until 2018.
So which date is it?
Well the answer is both are right and that it depends on which type of halogen bulb you are looking at.
As a simple rule directional halogen reflector lamps given a D rating (also known as GU10 lamps) will be phased out on the 1st September 2016
The ban on on non-directional halogen lamps has been pushed back and is currently scheduled for 1st September 2018.
The ban on non directional lamps has been pushed back to September in 2018 due to the industry not being ready to produce the adequate amount of LED’s that will be demanded by consumers. The industry also argued the quality of LED’s would not be developed in time for the 2016 ban, as required features such as dimming, multi-directional light-beam and good colour rendering would not be ready for consumers at an affordable price.
Why are halogen bulbs being phased out?
Halogen bulb consumption is 5 times higher than its rival the eco-friendly LED bulb. Many Halogen bulbs fall under the energy efficient class D which has resulted in the EU phasing the energy guzzling bulb out. There is also the cost of running halogen bulbs against LED’s and the amount of Co2 produced that has prompted the EC to consider the best course of action.
Below is a comparison of the halogens and LED's
|Bulb Type||5W LED||50W Halogen|
|Cost electricity PY||£1.37||£13.69|
Although halogen bulbs are generally cheaper to purchase, switching to an LED or CFL bulb would last the household owner for a longer duration, cost them less in electricity bills and will produce less Co2 throughout the year.
Clearly LED’s are winning in the energy saving department, but there has been some complaints from users. Including the amount of time it takes to reach full brightness, the white clinical colour compared to the warm glow of halogen and the light quality that LED’s emit.
Why the delay?
The delay, some suggest it’s down to giving manufacturing companies time to produce high value creation for the market whilst ensuring there are employment opportunities. It’s predicted there will be 6,800 job losses if the halogen policy passes; gradually phasing the ban can help overcome some of the negative impacts.
What does this mean for electricians?
It’s important for electricians to start communicating the new changes to customers and explain why opting for the slightly more expensive LED will save them time and money in the long-run. It would be a handy idea for electricians to keep up to date with the policy changes as companies continue to develop better quality, cost-effective and a larger variety of LED’s. Obviously moving forwards it will be important to make sure that you are not fitting the banned directional D rated lamps.