EU's ban on halogen bulbs takes effect

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By Cristina Abellan Matamoros
EU's ban on halogen bulbs takes effect
Copyright  REUTERS

European consumers will no longer find the classic incandescent lightbulbs in their local hardware stores — that’s because the European Union’s ban on halogen bulbs takes effect on Saturday.

Stores will be allowed to sell their remaining stock of halogen bulbs but will not be able to refill it. 

The ban is intended for the standard halogen bulbs like the pear shaped-ones but does not include special types such as popular spotlights and incandescent lightbulbs found in desk lamps and floodlights.

European Commission

First announced in 2009, the ban was set to begin two years ago but was postponed to this year to give consumers more time to switch to LEDs. 

Why the ban on halogen light bulbs?

Environmentally-friendly savings

LED bulbs are being praised as greener alternatives to halogen ones since they "tend to last five to ten times longer than halogen lightbulbs and use much less energy, making the consumer savings substantial," said the European Commission in a statement. 

A 2013 study by the EU found that switching from an average halogen lamp to LED would save approximately €115 in the bulb's lifetime and pay-back its cost within a year

The same study found that implementing the ban at EU level would bring annual energy savings corresponding to Portugal's electricity consumption over five years — that's a reduction of 3.4 million tonnes of CO2 emissions every year. 

According to the European Commission, the changes to LED bulbs would bring a significant reduction of waste as consumers would need less bulbs per year. New LED bulbs are also recyclable. 

Australia is also set to forbid the sale of halogen bulbs by 2020.