Monday 31 August 2009

The Day they turn the lights off

Not many things really annoy me, but one thing that does is the constant interference by governments in how we run our lives.

The latest thing is the humble electric light bulb. Due to 'Green' EU regulations nodded through in 2007 by our then PM, Tony Blair, we will be phasing out these devices.

Not just phasing out by encouraging people to change with the argument that they'll save up to £40 a year, but by making it illegal to import and manufacture such devices. Gradually all such bulbs will be affected, the higher powers first, and the latest is the 100W, whose cut off date is nigh... Tuesday 1st September 2009.

Now I'm all for energy efficiency, provided the new bulbs work as well as the old ones, but they don't and have a lot of disadvantages, including:

  • Costly to manufacture and use poisionous chemicals such as mercury in the process.
  • Consequently need proper disposal, again increasing costs for someone!
  • They don't work with dimmer switches.
  • They are not as bright and don't illuminate as well as traditional bulbs.
I'm quite sure that these problems will be addressed with future low energy bulbs, e.g. those based on LED technology, but at the moment, the replacements are just not good enough, and I can't see the rush to move to them without a really viable alternative. (Apart from reducing our so-called 'carbon footprint' - but that's another matter for another blog post....)

So what can we do if we want to still use these traditional bulbs? Well today is the last chance that dealers will be able to legally stock up with them, so you should try and order a few, or many today. Incidentally you can still order 150W bulbs, which provide really great light for reading ... but only if you act quick.

There are plenty of dealers online, Google to find them. I have personally used:

(This'll take you to a page which lists normal light bulbs, including 100, 150 and even higher wattages)

Finally, you will be able to buy normal bulbs designed for industrial uses after the cut off date, but they will no doubt be a lot more expensive!

Once again the cut off date is :

1st September 2009.

The Day they turned the lights off

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