60 watt traditional light bulbs to be phased outEU ban on incandescent light bulbs continues

01 September 2011

Traditional light bulb versus an energy-saving light bulb

Traditional light bulbs are being phased out and replaced with energy-saving bulbs

From today, shops won't be able to buy in new stocks of clear 60 watt (W) traditional light bulbs under EU rules.

This is the latest stage of the EU phase out of traditional incandescent light bulbs in favour of more efficient energy-saving varieties. 

Shops are no longer allowed to order new stocks of clear 60W bulbs - though they will be able to sell off existing stocks - and manufacturers will have to stop supplying them.

Light bulb phase-out continues

The EU phase-out started in 2009 when 100W bulbs stopped being sold, while last September saw the phase-out of 75W bulbs. 

All remaining clear incandescent bulbs on the market, including 40W and 25W varieties, will be phased out in September 2012.

Many shops - including all the major supermarkets and DIY stores such as B&Q, Homebase and Wickes - have already stopped selling different wattages of incandescent bulbs ahead of the EU timetable, as part of a voluntary agreement.

Energy-saving light bulb

Switching to energy saving light bulbs will save you energy and money

Which light bulbs to buy?

Which? members can find out which light bulbs perform the best for efficiency and other key measures such as start-up time and durability in our light bulbs review, based on the results from our independent lab tests. We've found big variations in performance between energy-saving light bulbs.

Along with compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs) from Philips, Megaman and Osram, we also tested two LED light bulbs - which are 90% more efficient than old-style bulbs, but much more expensive. 

We also found energy-saving light bulbs available in an increasing variety of shapes - including candle, spiral and rounded lamps that resemble traditional bulbs.

More on this...

  • Energy-saving light bulb reviews - independent lab results and Best Buy bulb recommendations.
  • Are you sad to see 60 watt bulbs go? Tell us what you think on Which? Conversation.
  • Our free light bulb concerns answered guide takes you through energy-saving light bulb types and typical savings.