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EU to ban frosted light bulbs

Energy saving light bulbs being phased in

A low energy lightbulb

Energy-saving light bulbs come in a number of shapes with a variety of different fittings

From September this year, shops will no longer be able to buy new stocks of traditional incandescent, opaque light bulbs.

The change is part of EU plans to scrap less efficient bulbs and increase the use of energy-saving light bulbs.

Pearl light bulbs of 60 watts, along with 25 and 40 watt frosted bulbs, will disappear from retailers’ shelves – leaving consumers no option but to choose an energy efficient alternative such as low-energy halogen bulbs or low-energy compact fluorescent lamps (CFL).

Scrapping traditional light bulbs

The move is part of an EU initiative to phase out all bulbs with poor energy efficiency ratings by 2012, and follows the withdrawal of all 150 watt bulbs last year.

Many major stores – including Tesco, the UK’s largest light bulb retailer – agreed to stop stocking 100 watt light bulbs  on a voluntary basis in January 2009.

A spokesman for the Department of Environment Food and Rural Affairs said: ‘From September 1 it will be illegal for manufacturers to sell frosted incandescent bulbs to EU retailers. Anyone who has them in stock can still sell them off.’

Energy saving light bulbs

The government hopes the switch to low-energy light bulbs will help reduce carbon dioxide emissions in the UK by around 5 million tonnes a year.

Lizzy Payne, a technology researcher at Which?, said: ‘It’s not all bad news for consumers. Low-energy light bulbs now come in a range of shapes, sizes and wattages, and switching four traditional bulbs to energy-saving light bulbs could save you up to £28 a year.

‘Our extensive tests have revealed that there are big differences between the best and worst low-energy light bulbs on the market, so check out our review to ensure you get maximum light at the minimum cost with one of our energy-saving light bulb Best Buys.’

Which? has tested a variety of low-energy light bulbs – read our review of energy-saving light bulbs.

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