Light Bulbs

Changing light bulbs doesn't please everyone

Posted by jamie — 6 January 2009 at 6:10pm - Comments

So we start to wave a fond farewell to the incandescent light - since its first demonstration in the 19th Century it has served us well, but the brutal march of progress has made it obsolete since the development of CFLs over 30 years ago. Even though the current depletion of 150W, 100W and 75W bulbs being reported in the press is only part of a voluntary agreement (no sensible efficiency standards here), there's a binding EU agreement (of sorts) on the way and the days of the filament bulb are numbered.

Video: bulbs, bulbs and more light bulbs!

Posted by jamie — 12 December 2008 at 9:37am - Comments

If you need some cheering up on this dark, dark afternoon (and who doesn't given the news spilling out of the various climate talks in Brussels and Poznan - I don't think we'll be able to update until next week, but it's not good), try this. An exuberant Hank Green from Ecogeek has done some ad-hoc light bulb testing to show how incandescents, CFLs and LEDs compare. Shame this wasn't done in time for the recent EU vote on light bulbs.


(Thanks, Treehugger)

EU to ban inefficient light bulbs. Eventually. Sort of

Posted by jamie — 12 December 2008 at 8:36am - Comments

If you've been wondering what's been happening on the light bulb front since our Woolworths campaign last year (and much as they were in our bad books, it's sorry to see them go), there's been some developments on the European stage where politicians have been voting on plans to improve their efficiency and so reduce greenhouse gas emissions across the EU.

The good news is that, on Tuesday, the EU has at long last agreed on a ban of inefficient incandescent light bulbs; the somewhat worse news is that we'll have to wait several years for it to come into full effect. In the meantime, inefficient bulbs will still be on sale and given the desperate need to reduce emissions, it's not enough and it's not soon enough.

Bulb revolution sweeps into Argentina

Posted by jamie — 19 March 2008 at 4:53pm - Comments

A bulb display outside the Agentinean CongressAnother country is well on the way to making the switch as last week Argentina joined the rapidly growing list of nation states getting ready to use only energy efficient light bulbs.

If the Argentinean president Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner gets her way, by the end of 2010 mandatory efficiency standards will be introduced which will effectively ban incandescent bulbs. Better yet, she said her decision came as a direct result of the campaign run by our office in Buenos Aires.

And earlier this year, Italy followed Ireland's example to become the second EU country to propose similar efficiency standards and is also expected to remove incandescents from sale in 2010. All these bulb bans are a small but vital step in reducing our greenhouse gas emissions, and introducing minimum energy efficiency standards on all electrical equipment has to be the ultimate goal.

Green bulbs switched on in the Philippines

Posted by jamie — 14 February 2008 at 6:25pm - Comments

Excellent news reaches us from the Philippines where a ban on old-fashioned incandescent bulbs has recently been announced.

President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo announced plans for phasing out inefficient bulbs by January 2010, adding the Asian archipelago to the growing list of countries, including Ireland and Japan, which are slashing their emissions by shifting to compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs). So pressure is building up on our own government - and indeed the entire EU - to bring in their own mandatory efficiency standards for light bulbs.

New bulbs for old in London bulb amnesty

Posted by jamie — 9 January 2008 at 12:36pm - Comments

As Mayor of London, Ken Livingstone might not be the perfect politician but at least he's streets ahead of central government on climate change and reducing emissions in the capital. His latest ploy is to hold a light bulb amnesty during which Londoners can exchange their old incandescent bulbs for a bright new energy-efficient one.

According to, you can take up to two old-fashioned bulbs to any London branch of B&Q between Friday 11 and Sunday 13 January and exchange them for compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs) provided by British Gas. Nice.

Green light bulbs give you cancer and other tall stories

Posted by jamie — 8 January 2008 at 2:25pm - Comments

"Environmentally friendly light bulbs 'can give you skin cancer'" claims the Daily Mail

The Mail waxes lyrical about its favourite subject

What fun the media has been having with light bulbs lately, peddling claims that they are extremely dangerous due to the mercury they contain and that they could cause skin cancer. With an eye recently sobered by new year abstinence, let's take a closer look.

Ireland is banning the bulb, why can't we?

Posted by jamie — 14 December 2007 at 2:40pm - Comments

After last week's amazing news that Ireland is going to ban inefficient light bulbs in early 2009, we thought it was time to give our own government a squeeze on the issue. The speed at which our neighbour across the Irish Sea will be ditching incandescent bulbs has shown just how ineffective London has been so far.

Not only does Ireland now join the likes of Australia, Venezuela and Cuba who have already laid down bulb legislation, it also proves our own government is dragging its feet. Earlier this year, a voluntary phase-out of inefficient bulbs by the end of 2011 was announced which even at the time was pretty rubbish. Thousands of small retailers aren't covered by the scheme so incandescent bulbs will still be on sale beyond that date. Ireland's tough new legislation now makes this initiative look even more feeble.

China gives inefficient bulbs the boot

Posted by jamie — 4 October 2007 at 3:43pm - Comments

I had one of those meetings this morning where I was doodling on my notebook rather than listening as attentively as perhaps I should have been, but the words 'China', 'light' and 'bulbs' caught my attention. I started paying even more attention when I realised it related to the news that China will be phasing out incandescent bulbs in the next 10 years.

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