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European Union to Ban Halogen Bulbs

Halogen light bulbs. Getty Images

Halogen lightbulbs will soon flicker out in Europe after the European Union's ban on the sale of the bulbs comes into effect on Sept. 1.

Households are expected to switch to LED lights, which tend to be more expensive up front, but usually last longer, consume less energy and can save on electricity bills in the long term compared to halogens. Lighting manufacturer Philips estimated to the Guardian that consumers can save up to £112 ($144) a year from the switch.


The EU directive banned less efficient light sources with the goal of cutting carbon emissions. Proponents tout electricity savings across the EU of up to 93 terawatts each year by 2020, or the equivalent of Portugal's annual electricity usage.

Phasing out inefficient lights will "save 15.2 million tons of CO² emissions by 2025," Anna-Kaisa Itkonen, European Commission spokeswoman for climate action and energy, told CNN. "This is the equivalent to the emissions generated by around 2 million people per year. This is a significant contribution to the fight against climate change."

Itkonen added that the ban will also help reduce oil imports to the European Union by nearly 75 million barrels a year.

Wikimedia Commons

EU member states announced the measure in 2009. The initial plan was to phase out halogen bulbs by Sept. 1, 2016, but the initiative was delayed until this year to allow EU citizens more time to transition to LED.

Halogen lights will not immediately disappear, as shops are still allowed to sell remaining stock, but they will not be able to order more after the start of next month. An exception will be allowed for oven lights that are halogens as well as some capsule, linear and low-voltage reflector bulbs, according to the Guardian.

Not everyone is happy about the switch, including Brexit advocates who say LED bulbs are too costly and are an example of the European Union's "relentless nanny state intervention," The Sun reported.

"The EU's attempt to ban halogen bulbs is wrong because consumers will suffer financially and it's always the poorest who suffer most from these kinds of policies," Jonathon Bullock, UKIP energy spokesman in the European parliament, told the Guardian.

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