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Changes – bulbs and packaging

Since 1 September 2009, household lamps produced for the EU market need to fulfill minimum energy requirements. Conventional incandescent and halogen bulbs which cannot meet these requirements will be gradually phased out from the EU market until late 2012.

 

More energy efficiency

From September 2009, non-clear (frosted) lamps will need to be of A-class standard according to the EU's lamp energy label. Only compact fluorescent lamps and LED lamps can achieve such high efficiency. All the more inefficient non-clear types will disappear.

Meanwhile, inefficient clear (transparent) lamps will also be gradually phased out. The process began in September 2009 when equivalents of clear incandescent bulbs of 100W or more were required to be of C-class standard, phasing-out incandescent 100W light bulbs. This limit will be moved down to lower wattages gradually until 2012 (75W in 2010, 60W in 2011, 40W and below in 2012).

Timeline for the removal of inefficient bulbs

 

Candle-shaped compact fluorescent bulb

Better alternatives

Once certain types of inefficient light bulbs have been phased out, consumers in Europe will still have a wide variety of lamps to choose from. The legislation also requires that these alternative lamps perform well. They should provide the same satisfaction as incandescent bulbs, or even more, as they can produce also cool light if needed. Read more about the available alternatives.

 

Colour temperature (warmth of the light colour) indicated on the packaging of a bulb

Better product information

To help consumers make the right choice, the legislation requires specific product information to be mentioned on the packaging. Producers will be obliged to mention the lifetime of the lamp in hours, the number of switching cycles the lamp is designed for, the colour temperature, the warm-up time and whether the lamp can be dimmed or not.

You will find here detailed guidance on how to choose lamp based on these parameters.

More energy savings and fewer costs

The info graphic shows the energy savings and consumption of different types of light bulbs. Column 1 stands for conventional incandescent bulbs, column 2 and 3 for C- and B-class improved incandescent bulbs (with integrated halogen capsules), column 4 for compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs) and column 5 for light-emitting diodes (LEDs).

Comparison of the energy saving potential of different bulb technologies

Due to the lower electricity consumption of the energy efficient alternatives, an average household's total electricity bill will be reduced by up to 15%. This is equal to a net saving of between 25 and 50 € per year, depending on the size of the household and on the number and type of lighting used.

Setting new energy efficiency requirements for light bulbs will save every year over 40 billion kilowatt hours by 2020 – the equivalent of 11 million European household’s electricity consumption for the same period. Crucially, it will lead to a reduction of up to 15 million tons of CO2 emissions annually.