RIP the lightbulb. All for your own good.
Did you know the traditional lightbulb is dead? As of 1 September, the EU banned manufacture and import of ordinary incandescent bulbs for domestic use for ALL bulbs (previously it was only high-wattage ones that were persona non grata). Of course, this is all in the name of energy and money saving, but are the EU actually doing us any good?
No-one (go on- prove me wrong in the comments) is arguing that the newer style bulbs are more energy-efficient, but given that DECC estimates suggest only 26% of lighting is domestic (as opposed to commercial or street lighting), is coercing poor little householders into buying new bulbs really the best way to go?
And what about saving money? The popular compact fluorescent bulbs use about 80% less energy, but given the average person’s bill for lighting is around £77, surely it would cost more to replace all incandescent bulbs with energy-savers anyway?
At first, this is true, and the energy savings in the first year are likely to be lower than the additional cost of replacing the bulbs, even despite the fact that the energy-saving bulbs have come down in price over the past few years. But the real advantage is that you can then forget about your lightbulbs for years, as the energy-saving ones last between 8 and 15 times as long.
There are also new LED energy saving bulbs on the market. More expensive than the fluorescent ones, they are even more energy efficient and long-lasting. While replacing one bulb might save you £4 a year in energy costs, over its lifetime, the saving would be a massive £70. This means you could actually die before you need to replace the bulb.
And some reports suggest that domestic lighting use is way behind commercial and governmental use. Many commercial businesses, with much larger lighting bills, have already switched and are now reaping the financial rewards, and even some councils are replacing their standard street lighting with fancy new LED lights.
So is this EU meddling, or, like a beneficient parent, are the Eurocrats just trying to help us for our own good? Are you rushing out to buy up all remaining stock of traditional bulbs at your local lightbulb retailer? With Christmas rushing worryingly near, does this mean the death of the fairy light?