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The ban on incandescent bulbs begins in Europe, Australia and Cuba

The debate on how to save the environment has been going on for decades. Recently, new restrictions have been going into effect across most of the European Union in an endeavor to cut greenhouse emissions. The sale of incandescent bulbs has been banned across Europe. This is the continent’s latest effort to get people to save energy and fight global warming.


Restricted from selling incandescent bulbs, companies in Europe now have to switch to the new compact fluorescent lamps, which use up to 80 percent less energy and do not burn out as quickly. According to James Kanter from the New York Times, “A bulb can cost €10 ($14 USD) or more, depending on type — whereas traditional incandescent bulbs cost about 70 cents each. But E.U. officials argue that the energy savings would cut average household electricity bills by up to €50 a year, amounting to about €5 billion annually. That would help buoy the economy if consumers spent their savings.”


Why the ban on incandescent bulbs?

The reason for the ban is the E.U.’s goal of cutting greenhouse gas emissions by 20 percent by 2020. The E.U. is implementing new energy-efficient ways to save the environment. Everything from televisions to washing machines are starting to be made with this in mind. The E.U. is not the only country banning incandescent light bulbs. Australia has already introduced the new light bulbs and Cuba is only using compact fluorescent bulbs. In the United States, incandescent bulbs are planned to be phased out in 2012.


James Kanter says: “E.U. officials sought to reassure consumers that they still would have plenty of choice, and that the changes would be gradual. The clear 60-watt bulb, one of the most commonly used, would remain available until at least September 2011, and clear 40-watt bulbs until 2012. E.U. officials said that they would find ways to push the industry to reduce the amount of mercury to levels around 2 milligrams per bulb from the current level of 5 milligrams per bulb.” But WWF, an environmental group, says standard halogen bulbs should also have been removed from the market. “Getting rid of incandescent bulbs is a no-brainer, but halogens are nearly as wasteful,” said Mariangiola Fabbri, a senior energy policy officer for WWF.


For over 10 years The Exit Light Company has carried environmentally friendly products, most of which use LED lights that are even more efficient than fluorescent bulbs. Many of the products meet or exceed ENERGY STAR guidelines. All of the exit signs have an input power demand of 5 watts or less per face. The LED Retrofit Kits convert older exit signs which utilize incandescent bulbs into vastly more energy-efficient LED lighting. We ship our products using packaging made from 100% recycled polystyrene that meets Green Cross certification standards for post and pre-consumer waste content. The Exit Light Company not only has their customers in mind but the environment as well.