Advocates of Brexit dreamed of a UK free of EU regulatory control. Now that the dream is a reality, what affect might it have on the lighting industry and, in particular, bulbs?
A short history of light bulbs in the EU
The EU agreed to a progressive phase-out of incandescent light bulbs by 2012. First in the firing line were general-purpose, non-directional bulbs (so not reflector bulbs or special purpose bulbs – including those used in household appliances, traffic lights, infrared heaters and automotive lighting). In September 2009, frosted incandescent bulbs, and those over 100W, were the first to be banned. Others, including lower wattages, followed at the end of 2012. Some incandescent bulbs, marketed as ‘rough-service’ or ‘shock-resistant’, are exempt.
Halogen bulbs were given more time, with phase-out set for 2016. They are governed by two directives: EC 244/2009 and EC 1194/2012. Directive EC 1194/2012 applies to directional lamps, which are due for phase-out this month, September. So it’s goodbye to those old stalwarts, GU10 and MR16 halogen, among others. Directive EC 244/2009 applies to non-directional lamps and was originally planned to start this month too, but it has been delayed until September 2018.
Could Brexit be the saviour of some halogens?
So might Brexit offer a reprieve in the UK for the remaining halogen lamps due for the chop in 2018? These include G4 capsules and ‘energy saver’ GLS / decorative bulbs. As a non-EU country, the UK would not be compelled to comply with phasing them out, but it doesn’t mean we shouldn’t. The LIA seem to be in favour of the phase-out. The timing of Brexit is a factor, of course, but if the UK were to have the opportunity to retain these bulbs, should we take it? Share your thoughts with us.
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