Phase-out of Incandescent Light Bulbs

Phase-out Of Incandescent Light Bulbs

Governments around the world have passed measures to phase out incandescent light bulbs for general lighting, to encourage the use of more energy-efficient lighting alternatives. Phase-out regulations effectively ban the manufacture, importation or sale of current incandescent light bulbs for general lighting. The regulations would allow sale of future versions of incandescent bulbs if they are sufficiently energy efficient.

Brazil and Venezuela started the phase-out in 2005, and the European Union, Switzerland, and Australia started to phase them out in 2009. Likewise, other nations are implementing new energy standards or have scheduled phase-outs: Argentina, Russia, and Canada in 2012, and the United States and Malaysia in 2014.

Objections to replacement of incandescent lamps for general lighting include the higher purchase cost of efficient replacements, and the different quality of light produced by phosphor-based lamps compared to incandescent lamps. Compact fluorescent lamps start poorly when very cold, and most types cannot be dimmed. A few specialist applications are unsuitable for CFLs.

Resistance can also arise because some say that the free market is preferable to regulation, while others say that only government intervention will improve energy efficiency. There are also environmental concerns about mercury contamination with CFLs.

To mitigate the effects of these concerns, various programs have been put in place ranging from subsidies for lamps to improved standards for measurement of performance and for labelling products. Manufacturers develop fluoresent lamps with reduced mercury content compared to original designs, and recycling programs are intended to prevent mercury release. New lamp types offer improved starting characteristics, and dimmable types are available.

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