Tuesday, 1 September 2009

There is a light that never goes out

So it seems that conventional 100W light bulbs will no longer be sold in the UK from today. An EU directive requires that these are phased out, and that only low-energy equivalents are sold. Some complain that low-energy bulbs cause migraines and eczema, whilst other bemoan that fact that they take a few seconds to warm up and give a decent light. The Daily Wail, in a typical fit of outrage, even gave away 25,000 conventional light bulbs in protest (for which, read cheap trick to increase circulation) at "further European intervention in British affairs". People have been stockpiling. Yes, really.

The fact remains though that the average energy-saving bulb uses 80% less electricity than an incandescent bulb, and could save the average household £590 in energy over its lifetime of eight to ten years. What's more, if all traditional bulbs across the country were replaced, the carbon saving could be the equivalent of taking 70,000 cars off the road. This is pretty substantial, wouldn't you say?

They're not even expensive any more either. I was in Homebase over the weekend, and they were selling low-energy bulbs for 99p each or, incredibly, three for £1. Who, given this offer, would only buy one?

Anyway, bye-bye incandescent light bulbs, you won't really be missed. Except by the Daily Wail.

Footnote: the title of this post? A song of sublime beauty by The Smiths.