The EU has now followed the US and Australia in coming up with plans to ban incandescent lightbulbs in favor of more efficient bulbs, such as compact fluorescent bulbs or LED-based lighting. I understand why these bans are being put in place. The incandescent bulbs are inefficient and wasteful, and the thinking is that forcing the move to CFLs or other types of bulbs will be good for the environment.
However, this doesn’t take into account the unintended consequences of this move. Already, there’s been a big push to move people to CFLs, and that’s created a situation where the makers of CFLs have worked hard to improve the quality of the bulbs (a big complaint) as well as add in features that used to not be found in CFLs, such as dimming. It’s also pushed the makers of CFLs to find efficiencies by which they can make the bulbs cheaper. They’re doing this because they know they need to compete with incandescent bulbs — and in many cases it’s working.
Yet, banning incandescents from the market place means that the makers of CFLs now have a lot less competition.
Incandescent bulbs are likely to be replaced by CFL and LED lights, but banning them will only delay the time it takes for the other technologies to get better.