Lights out for a bit of electrical history

Incandenscent Light Bulb

Incandescent Light Bulb

1 September 2009 marked the beginning of the end for the incandescent light bulb in Europe, curtesy of the Ecodesign for Non-Directional Household Lamps Regulation, after 130 years.

The Regulation is not for the faint-hearted, being a heavily technical document.  So much so that a handy “translation” has been prepared for MPs by a House of Commons Library Note.

From 1 September 2009, it should not be possible to obtain an 80W or higher wattage incandescent light bulb in the UK.

What makes this Regulation slightly more interesting from a legal point of view is that it was made by the Commission under an enabling power included in Directive 2005/32/EC.  Under the Directive the European Parliament and Council have handed over power to the Commission to set ecodesign requirements for a wide range of energy-using products by way of a Commission regulation.  A Commission regulation has direct effect on member states, ie no national legislation is required for the regulation to be effective and enforceable.

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