Bye-bye light bulb – new EU directive will benefit consumers and the environment

Jan. 1, 2009
Date Announced: 01 Jan 2009 -- EU directive gives Europe’s consumers clear guidance for purchasing new lamps -- Gradual phase-out gives consumers and manufacturer maximum security -- Lighting industry ideally prepared for the change of technologyNow that the EU directive on lighting products in private households has been passed the lights will never go out in Europe’s houses and apartments. The new directive provides for a graduated schedule starting on September 1, 2009 and ending in 2016 in which consumers will say goodbye to incandescent lamps and other lighting products that are heavy users of electricity. In this transition phase, Europe’s consumers will have the security of always being able to find suitable alternatives. The future belongs to energy-saving lamps, halogen lamps and LEDs – the technology of tomorrow.From September 1, 2009 the first lamps will disappear from the shelves. These will be incandescent lamps of more than 80 W and frosted lamps that are not in EEI category A. Further lamps and wattages will then come under the terms of the ban in 12-month stages until in September 2012 all lamps down to 7 W will disappear.Martin Goetzeler, CEO of OSRAM said: “The new EU directive is good news for consumers and the environment. The 8-year transition phase will ensure that energy-efficient lamps of the highest quality will be available as replacements for all standard applications, holders, shapes and wattages. The directive is a strong signal that the EU is serious about climate protection.”Consumers cannot get things wrongConsumers cannot get things wrong when buying lamps. Retailers and manufacturers are responsible for ensuring that only approved lamps are made available to purchase. The information on the packaging will gain in importance. The EU directive will make this information be uniform throughout Europe as part of consumer protection. It will provide consumers with more and more help in selecting the right lamp. “OSRAM will give consumers first-class guidance in choosing the right lamp. Since August we have been using easy-to-understand pictograms on our energy-saving lamp packages showing the light color, lifetime and which wattage should be chosen to replace which conventional incandescent lamp. After all, we want to make the changeover as easy for the consumer as possible. OSRAM is pleased that household lighting is at the heart of this new directive”, said Martin Goetzeler.Replacing incandescent lamps pays for itselfThe new EU directive merely regulates retail sales. Consumers may still use light bulbs, which are already in use at their home, and must not replace those as of September 1, 2009 – even though they would save money by doing so. Energy-efficient products are more expensive to buy but they pay for themselves in most cases after only one year because of the much lower electricity costs. The new EU directive also defines new quality requirements for the benefit of consumers.If you want to know how much electricity and money you san save with which lamp, and which lamp is best for which purpose you should visit OSRAM’s virtual light house at

Lars Stühlen, OSRAM GmbH Tel: +49 (89) 6213-2597 Fax: +49 (89) 6213-3457