2 Sep 2009

EU bans old-fashioned light bulbs

7:19 am on 2 September 2009

A European Union ban on the manufacture and import of 100-watt and frosted incandescent light bulbs, in use since the 19th century, is now in force.

The BBC reports they are being phased out to encourage a switch to more energy-efficient fluorescent or halogen lamps, which use up to 80% less electricity.

Critics say the new bulbs are gloomy and can trigger headaches and rashes in people with light sensitive disorders.

Clear bulbs will be progressively banned until all traditional bulbs disappear from shops across Europe in 2012.

The new rules follow an agreement reached by the 27 EU governments last year.