by , 12/10/07

IRELAND BANS INCANDESCENT LIGHT BULBS, Ireland Bans Tungsten Light Bulbs, John Gormley, Greenpeace, Environmental Policy, Energy Efficient lighting, Ban on incandescent light bulbs

In a bold and laudable move, Ireland has just announced plans to ban the sale of incandescent light-bulbs by the year 2009. This makes it the first European nation to outlaw the old energy hogging bulbs.

John Gormley, the Minister for the Department of the Environment states: “The aim of such a move will be to end the use of incandescent light bulbs in Ireland. These bulbs use technology invented during the age of the steam engine. By getting rid of these bulbs we will save 700,000 tons of carbon dioxide emissions every year. It has been estimated that consumers will save €185 million in electricity costs every year as a result of the measure.”

All old incandescent light bulbs will be phased out of the Irish market starting in January 2009. As incandescent bulbs break, Irish citizens will have to replace them with more energy efficient options such as Compact Fluorescent Light (CFL) bulbs.


Let’s step it up US!

+ Ireland bans incandescent bulbs

Via EETimes

Related Posts


or your inhabitat account below


  1. Adnan May 10, 2010 at 9:26 pm

    i m intrested plz contact +920321-9796384

  2. peter42y December 26, 2008 at 8:09 pm

    the banning of incandescent light is the most STUPID MEASURE in the last century. I am shortsighted . Actually I am almost blind of one eye and I have myopi in the other. I noticed neon lights are much more stressfull for the eyes. They are worse for the eyes. There is a reason people do not stop using incandescent lights. Incandescent lights are better for the eyes.
    They are going to save a couple of killowats of energy and screw up the eyes of millions.
    Thats what I call a smart move.
    They should leave people the option to use the kind of light they feel more confortable with.
    They should not mess with people sight.
    For me it is hard to read with neon light .
    Eyes hurt.
    That does not happen with incandescent light.

  3. lawsuvfreedumb April 21, 2008 at 11:13 pm

    Government, please stay out of my light fixtures.

  4. henryv April 14, 2008 at 7:05 pm

    News for all is that there are now available dimmable cfls and most modern low energy lamps are being made without mercury.They are also instant start and are virtualy the same in light terms as incans with the addition of coloured outer lenses.Sceptics prepare to see the light !

  5. I HATE COMMUNISM January 26, 2008 at 11:51 pm

    THIS IS REDICULOUS i am tired of the government telling me what i can and CANNOT buy. i will be one of the first to smuggle normal light bulbs out of mexico. this is horrible some people cant be around flourescent light bulbs and they go into seizures. personally they hurt my eyes and i am on a mission to not use those light bulbs. do some research on this topic it ONLY will save 0.14% of the national energy consumption. is that really enough to justify a law to control people? most people buy flourscents anyways so it makes no sense to live in a world with so few freedoms that u cant find nomral light bulbs!!!!!!!!! i am extremly angry about this subject. i hope someone agrees

  6. Fred December 28, 2007 at 12:01 am

    Well, incandescents are now outlawed in the USA, as many now know. I’m for energy efficiency, but I refuse to own CFLs. Why? The light is of poorer quality, they emit RF radiation, cannot be dimmed, have a turn-on delay, and contain mercury. As an engineer, I’ll wait for LED lamps.

    On an unrelated note, please, pah leese, stop with the politics. Most of the time, the reporting we hear from our media is so biased that we can’t rely only on what we hear from such sources to base our facts and form opinions. Start seeking truth, people.

  7. philip December 18, 2007 at 7:06 pm

    Why didnt you use a picture of an Irish light bulb .
    This one is an American type that screws in In Ireland they use(used) pusht wist type

  8. Scott December 18, 2007 at 2:34 pm

    When incandescents are outlawed, only outlaws will have incandescents. I see a big future in bringing black market lightbulbs to the EU.

    I for one prefer to save my energy in other ways than living under the pallid glow of office lighting. Even the so called “warm white” CFLs make me feel like I’m living in a bunker. And the CFLs I’ve put on porch fixtures take about 15 minutes to come up to full output (by which time I’ve already been back inside for 14 minutes), and they invariably fail after a few months, presumably due to the cold. And then I’ve got to make a special trip to recycle them.

    A tyranny of well meaning do-gooders is still tyranny.

  9. Jeff December 15, 2007 at 5:49 pm

    lolyearight: who uses artificial light in the summer? not me.

    In midwinter (when it’s dark at 4) the last thing I want to be looking at is flourescent light (ick)… I would bet that most of you guys are students, and only sit under fluorescents for a couple hours a day. I’m chained to my desk for most of the daylight hours under those bloodsuckers, and I like a bit of respite at home.

    Banning incandescents is pure foolishness. If they were so great, people would switch voluntarily, but everyone I know has hung onto at least a couple incandescents. I have them everywhere in the house except the living room where I read and two 40 watts in the bedside lamps — btw, it’s a bad idea to have CFLs too close to your head – the EM radiation (within a foot or two) can cause cancer (same as cellphones)…

    I don’t have to point out that a ban is pure foolishness from an environmental standpoint, since the number of energy-sucking appliances in people’s homes is rising rapidly anyway. I call shenanigans – pure political grandstanding, which will of course backfire when everyone blames environmentalists for making their homes feel like hospitals.

    /rant – sorry.

  10. lolyearight December 15, 2007 at 12:56 pm

    Hardly. Which do you think would be better for the environment?
    A: Burning X for heat, using the heat to spin a turbine for power, then shoving that power through a lossy line to a heater.
    B: Burning X for hear, then using that heat directly.

    Generating power from fossil fuels is inefficient. Most of the time you can expect efficiencies of 30-35%, with the best plants clocking in at 40-50%. Then factor in a 5-15% loss in power from line resistance. Since most of the world’s power comes from coal, you end up with a very inefficient heat source.

    Unless you were getting your power from a clean source (Which you aren’t) you are producing more pollution from electric heat than from oil heat.

    Aside from that, incandescents don’t provide any boost to efficiency due to the simple fact that the heat they produce must be removed when it’s not needed – such as in the summer.

  11. Mike Forde December 13, 2007 at 6:12 pm

    Andrew Young what do you mean by “It’s the whole of the UK not just Ireland”

    Ireland isint in the Uk,It gained indepedance in 1921.Northern Ireland is in the Uk.This article is refering to the Republic of Ireland.

  12. pahl December 13, 2007 at 5:31 pm

    @ james and LED fans
    im not entirely sure that led fixture offer the ‘thrown light’ qualities that incandesent and flouresent offer, they are good at apearing bright, however at the moment they are horible at lighting something up.

  13. SeanR December 13, 2007 at 8:17 am

    The practical point is that many households don’t have light fittings that can accommodate the new bulbs, and so there will be much resistance (pardon the pun) to this – particularly when Ireland’s health system is shambolic and women are unable to get accurate checks for the breast cancer epidemic here. Light bulb changes seem not so important in the round.

    The Greens were not able to insist on much of their policies (for example on gay marriage) being included i the coalition government, so before you all start congratulating Ireland, it is well to be reminded how this govt is plagued by political corruption and may not last too long.

  14. Sebas... December 12, 2007 at 1:28 pm

    Go ahead!

  15. Kat December 12, 2007 at 5:10 am

    future generations are going to wonder what that strangely-shaped thing is that appers above old cartoon characters’ heads.

  16. Dave Nofmeister December 11, 2007 at 11:46 pm

    I like how they will get people to convert to a better energy source, its so easy. Just stop stocking it. No one gets stuck with old inventory they cannot sell, and eventually the technology gets phased in in just a few years. It’s a great political way to get the goal achieved.

  17. Jeff December 11, 2007 at 3:13 pm

    I can’t help but think this is all a bit premature… Sure flourescents have their place, but the light is awful (before you go lecturing me about how much they’ve improved – they’re still awful).

    But who needs light bulbs at all any more? I haven’t turned on the light in my living room since I got my new big ‘ss TV…

  18. shadedmagus December 11, 2007 at 1:34 pm

    @ Bill Vincent:


    Right now the US Administration is a pirate organization, doing what it wants without regard to the responsibility its machinery owes to the US constituency. The fact that no one has been impeached yet is proof that it has no regard for the laws it claims to cherish.

    We the People are, in the main, in support of responsible stewardship. Don’t tar us with the same brush these fatheads deserve.

  19. Annie December 11, 2007 at 1:14 pm

    @ Nick Simpson
    @ Bill Vincent

    As a Canadian, I too fervently hope the action of “our” government at this conference (and on climate change and environmental issues in general) is not seen as representative of the wishes of Canada’s people. This Conservative (obviously “big C”, not “small c”) government’s position is anathema to the majority of Canadians who understand that without a functioning biosphere, no profits of any sort can be extracted. We cannot ignore that Stephen Harper’s government’s position is morally untenable and tacitly condones the inevitable environmental/climate genocides to come as an acceptable cost of doing business and generating so-called “wealth”.

  20. Andrew Young December 11, 2007 at 7:46 am

    It’s the whole of the UK not just Ireland

    1. The Government has proposed, as an illustrative schedule for the phase out of inefficient lamps, that retailers might want to follow:
    By January 2008, cease replacing stock of all inefficient (General Lighting Service, GLS) A-shaped incandescent lamps of energy rating higher than 100W (predominantly 150W lamps).
    By January 2009, cease selling all inefficient GLS A-shaped lamps of energy rating higher than 60W (predominantly 150W lamps, 100W lamps, plus some 75W lamps)
    By January 2010, cease selling all GLS A-shaped lamps of efficacy of energy rating higher than 40W (predominantly 60W lamps)
    By 31 December 2011, cease selling all remaining inefficient GLS A-shaped lamps and 60W “candle” and “golfball” lamps. (predominantly 40W and 25W A-shaped GLS bulbs, and 60W candles and golfballs).
    At the moment, we expect candles and golfballs, tungsten halogen lamps and lamps supplied with non-lighting electrical appliances to remain on sale, because suitable energy-efficient alternatives do not currently exist.

  21. Bela December 11, 2007 at 6:24 am

    Incandescent lightbulbs are NOT the work of the devil, and going to CFL won’t reduce emissions IF YOU LIVE IN A COLD COUNTRY! If you need to heat up your house, which I suspect they do in Ireland many months of the year, the energy lost from the incandescent lightbulbs will help in heating up your house, using electricity, instead of burning coal or gas or other such POLLUTING energy sources. God, this CFL bandwagon irritates me to no end.

  22. Nick Simpson December 11, 2007 at 4:17 am

    Bill, fair enough, it must be incredibly frustrating to live in a country led by a moron that you disagree with so strongly and who you know is causing huge environmental, social and political problems. I know that there are many, many Americans who are hugely environmentally aware.

    Although you have to accept the fact that Bush was elected by the American people. Obviously there will always be the issue of the first election, the chads etc, but when it seemed entirely clear to everyone that the guy was a maniac, he managed to get comfortably re-elected. Hence I have very little faith that the US will elect a new president with any interest in the environment, social justice etc…

    I’m not being anti-American, I have American friends, but there seems to be two Americas, one of which is populated by complete idiots…

  23. Bill Vincent December 11, 2007 at 12:49 am

    @Nick Simpson

    Not the “US”. The “US Government and Bush”. Our Government is acting completely independent of the wishes of it’s people. Anyone who tries to fight it is branded a traitor. Please don’t think we’re all idiots simply because our Government is populated with greedy tyrannical lunatics.
    Most people I talk to are fervently in support of the Bali talks.

  24. Bill Vincent December 11, 2007 at 12:45 am

    Way premature. There have been some studies on the CFLs vs the incands, and many suggest that considering the mercury content, significantly higher manufacturing resources needed, and the fact that CFLs cannot be used in many types of fixtures, we may actually be taking a step BACK, as far as the environment is concerned.

  25. karolis December 10, 2007 at 9:56 pm

    Yes, very nice move, except that these fluorescent bulbs contains mercury and there is no scientific prove that these bulbs are harmless. Some late researches even discovered the cancer probability.

    Now, imagine millions of people having a risk of cancer…. They should invest money into LED technologies, that are more efficient and really more green, because fluorescent bulbs are already the past.

  26. Paul Guise December 10, 2007 at 9:13 pm

    This is an encouraging step forward for environmental concerns. CFL negatives aside, they are far more popular now then they were even 5 years ago. I really hope the rest of the planet (especially the USA) will follow, perhaps not exactly as Ireland has, but at least taken steps in the same direction.

  27. fsn December 10, 2007 at 8:50 pm

    @ Jason

    They are not encouraging green energy, they are forcing it.

    @ Rajesh

    I thought that dictatorship and forcing people to do things is taking a step back. In 5 years when everyone has to start replacing their CFLs I wonder how many will break and how much mercury will be released into the environment. How much are we really saving?

  28. jason December 10, 2007 at 11:49 am

    I have been buyimg these lights (CFL) for a couple of years and love them. I did only become aware of the toxic and mercury in there makeup only recently however, and have to tell you that current packaging is a problem. I have had at least 3 broken in their packages and blame the simple contured plastic as the cause. These lights should in the very leat get the same cardboard shaped treatment as normal lights.

    I am also from Canada and have to say that we have a planned ban on normal light bulbs set for 2012 (or earlier not sure). Its good to see governments encouraging green energy, but I too would love to see cheaper LED technology.

  29. Rajesh December 10, 2007 at 11:17 am

    Big step for the future of nature & mankind. All developed countries should follow this step.

  30. Nick Simpson December 10, 2007 at 9:28 am

    True, but this is a great step in the right direction. Assuming Merkel gets her way (which more often than not I hope she does) the rest of the EU won’t be far behind.

    Few other bits of news – the Conservative Party over here in the UK has pledged to start providing a viable tariff for renewables selling electricity back to the grid, just like the Germans have been doing for years. Hopefully the Labour Government will take this one on and adopt it asap, it’s a no-brainer at the end of the day if you want to promote the uptake of renewables.

    Oh, and the US has already begun trying to derail the climate change talks in Bali. Unbelievable.

  31. Andy Merrett December 10, 2007 at 9:24 am

    Agreed James.

    But still, woo-hoo, let’s hear it for bulbs with mercury in!

  32. James December 10, 2007 at 3:30 am

    Would be even better if the country truly pioneered and pushed the envelope, and gave some kind of incentive (tax break or something) for citizens to use LED lights instead of flourescents.

  • Read Inhabitat

  • Search Categories

  • Recent Posts

  • Recent Comments

  • Browse by Keyword

get the free Inhabitat newsletter

Submit this form
popular today
all time
most commented
more popular stories >
more popular stories >
more popular stories >
Federated Media Publishing - Home