This month — October 2018 — is the last one you’re likely to be able to go into a shop in the EU and walk out with a halogen lightbulb.
Back in the days when the UK was a sane and balanced nation, we were at the forefront of European legislation committed to achieving worthy objectives in the fight against climate change.
First they came for your incandescent bulbs. These were phased out initially in 2009, and were gone by 2012.
In 2016, the phased removal of halogens began. This is a further EU-wide effort to improve energy efficiency and cut carbon emissions. From 1 September 2018, shops have been able to sell their existing stock but can’t order any more. So if you’ve a soft spot for halogens, this is your last chance to stock up before they disappear for ever.
But why would you?
We are now switching to LED lights; these cost more to buy but last five to ten times longer and use much less electricity than the energy-gobbling halogens.
The EU estimates that switching from an average halogen lamp to an energy-efficient LED would save each customer at least 115 Euro over the lifetime of the bulb, which would pay back its cost in 12-18 months.
Getting quite giddy with excitement, the EU reckons we’ll all save the electricity consumption of Portugal over five years.
That’s a reduction of 3.4 million tonnes of CO2 emissions every year, which can only be a good thing for polar bears.
Of course, there were the usual professional moaners who got incandescent (ha ha) with rage over the whole LED initiative (“Typical EU meddling” etc) but let them rage unnoticed. If they want to pay higher energy bills, they will. If they want to return to the good old days of lighting their houses with candles and oil lamps, too, they are more than welcome.
The rest of us? Welcome to the future. Make room for that bear.