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EU Ban on Halogen Light Bulbs Takes Effect this September

A ban on halogen light bulbs will go into effect in the European Union on September 1, 2018, encouraging consumers across Europe to switch over to the more energy-efficient light-emitting diodes, or LEDs.

According to the Guardian, “capsules, linear, and low voltage” halogens used in oven lights will still be permitted, and stores can sell whatever halogen bulbs they still have in stock. But all of Europe is otherwise going green: Classic halogen light bulb may no longer be brought to market once the ban takes effect.

The policy was first announced in 2009, with a phase-out of halogens to be completed by September 2016, but to give consumers more time to switch their bulbs, the measure was delayed until this year, EcoWatch reports.

LEDs are more costly upfront but use five times less energy than halogens and tend to have a longer lifespan, according to the European Commission. The EC also says making the switch to LEDs will save around €115 (about $133) over the bulb’s lifetime, and pay back its cost within a year. “Savings will increase further by 2018 with lower LED prices and a better LED performance,” it added.

There will be environmental savings as well. According to a CNN report, Anna-Kaisa Itkonen, the European Commission spokeswoman for climate action and energy, said the switch to LEDs will “save 15.2 million tons of CO² emissions by 2025.”

“This is the equivalent to the emissions generated by around 2 million people per year,” she added. “This is a significant contribution to the fight against climate change.”

Despite these benefits, there are some who feel the upfront cost of LEDs is too great.

“The EU’s attempt to ban halogen bulbs is wrong because consumers will suffer financially and it’s always the poorest who suffer most from these kinds of policies,” Jonathan Bullock, the UK Independence Party spokesman in the European parliament, told the Guardian. “Customers should have the freedom of choice in bulbs and it shouldn’t be imposed by the EU.”