As of today, it's going to be a whole lot harder to get your hands on a standard incandescent bulb in Europe. In an effort to improve energy efficiency by 20 percent by the year 2020, the European Union has mandated that factories must cease the production of frosted incandescents and 100-watt clear bulbs. The new, more energy-efficient bulbs consume up to 80 percent less energy.
These traditional bulbs will be restocked with halogen and CFL bulbs over the next few years. As of 2012, energy-efficient bulbs will be the only lighting available in Europe.
To hear about the controversy surrounding the switch,
However, if you're a fan of the energy-sucking bulbs, you can still buy them in stores where the bulbs are already in stock. Apparently some Europeans have been busy hording the 100-watt bulbs, preferring the traditional bulbs for their color and light quality, or even for health reasons. Migraine sufferers have said that the lighting exacerbates their headaches. In addition, epileptics have also said that the energy-efficient bulbs exacerbate their seizures, and object to the change.
While CFLs have improved greatly in light quality throughout the years, many people still believe that the light quality is very poor, even though a Popular Mechanics study actually showed that CFLs performed incandescents in overall light quality.
If you're a European reader, have you been affected by this change? Are you hording traditional bulbs, or are you a CFL convert? And if this same ban occurred in the United States, how do you think Americans would react?