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China To Phase Out Incandescent Light Bulbs

Over the next 10 years, China, which makes 70 percent of the world’s lightbulbs, has agreed to phase out incandescent bulbs in favor of more energy-efficient ones through a program backed by the Global Environment Facility, Reuters reports.

The switch could mitigate 500 million tonnes of carbon dioxide annually, equal to about half the climate-warming emissions of Germany.

China is the first developing country to agree to join this program, said Monique Barbut, chief executive officer of the Global Environment Facility. The Facility will invest about $25 million for the Chinese program.

Other countries including Mexico, Indonesia, Venezuela and Costa Rica may join in future, Barbut said.

With a current trust fund of about $3.2 billion, the Washington, D.C.-based Global Environment Facility is the financial arm for international intergovernmental agreements on biodiversity, climate change and persistent organic pollutants, according to Reuters.
In March, EU leaders decided that The European Union’s 490 million citizens will have to use energy-efficient lighting by the end of the decade.

Australia has announced it would phase out incandescents and Greenpeace has asked India to follow Australia’s lead.

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16 thoughts on “China To Phase Out Incandescent Light Bulbs

  1. This an excellent notice but the prices for the new savings lapms must to be cheaper due the adquisition level of the poor people don’t you think ?

  2. Once again, the media, activists, and masses drive an absolute decision that doesn’t support all needs. I use CFLs when appropriate. But there are cases when incandescents are more appropriate and more energy efficient. Example, incandescents can be run at lower levels when lesser light levels are needed.

  3. There is no getting around the fact that a room is not adequately lit when you change to CFLs. This is especially important as all humans age and need more light to be able to do normal human tasks — such as read, sew, etc. In Industrial applications, CFLs in inspection areas will be a disaster

  4. Perhaps CFLs aren’t the best choice for all applications currently, but it’s reasonable to expect that the technology will continue to evolve. (eg. I see an ad at the top of this page for dimmable CFLs, created with a “new technology”). At the point that we must use CFLs to satisfy all our lighting needs, someone will almost certainly find a way to make them brighter, dimmer, bigger, smaller- whatever is required.

  5. What plans are being made for the safe disposal of the CFLs? I hear that they contain small amounts of mercury. That could become a real problem with so many bulbs in use.

  6. In the US, 48 Tons of Mercury are emitted from coal burning power plants every year (Wikipedia). This is the equivalent to the mercury in 8,708,973,600 CFL light bulbs (GE). In the US, that is 29 CFLs per person. Most CFL have a lifespan with a life span of 5 years or more. If we switch to CFL using 75% less energy than conventional light bulbs, we could greatly reduce the amount of mercury entering the environment.

    For round numbers, imagine 48 Tons x 5 years x 0.75 = 180 Tons of mercury!

    Safe disposal is a concern and most of the mercury can be recycled from the CFLs with the right programs. Call your congressman and support the appropriate legislation for regulation.

    I find that CFLs tend to be too bright. If they have any downside, they take a minute to warm up. The lamps are cheaper in the long run but it certainly would help if they cheaper at the store.

  7. Way to go ZZZ, you can show them who’s boss. Better stock up while you can! Personally, I think anyone who hasn’t switched is living in the dark ages. When I switched, my electric bill went down dramatically, thankyouverymuch.

  8. Hi

    I swapped over to Compact Flouros some years ago, but am largely phasing them out now. Firstly because the life is typically pathetic as is the light output. (not to mention the deplorable power factor and disposal problem).

    I’m back yo using halogen bulbs plus as I can afford it LEDs. Its unlikely there is any real economic benefit in such choices but effectiveness, esthetics and convenience are really the issue.

  9. What I don’t like is the fact that the useful life of compact flouros is greatly reduced if you turn them on for short periods of time. CFLs are good in rooms where you leave the lights on for long periods of time…but what about closets? Or my basement when I am just going down to get something out? I put an LED light in my basement so that I can get my bicycle out in the morning without turning on the main light.

  10. CFL are a scam. they dont last nearly as much as advertised, in fact, they last less than a decent incandescent bulb because after some time the amount of light emitted is so pathetic they must be replaced, so overall they are a lot worse worse than IB, which until they die emit the same amount of light.
    and the quality of the light emitted is also bad, requiring bulbs with wattage similar to that of a IB. in all apllications where lights are switched on only for short times (like a bathroom) they are utterly useless and even antieconomic, the continuois cycling kills them very quickly, so bad light, low light, and even short life.
    IB banning is a ridicolous scam, and CFL are another scam too.
    i have used CFL since they were available first, but their use is limited to applications where they are kept on almost continually, for the rest, they are truly useless.

  11. as for those who claim reduction in electricity consumption, you must have hallucinations. the amount of energy used in an house for lighting is very small, perhaps 10% or less of the total, using CFL will reduce power consumption by some small amount, and probably wont even cover the higher cost of the device.
    do some tests and see for yourself

  12. CFLs are not a scam. They pay for themselves very quickly, especially with today’s low store prices. And they save energy – period. That’s an unbeatable combination: saving energy AND saving $. Furthermore, the 2007 comment by Andy is correct: using CFLs reduces the amount of mercury released into the environment, even if the CFLs are never recycled properly. So it’s really a win, win, win situation to switch to CFLs over incandescents.

    Eric, Hanach, and gianmarko – I don’t know what you’ve been using, but my CFLs tend to last a very long time indeed – ten times longer than equivalent incandescents. I’ve measured thieir lifetimes vs. incandescents, so this number is a hard fact, not some uninformed estimate. And the light output is excellent.

    Until LEDs come down enough in price, and come up enough in terms of light output and durability, CFLs are definitely the way to go.

  13. Environmental comparisons be darned. At my age I need the help of incandescent lighting to look my best on those (rare) romantic evenings. Also on the age thing, I need about a 20,000 w bulb just to have enough light to find the bathroom. Listen up all you legislators, think I’m jesting? Wait ’till you’re my age. You’ll wish you had let the light bulb thing alone.

  14. S.F. Williamson: CFLs provide basically the equivalent light output of the incandescents they are meant to replace. And the color of their light output can be matched closely to incandescents as well.

    If you need a bright light, purchase a CFL that has a high lumen output. They are readily available, and you’ll find the bathroom with no problem.

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