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A traditional light bulb. Pic: Chuck Coker
A Lichfield councillor has raised concerns over the decision to axe the traditional light bulb. Staffordshire County Councillor Matthew Ellis (Cons, Lichfield Rural East) has joined those criticising the move. Writing on his blog, Cllr Ellis said:
“I’ve been to a number of events recently and met people with a wide range of disabilities and one thing has been the bone of contention for people with sight problems – the decision to ban the use of the traditional type of light bulb, starting off with the 100watt. “It really is a worry for those who already struggle to see properly. Many have said to me how important it is to them to be able to read in the evenings but their experience of the new low energy light bulbs has been anything but good, even when they’ve warmed up.” “On the whole we do the best we can in our household to try and be environmentally friendly without turning our lives upside down but I too find the new bulbs pretty poor. It’s just a bit inconvenient for me but it must be awful if you totally rely on something which will not be available soon.”
The phasing out of traditional light bulbs began at the start of the September. New European Union laws prohibit the manufacture and import of 100watt bulbs, but the move has been criticised with many countries across the EU recording a jump in sales as homeowners stocked up on the traditional bulbs before the ban came into force.


Founder of Lichfield Live and editor of the site.

10 replies on “Lichfield councillor raises concerns over light bulb ban”

  1. I agree that CFLs have problems…but the ban is fundamentally wrong in itself – also for the reasons given for it

    A cheap simple popular safe product forcibly replaced by an expensive complex unpopular mercury-releasing product
    – the only logic being that of course if people did want to buy the new lights, you wouldn’t “have to” ban ordinary light bulbs
    (European Commission’s own research 2007-8 showed ordinary light bulbs to be bought around 9 times out of 10) ——————-

    The eventual savings, once all is considered, hardly justify this exercise anyway: onwards, with official research references.

    ———————- The real motive can be seen by the unpublicised EU and industrial politics behind the ban:

  2. As someone who has been profoundly “night-blind” since my early youth, the prospect of lower-light bulbs is not only unpleasant, but frightening. I can only read under fairly high-level light, either bright sunlight or high-wattage bulbs. I had replaced one bulb in my living room with a CFL and I had thought the difficulty I was having reading while sitting next to that lamp indicated a further decline in eyesight. But the other lamp has an incandescent bulb with the same wattage and I have no problem reading. I live in America, and I think it is terribly wrong for the EU to ban incandescent light bulbs.

  3. In all of this debate over the EU’s ban on incandescent lightbulbs, no one has mentioned LED bulbs as a safe alternative. They last much longer and use less energy than CFLs, and produce as much light as a 100w conventional bulb.

  4. Why do I not like CFLs?

    1. I tried replacing my closet flood bulbs with CFL bulbs but they take a long time to warm up and after the third time I tripped and nearly broke my neck, I went back to the regular bulbs. 2. I have two chandeliers that use small flame shaped bulbs and three bathrooms that use globe bulbs. There are no CLF equivalents. 3. Since replacing those bulbs that are practical, I have had five CFLs burn out prematurely within months. They are supposed to last HOW MUCH LONGER???? 4. Someone suggested LED bulbs. Aren’t those the bulbs that cost something like $50 apiece??? How about keeping both on the market and letting people use them where practical and use the incandescents where CFLs don’t work. 5. Oh yes, I almost forgot…I tried a CFL as a reading light and it gave me a raging headache. Am I not supposed to read for the rest of my life?

  5. I’m assuming the ban is due to increased costs of energy and perhaps the global warming issue due to using fossil fuels generate electricity.

    As ‘green’ technologies don’t seem to be capable of generating enough electricity to support rampant consumerism and its associated capitalism, we may as well accept our impending doom.

    Will the last member of mankind please turn out the lights.

  6. If Staffordshire County Councillor Matthew Ellis is concerned about lighting, perhaps he could do something about the HPL and Sodium lamps that seem to be on throughout the day, every day, in various Lichfield car parks?

    Such a waste of energy is ridiculous these days. Do the Lichfield taxpayers understand how much energy (and cost) is wasted through this? (I’d be happy to run an audit to give them an idea of how much cost per annum is wasted).

    GLS lamps are being phased out through law, and although CFL lamps are not perfect, the technology is getting better, and many energy companies offer them for free. However, perhaps if he is that concerned, he could strike a deal regarding low energy halogen lamps, or how about the really low energy, long lifetime and every increasing lumen outputs of LEDs?

    Lichfield and Staffs councils could save so much money by switching off lights in the daytime, that with the energy savings alone, could afford to provide the over 60’s (who need higher lumen output to see well) with free, energy efficient alternative lighting solutions. They are currently wasting thousands of pounds of Lichfield taxpayers money.

    Makes me cross.

  7. Im sure there could be some money/carbons saved here.
    I think some of the car parks (in daytime) may be a bit too dim without lighting (consider walking into a dim carpark after being out in the sunshine),
    However – the ones that can be turned off should be – well worth looking into.

  8. 100% right. And yes, indoor carparks need good lighting for that very reason, and especially for safety issues (it is proven that crime, such as mugging and theft reduces in well lit areas). I’m concerned about the outdoor carparks being lit in the day. That is a waste…
    Mind you it’s not just Lichfield. I get annoyed at all of the lights left on in the massive office blocks in big cities. No excuses there, especially with movement sensors being affordable to large companies, which ensures that the lamps are off when no one is around.

  9. Lights on in the daytime outside is certainly rediculous –
    I’m not actually sure who should be written to about it – i think luckily all of lichfields car parks are local governments – so perhaps the council offices is the place to write?

    Does anybody know?

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