I guess some of us knew it would happen eventually, but normal light bulbs are legal once again in Europe, and becoming more available. I just bought some the other day from De Gloeilampen Winkel here in the Netherlands, and I thought I would write a review. I paid €1,65 per bulb, with a minimum purchase of 10 per wattage, and free shipping over €50. I hope they come down in price soon!
There is an exemption in the EU light bulb ban for ‘rough service lamps’, bulbs built to operate while vibrating. This is a Reinforced Construction or RC lamp. Some of the bulbs are labelled that they are intended for a marine environment. None of them have a brand name.
Here’s a closer view of the specifications.
Notice they are rated for 3000 hours, which is 3 times longer than the bulbs commonly available here just before the ban came into force. This makes the price a little more palatable, and similar to the price per hour of pre-ban bulbs.
Manufacturer Energy Rating: E
Real Life Energy Rating: A++
- Since mostly the bulbs are to be operated in a space warmed by central heating, the bulbs are 100% efficient. Energy is given off in the form of light and heat, and any heat given off reduces the load on the central heating by a like amount.
- No energy needed for recycling, and it’s not necessary to take them to a recycling center — possibly even by car. Bulbs can be discarded in normal household waste.
- Bulbs can be manufactured locally, and it’s not necessary to transport them from China.
- Manufacturing process is simpler and less energy intensive than ‘low energy bulbs’.
- Longer life means less frequent replacements are needed.
It’s a light bulb, and does everything you might expect a light bulb to do.
Historically, manufacturers of light bulbs have had the problem that long life bulbs mean loss of profit. This is because they stay in service too long and consumers don’t need to keep rebuying them. Singer, the sewing machine company had a similar problem, because the products they built were too reliable. In the case of Singer, they had to buy back some of their older machines, so consumers would have to buy some of the newer less reliable ones.
In the case of light bulbs, manufacturers have been building them to glow brighter, so they would burn out faster. This is the motivation for the energy efficient bulbs, followed by the complete ban.
Leading up to the ban 1000 hour bulbs were common, and these are 3000 hour bulbs. 10.000-20.000 hour bulbs are very feasible, and 100.000 hour bulbs are not out of the question. As consumers, this is what we want and should look for. They should not necessarily cost more.
Some Final Comments
- No flickering, slow warm up or fading with age.
- Fully dimmable
- No toxic components
- Pleasant light spectrum
- This bulb was not labelled with country of origin. Research your bulbs and buy locally! Unlabelled should be assumed to be from China.
- These bulbs are rated for 235v, but the power in Europe is 230v. This probably means the bulbs will withstand voltage spikes better, have a longer life, but also probably give off slightly less than the rated number of lumens. I consider this a good thing.
- It’s obvious in other ways the consumer energy ratings are intended to mislead consumers. For example here, diesel cars often get lower ratings, even though they get better mileage and have lower carbon emissions. Electric cars often get better ratings, even though energy used in manufacture and disposal are much higher. Use your head instead of trusting energy ratings!