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The E.U. has embraced CFLs. Photo created using images by stevecadman and AZAdam

The Ban Begins

 
People stockpiling light bulbs?

It's happening in the European Union as the first set of restrictions on the sale of conventional incandescent lighting go into effect. Retailers are allowed to sell off their remaining stocks of incandescent frosted glass bulbs before a blanket ban on their import begins. It is the beginning of a gradual phase-out resulting in a full-scale switch to compact fluorescent lighting (CFLs). Reaction thus far is mixed -- some are embracing it, some are accepting grudgingly and others are panicking and stockpiling.

CFLs use up to 80 percent less energy than standard light bulbs and save money in the long term but the switch has triggered fierce debate. CFLs have a higher up-front cost and there is concern about their mercury content. Others are decrying the loss of consumer choice. E.U. officials reassured consumers the change will be gradual; the most common type of light bulb, the clear 60-watt, will be available until September 2011.

America is slated to phase out incandescent bulbs starting 2012. Will you embrace the change or stockpile old bulbs?








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