The truth behind the Government’s latest light bulbs ban

  • Date: 09/06/21
  • Global Warming Policy Forum

The truth is that the UK government’s track record on lighting policy is a scandal.

GE ad from the 1940s, showing an incandescent bulb and a fluorescent tube, both inventions of the company. 

The UK government’s Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) is today cynically trying to take credit for the spontaneous market innovation of LEDs by needlessly banning halogen and fluorescent bulbs.

The truth is that the UK government’s track record on lighting policy is a scandal. Its policies from 2007 onwards actually inhibited the uptake of LEDs by forcing consumers to prematurely abandon incandescent bulbs and spend a fortune, estimated at £2.75 billion on unsatisfactory Compact Fluorescent Lights (CFLs).

BEIS did this just when LEDs were on the verge of entering the market. (See the 2016 GWPF article on this subject)

Now, without any sense of irony, the government is banning the fluorescent lights on which it wasted billions, alongside halogen bulbs. But there is no need to ban such bulbs since households and businesses have already moved in that direction spontaneously, with LEDs making up over two-thirds of the market today.

The ban is a stunt that covers up government failures and makes life harder for those people who actually need halogen or fluorescent bulbs for special purposes.

Dr John Constable, GWPF energy editor, said:

The government is way behind the market on lighting and always has been. Rather than trying to take credit for the spontaneous consumer shift to better lighting the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy should apologise for having held LEDs back by wasting billions on the useless CFLs it now wants to ban.”

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