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Australia bans old-style light bulbs

10 October 2015 by News Desk

lightbulb01Government plans to phase out old-style light bulbs in Australia are on track with just two landmarks left to reach by 2016.

Across the country, homes and businesses have been replacing old-style pear-shaped incandescent bulbs with new energy-efficient light bulbs, known as Compact Fluorescent Lamps. And the new light bulbs are estimated to be saving the average household around $75 per year.

Traditional pear-shaped incandescent bulbs waste 90% of the energy they use, mainly as heat. These light bulbs were phased out first, with an import restriction that applied from 1 February 2009, followed by a sales restriction from November 2009. The phase-out has since expanded to other types of incandescent lamps.

It is estimated that the phase-out of incandescent light bulbs, which commenced in 2009 in Australia is saving around 2.6 terawatt-hours (TWh) of electricity each year. This saving is equivalent to the total annual electricity consumption of 150,000 homes. The average household is estimated to be saving 300 kWh and $75 per annum.

New-style light bulbs – Compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs) and LEDs – can be used in the vast majority of fittings that take common incandescent bulbs. CFLs use the same technology as linear fluorescent tubes – common in our schools, hospitals and workplaces – but are designed for use in homes. Not only do CFLs only use around 20 per cent of the energy to produce the same amount of light as an incandescent light bulb, but they last between four and 10 times longer.

Mains voltage halogen lamps are similar in appearance to traditional incandescent light bulbs and are suitable alternatives for light fixtures that require functions such as dimming and touch or sensor control, however they are not as energy efficient as CFLs.

Light emitting diode (LED) lighting is a rapidly developing technology that is already offering useful alternatives to some traditional lighting technologies.

By October 2016, the last government landmarks are due to come into force, covering the replacement of mains voltage reflector lamps, including halogen (PAR, ER, R); and pilot lamps of 25W and below.

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