The EU has now followed the US
in coming up with plans to ban incandescent lightbulbs in favor of more efficient bulbs
, such as compact fluorescent bulbs or LED-based lighting. I understand why these bans are being put in place. The incandescent bulbs are inefficient and wasteful, and the thinking is that forcing the move to CFLs or other types of bulbs will be good for the environment.
However, this doesn't take into account the unintended consequences of this move. Already, there's been a big push to move people to CFLs, and that's created a situation where the makers of CFLs have worked hard to improve the quality of the bulbs (a big complaint) as well as add in features that used to not be found in CFLs, such as dimming. It's also pushed the makers of CFLs to find efficiencies by which they can make the bulbs cheaper. They're doing this because they know they need to compete with incandescent bulbs -- and in many cases it's working.
Yet, banning incandescents from the market place means that the makers of CFLs now have a lot less
competition. They don't have to work as hard to make the lights better. They don't have to work as hard to make them more efficient and cheaper. They've basically been given a gift that means they can slow down the process of making those bulbs that much better for the environment. That seems like a mistake.