News is that the European Commission has delayed the banning of the halogen version of the incandescent lamp until 2018. This may come as a surprise to consumers who were not even aware that this ban was on the cards but at least by having this delay it will mean that there is more time for technology to improve further and there should be a wider range of cost effective LED lamps on the market by then.
So I thought it would be interesting to take a look at where we have come since our comfort zone of the incandescent lamp was rocked.
*Author’s Note to purists: ‘Lamp’ or ‘Bulb’, does it matter as long as we understand?
The Classic Incandescent Light Bulb
What a blow when our trusty light source was banned. With good colour rendition, clear yet warm light tones it even had the added benefit of warming our houses in the winter. But no – that’s why it was banned! Inefficient light vs wattage and they were blamed for helping to warm our planet.
For some reason they are still available if one looks hard enough although it is nigh impossible to get your hands on a good ole fashioned 100 watt incandescent much to chagrin of many people over the age of fifty.
First of all the only alternative seemed to be the initial replacement.
The Compact Fluorescent Lamp
Whoever said they loved these lamps? Cold colour temperature, ages to warm up and bad colour rendition made these most people’s bete noire. They were even rumoured to be bad for skin conditions and eyesight; yet it seemed we had little choice but to comply and just get on with it.
In truth the compact fluorescent has improved over the years but how many of us are ‘making do’ with the ones we bought a few years ago. After all, isn’t that the point – their longevity?
Then, blissfully, another product came onto the market.
Halogen Globe Light Bulb
This basically looks like the incandescent bulb but if you look closely it actually harbours a very small halogen lamp inside. Slightly more energy efficient than the its predecessor but not nearly as efficient as the compact fluorescent, at least it gives an excellent light in terms of clarity and colour rendition. It is also dimmable which is a huge benefit.
Originally, when the National Trust changed all their bulbs over to energy efficient lighting, they used compact fluorescents in luminaires where the light source was hidden and these halogen versions where the light source was exposed, such as in chandeliers using candle lamps.
These are the lamps to be banned in September 2018
LED Light Bulb
Rather space-age in appearance there is always the doubt about direction of the light and at no time do you actually want to see this light source, especially the vibrant yellow one! Definitely not cheap and many versions are not dimmable but the quality of light is improving although we are not quite up to the equivalent of the old fashioned 100 watt incandescent.
A good online resource website for purchasing these lamps is: https://www.ledhut.co.uk/led-filament-range.html
Latest LED Light Bulb
Very clear and sparkly these are the best replacement versions of the incandescent that I have seen. These were on display at the LuxLive exhibition in November and although the higher output lamps are still not dimmable we are so nearly ‘there’ in terms of a general lighting source for our homes.
Another excellent feature of some of the dimmable versions is a ‘dim’to’warm’ facility which actually changes the light to warmer tones as the lamp dims. Perfect for winter evenings.
And soon to come…
The Graphene Light Bulb
A new method being perfected by the University of Manchester forming a light bulb made of graphene coated LEDs which will be even more energy efficient and long lasting. It is anticipated that these will be on the open market in a matter of months at competitive rates.
And a few other fun lamps on the market:
The Squirrel Cage Lamp
This seems to have by-passed the regulations being of an industrial nature although very ‘on trend’, especially in bars and restaurants. Not energy efficient in the original version but can now be replaced with similar filament style LED versions such as:
Eco Filament lamp available from www.urbancottageindustries.com
These are basically twisted fluorescent lamps in weird and wonderful shapes. Energy efficient, warm white with average colour rendition but not dimmable. These are by Plumen www.plumen.com
All in all it has been quite a journey and this is a small illustration of how nothing stands still in the lighting industry which is what makes it such an exciting field.