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Halogen bulbs no longer sold in France from September

Halogen light bulbs will no longer be allowed to be sold in France from September 1 this year, under new EU regulation.

Under the new rules, once the current stocks of halogen light bulbs have been sold, no more will be allowed.

Consumers will instead be encouraged to choose LED lamps and compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs), which are deemed more economically sustainable and ecologically friendly.

France has already begun to make the switch: almost two thirds (63%) of the bulbs sold nationally in 2016 were LEDs, according to figures from environment agency l'Agence de l'Environnement et de la Maîtrise de l'Énergie (Ademe).

The new rules come following the “eco-conception” EU directive of January 2009, which is aiming to reduce the energy consumption of electronic and electric equipment.

In 2012, incandescent lamps became the first products to be removed from sale under the new directive.

Halogen lamps are similar to incandescent bulbs, in that they produce more heat than light - by heating the lightbulb filament to produce light - and in doing so, use more energy.

According to the Ademe, only 7% of the energy used in halogen lamps produces light, with the rest being lost to heat.

Similarly, Ademe figures show that halogen bulbs last an average of 2,000-3,000 hours, compared to one LED, which can last up to 40,000 hours each.

And, although their initial cost is higher, LEDs also use around five times less energy than halogens overall. One study from the IHS Markit institute showed that replacing normal light bulbs with LEDs had saved 570 million tonnes of carbon dioxide in 2017.

Lighting represents 10% of the national electricity consumption in France, the Ademe says.

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