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How to choose the right lightbulb in France

Changing your lightbulbs can be an easy way to save money, and a new law in France will make it even easier to identify the most efficient bulbs

If you have not already, it will soon be necessary to switch to LED lights Pic: Magnetic Mcc / Shutterstock

When it comes to saving on energy costs, small actions such as choosing the right lightbulb can go a long way. 

The law is about to change to move away from bulbs that consume lots of energy. 

From February 24, fluorescent lamps and compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs, also known as energy-saving bulbs) can no longer be brought to market in France. 

This is due to new EU regulations taking effect this year. 

Shops will only be able to sell existing stocks of these lights. 

If you have not already, it will soon be necessary to switch to LED lights. LED bulbs are generally slightly more expensive, but they will last longer and allow you to save money in the end. 

According to calculations from TotalEnergies, based on its green tariff, a 150W halogen lightbulb that is on for two hours per day will cost around €15.39 per year in electricity. 

An 18W CFL will cost €1.85, while an LED light will cost just €0.91 over the same period. 

The EU banned shops from ordering more halogen lightbulbs for sale from September 2018. 

The energy-efficiency labelling system also changed in September 2021, with ratings going from A to G rather than A+++ to D. 

It is now much more difficult to achieve an A or B rating, although it is possible. 

The most energy-efficient bulbs will typically have a C or D grade, so do not be put off by this. 

With LEDs, the amount of light produced is not directly proportional to its power, and is marked in lumens. 

A 25W incandescent lightbulb will be approximately equivalent to 249 lumens, 60W to 806 lumens, 75W to 1,055 lumens, and 100W to 1,521 lumens.

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