From September 2012 manufacturers will no longer be able to sell old style incandescent light bulbs in the UK- so standard everyday light bulbs to you and me.
The main reason for this change is the (soon-to-be) old style bulbs are really inefficient and the majority of energy lost is in form of heat rather than light. Overall, I’ve found the information regarding the switch to these new energy efficient bulbs pretty overwhelming. There is certainly no shortage of literature (and opinions) regarding the change. A lot of people are supportive, a lot strongly opposed and there is an incredible amount of information that seemingly supports both positions.
We’ve put together a video (see below) and some tips we hope will help to assist you in understanding the fundamental differences in the new bulbs and what you’ll need to take into account when making the switch. We’ve already had quite a lot of feedback from this video and customers querying with more questions and further comments. We will definitely do our best to help give advice where possible but keep in mind it’s all fairly new and somewhat unknown territory to us, much as to you.
Quite a few customers have queried about the new light bulbs compatibility with dimmer switches. From what I’ve researched you must buy a bulb that is suited to work with a dimmer (which apparently does come at a bit of a cost) This is important as using a non-compatible bulb with a dimmer can shorten the bulbs life and will also nullify its warranty. If you have dimmer switches in your home make sure you’re careful in selecting new bulbs that are compatible. This information should all be pretty clear on the bulbs packaging.
Many customers are also querying the issue of energy-efficient bulb disposal. Because these bulbs do contain traces of mercury they are deemed ‘hazardous’ and therefore are not meant to be disposed of with everyday rubbish. From what I’ve gathered the collection of these bulbs will be dependent on where you live and also your council’s guidelines about hazardous waste collection. A useful site that helps further explain this is: http://www.recycle-more.co.uk/lowenergybulb/BulbHome.aspx type in your post code to find places near to you that will collect these bulbs. You might also find some answers to your questions on the Environment Agency website.
For a more general overview and information regarding the appropriate usage of these new bulbs perhaps also take a look at General Electric's information which tries to answer as many bulb-related queries generated from the public.