Verdict of the Week

Ban On Traditional Lightbulbs

Following on from the scrapping of the 150w lightbulb last year, the Government have extended their campaign to the 100w bulb in order to try and force people to switch over to the more modern light bulbs because they are more energy efficient.

Whilst the fact that they use less energy is good in theory, there are many who claim that the Government have not done their homework on this issue. The Government suggests that the new low energy lightbulbs use about a quarter of the energy of traditional bulbs and could save the average household £5 to £7 a year in fuel bills. Those who prefer the traditional bulb would argue that these savings are insignificant, especially when the cost of the more expensive new bulb is taken into account.

The Government also claim that the new bulbs will reduce carbon dioxide emissions by about five million tonnes a year, which although impressive is only a tiny percentage of a far greater problem, and indeed one that is still yet to be proved scientifically significant.

However traditionalists counter this argument by complaining that the fluorescent new bulbs contain dangerous levels of toxic mercury making them very dangerous and expensive to dispose of, and may cause more environmental damage in the long term than the old bulb, leaving a question mark over the so-called Green credentials of the new bulb.

The new bulb is also rumoured to trigger many health problems as the light is fluorescent and can cause headaches, migraines and drowsiness. They also claim it is not as bright as the old bulb it is replacing and can cause eye strain and make it difficult for many people to read. The new bulb also does not give off as strong a light as the old bulb, and they also argue that it takes a minute or two to reach its full brightness. Those people who enjoy being able to dim their lights will no longer be able to do so as the new bulbs are not compatible with dimmer switches.

The eCourt Verdict is that the government is correct in striving to make us more energy efficient, but forcing people to use new equipment which is not as good as the old equipment, hasn't been properly researched, and whose eco credentials are in doubt, harps more of bullying than good husbandry.

eCourt suggests that it would be better for all concerned if we all had a proper democratic debate on the subject, with full disclosure on all the available scientific research and maybe even commission more research where necessary, before forcing such measures upon the long suffering British public.


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