“Lighting manufacturers had been peddling fluorescent bulbs since the 1980s but few consumers were convinced that they were worth the money, or that the saving on energy made up for the lower quality of the light.
Banning traditional bulbs changed all that. We are not allowed to know what presentations the lighting industry made to the European Commission’s Ecodesign Committee, which made the decision to ban traditional bulbs, because it holds its meetings in private.
But a contribution to the debate in Congress on a similar ban that has now come into effect in the US speaks volumes.
A ban was needed, it said, “in order to further educate consumers on the benefits of energy-efficient products”.
In other words: consumers aren’t choosing to buy our high-margin energy-efficient lightbulbs so we are going to force you to buy them by banning the alternative.”