In the context of the EU Ecodesign Framework, the European Commission has adopted two regulations raising the energy efficiency standards for household lamps and products used to illuminate large spaces such as offices and streets. These regulations require the progressive removal of “non-directional” incandescent light bulbs (lamps that emit light in all directions equally) and conventional halogen bulbs from the market from September 2009 until September 2012.

The regulations require that by September 2009, 100 watt transparent incandescent light bulbs be replaced with more energy efficient class C halogen bulbs. By September 2011, 60 watt light bulbs will be replaced with class C energy efficiency products; 40 and 25 watt bulbs will be replaced by September 2012. This transitional period is designed to give manufacturers the opportunity to adapt their production to comply with these standards.

These regulations are expected to result in estimated savings of 80 trillion watts of electricity consumption per year (this is approximately equal to the annual electricity consumption of Belgium). The Commission has stated that it intends to adopt more Ecodesign measures in the coming months.