Electricity: Filament Bulbs Are Finished

That’s it, filament bulbs are well on the way to becoming real antiques. Invented in the late XIX th century, they are ready indeed to die for good, with stores planned withdrawal of December 31, 2012.

Developed by the inventor Joseph Swan and perfected by a certain Thomas Edison in 1879, the filament bulb has the unfortunate tendency to be very energy consuming. The latter is thus able to transform into lighting only 5% of the energy it consumes , wasting the rest in heat. So much so that the European Union established in 2008 a timetable so as to gradually remove these bulbs from the sale.

In France, the 100-watt models were the first to pay the price in 2009 , the 60 watts in 2010 and the 40 watts in 2011. This time, it is the turn of the 25 watt bulbs : they will all have to leave the shelves on December 31, 2012, as underlined by the Ministry of Ecology, Sustainable Development and Energy.

If incandescent bulbs had the advantage of having a low purchasing cost, the latter were mostly failing to consume nearly 5 times more energy and having a lifetime of 6 to 10 times shorter than A low consumption light bulb . Currently, the so-called “low consumption” bulbs are divided into three categories: compact fluorescents , halogens and light emitting diode (LED) lamps.

According to a study carried out by the Gfk Institute, the market for light bulbs in France was € 422 million in 2012, of which 10% came from incandescent bulbs (compared with 45% in 2007). For their part, the halogen almost weigh half of the market, with 46% , compact fluorescent lamps (longer at startup), 36% and LED, 8%. It should be noted, however, that the energy performance of the halogens is considered to be too low. For this reason, they could be banned from shelves as of 2016.

Most manufacturers agree that LED lamps, which are the least energy consuming and have a longer lifespan, are expected to grow in the near future. Globally, LEDs now account for 12% of the market, estimated at 73 billion euros.