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EU bans incandescent light bulbs

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Andrew deLaski/Appliance Standards Awareness Project

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Beginning in 2010, the light bulbs in European sockets will be doing a lot less incandescing and a lot more fluorescing.

Meeting last week in Luxembourg, European Union energy ministers agreed to ban filament light bulbs across all 27 member states. The decision comes just a few days before the EU will lift duties on energy-efficient bulbs imported from China, a move that is expected to bring down their prices.

Last year, Australia became the first country to enact an outright ban on incandescents, which will take effect in 2010. They were followed by Cuba, who apparently sent youth brigades into people's homes to swap out the bulbs for more energy-efficient ones, and the Philippines, which announced plans to phase them out by 2010.

In the United States, the Energy Independence and Security Act, passed in June 2007 requires roughly 25 percent greater efficiency for light bulbs, phased in from 2012 through 2014. This effectively bans incandescent bulbs.

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