Trade Resources Policy & Opinion Incandescent Bulbs Will Ban Sales of Its Best Selling 40W and 60W Incandescent Bulbs

Incandescent Bulbs Will Ban Sales of Its Best Selling 40W and 60W Incandescent Bulbs

In 1879, the incandescent light bulb was invented by Thomas Edison, according to a report by a South Daily Media Group subsidy. Yet, 135 years later today, incandescent bulbs will officially become history in the U.S. Starting from Jan. 1, 2014, the U.S. will ban sales of its best selling 40W and 60W incandescent bulbs. Other countries including South Korea, Thailand, and Philippines are also following suit in launching policies that adopt energy efficient lighting. China will also be banning imports and sales of 60W and higher wattage incandescent bulbs. Industry insiders analyze, the LED luminaire industry will “light up,” as the global “lighting switch” turns on in 2014.  

Fast LED Light Developments Gradually Replace Incandescent Bulbs

After visiting several super markets and decorative retail stores in China, South Daily Media Group reporters found energy efficient luminaires have a very large market share. Many retailers have told reporters, LED luminaires have been quickly developing in 2013, and nearly every luminaire brand has released LED products. “Although incandescent bulbs are very cheap, they also break easily,” said a staff member at a luminaire store. “Big brands have very few incandescent bulb products now.” Energy efficient lamp price falls in recent years has also changed public’s attitude and buying habits, people are more willing to buy these lamps now, he continued.

Many luminaire brands are promoting LED products at the same time. “CFL luminaires can last for five years, but LEDs can last for a decade,” said a luminaire brand manager surnamed Sun. Still, LED luminaires tend to be at least double the price of CFL, and is still a developing market in China. LED luminaire 2013 sale performances show there is still considerable room for growth. 

As for incandescent bulbs, Sun told reporters “Nanjing consumers already have high awareness of CFL lamps. Incandescent bulbs are expected to be only available in hardware stores.”

China’s ban of 60W and above incandescent bulbs effective in Oct. 2014

Starting in 2014, the incandescent bulb ban will be high on different countries agenda, and is scheduled to exit the market. According to reporters understanding, China’s incandescent bulb phase out schedule was formulated in 2011. At the time China’s National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), Ministry of Commerce and others jointly released an announcement of the “gradual ban on imports and sales of incandescent bulbs.” The incandescent bulbs ban will be gradually carried out in five phases according to bulb wattages as of Nov. 1, 2011.  

According to the incandescent bulb phase out, after a transitory phase import and sales of 100W and above incandescent bulbs was effective as of Oct. 1, 2012. The ban will enter its third phase in 2014, as imports and sales of 60W incandescent bulbs will be imposed in Oct., 2014. A mid-term review period will be introduced in Oct. 1, 2015-Sept. 30, 2016. By Oct. 1, 2016, imports and sales of 15W and above incandescent bulbs will be effective, or be adjusted according to mid-term evaluations.

Incandescent bulbs are illuminated by using tungsten filaments to produce heat, where only 5 percent of electricity is used for lighting and the remaining 95 percent is wasted in the form of heat, said China Illuminating Engineering Society (CIES) experts. 

CFL can effectively convert 80 percent of electricity into lighting, while LEDs can directly convert electricity into light, and has lower energy consumption. “CFL and LED luminaires will dominate the lighting market after the lighting source replacement.”

The report concluded with the need of LED standards in the Chinese market to win over consumer confidence. The LED industry’s bad reputation from last year’s copycat products, company insolvencies, and chaotic market phenomenon has also made consumers hesitant about purchasing products. 

A lighting expert from CIES noted in 2013 consumers faced an overwhelming tsunami of LED luminaires, which resulted in price wars. “In these price wars, some manufacturers have mislabeled secondary products as high quality products to lower costs and prices,” the expert noted. “This has negatively impacted the market and caused misconceptions of LED luminaires among consumers.” LED luminaires are still safe, energy efficient and environmental friendly if the product has good manufacturing technology. 

The expert went on to remind consumers to choose nationally certified LED products and to keep an eye out for safety certifications. In addition, LED luminaires higher prices continue to be a major threshold for certain consumers.

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Tracing China's Ban of Incandescent Bulbs
Topics: Lighting