The last incandescent light bulbs in Europe



The old style light bulbs are safer for some people than the low-energy bulbs, but they were banned because they were inefficient. A Swedish group secured a stash for the people who really needed these bulbs.



incandescent, light bulbs, electrical sensitivity, EHS


The traditional incandescent light bulbs are inefficient compared to fluorescent and LED lights. To save energy, both the European Union and the United States started phasing them out in 2012.


The problem is that some people do not tolerate the poorer light quality or the electromagnetic fields (EMFs) the energy efficient lights all generate. People who have electrical sensitivity (EHS) are commonly also light sensitive and feel better with the more yellow light of incandescent light bulbs, whereas other light sources have more blue and ultraviolet (LEDs have no ultraviolet, but lots of blue).


The phase-out was advertised well in advance and many people stocked up with a lifetime's supply. But some did not, and some got sensitized after the bans took effect.


The ban was not enforced in the United States, so the incandescent bulbs continued to be available. But as the more efficient bulbs got better and cheaper they slowly crowded out the incandescents on store shelves.


In Europe the ban was enforced and the bulbs disappeared faster from the shelves. Stores and wholesalers could sell what they had in stock, but new bulbs could not be produced or imported.


By 2019 the light bulbs were no longer available in Europe. The Swedish organization of electrosensitive then located a wholesaler who still had a stash of the bulbs sitting in their warehouse. The wholesaler was not interested in selling to individuals so the organization stepped in to organize bulk buys.


They announced the offer in their membership magazine and were surprised by the interest.


By October 2021 the supply was starting to run out. They had then sold 16,460 bulbs to 137 members (some ordered for multiple people to save on shipping & handling cost).



The offer was announced in the organization's magazine Ljusglimten in the 3/2019 issue and mentioned again in the 3/2020, 4/2020 and 2/2021 issues. We contacted them to get the sales figures as of October 2021.