Azara Blog: Near-blind people allegedly want to continue to use traditional light bulbs

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Date published: 2009/01/24

The BBC says:

Charities and eyesight specialists are calling on the government to halt its plans to phase out the sale of traditional light bulbs.

Campaigners want retailers to disregard a promise to phase out the incandescent bulbs by 2012.

They say replacement lower energy bulbs do not provide enough light, causing problems for people with poor vision.

The government admitted there was a problem but said that alternatives were still available.

Under European Union rules, all incandescent bulbs for sale must be replaced by energy efficient compact fluorescent lamp (Cfl) bulbs by 2016.

By September 100 watt bulbs will have been taken off UK shelves.

But David Adams, spokesman for The Royal National College for the Blind, said lower energy bulbs made things more difficult for those with a sight condition.

He said: "They do come on slowly and if there are steps or objects in the way, people can fall over, have accidents and that's the biggest danger."

He said most blind people did not have a total loss of vision and therefore would want to make the best of the amount they had left.

Greenpeace has said that the traditional bulbs waste 95% of the energy they use.

They calculated that phasing them out in the UK would save more than five million tonnes in CO2 emissions a year.

The compact fluorescent lamp bulbs have 80% less power and provide a diffused light whereas the traditional bulbs give out spots of light and have a high contrast.

John Clingan, who is partially-sighted, said he was concerned about how he would cope without the stronger light.

He said: "If I try to read a book under one of the new lights - I just can't read properly for long because the light levels are just not high enough."

It's not just near-blind people that will have a problem. There a quite a few people who suffer from low-light conditions (particularly in the winter time). Hopefully the technology for low energy light bulbs will become better soon (their light is pretty awful).

The most bizarre thing about this story, other than the fact that the BBC is juggling between its politically correct views on two fronts (energy saving and blind people), is that the BBC says: "Greenpeace has said that the traditional bulbs waste 95% of the energy they use". Who cares what Greenpeace says, they are not exactly the most reliable of organisations (even if on this one instance they happen not to be distorting the truth). Indeed, a couple of paragraphs later the BBC is happy to claim without qualification that "compact fluorescent lamp bulbs have [use??] 80% less power". The BBC should be quoting information from independent experts, not from special interest pressure groups.

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