IKEA to phase out incandescent light bulbs in Canada by Jan. 1, 2011

Swedish furniture goliath IKEA has become the first major retailer in Canada to commit to an all-out phaseout of incandescent light bulbs in 2011, a year ahead of a federal ban on the sale of low-efficiency light bulbs. In fact, IKEA said it will stop selling the bulbs by Jan. 1, 2011, about half a year from now. The retailer will focus sales on compact fluorescent, halogen and increasingly LED lighting options. “Clearly, Thomas Edison’s incandescent light bulb discovery was a landmark 19th century invention,” the company’s press release states. “But times have changed. New discoveries prevail.”


3 thoughts on “IKEA to phase out incandescent light bulbs in Canada by Jan. 1, 2011”

  1. The real solution is for energy to be priced correctly (ie: at actual cost – including so-called externalities) so that the market indicates to retailers such as Ikea that nobody wants inefficient bulbs.

    The banning of specific bulb technologies is inherently flawed, and doesn’t necessarily produce efficient results. The example I use is the incandescent bulb in a closet that’s on for 30 seconds a year. Replacing it with a CFL is uneconomic, saves virtually no energy, and is not even environmentally friendly in the long run.

    A demonstration of Ikea’s hypocrisy or flawed logic in this announcement is that they will continue to sell halogens, which while efficient, tend to be energy pigs because the wattage used in most applications is much higher than what is available in a CFL (or required).

  2. I agree with John Ford — just price electricity appropriately and people will decide where the CFLs will produce the most benefit. As with carbon taxation, too, I’d rather they just tax fuel.

    Personally, I am stocking up on incandescent bulbs. The CFLs are unpleasant to read by and give off an ugly light. I’ve heard the stories of how “there are better ones available now” and “don’t you know about the CRI? I am technologically informed” but I’ve yet to see any that are good enough. I use CFLs in my kitchen because I don’t care how the light looks in there.

    Also, CFLs are a waste in places like closets or bathrooms where they’ll be turned on/off frequently — they burn out too soon and end up being expensive.

    As for Ikea themselves: they might be focused on environmentally-considerate corporate behaviour, but you can’t avoid the fact that a lot of people use them to rapidly turnover the style of their living spaces, buying and then throwing out once the style expires or gets old — first because it’s cheap and second because they think the products are environmentally neutral or in some cases have a twisted idea that buying more of a “green” product is a better thing than not buying it at all.

    John’s point about the halogens is important, too. They are very wasteful and give off a huge amount of heat in addition to losing energy in the DC conversion. The fact that they’re not banning these, too, suggests that they make a lot of money off them, too.

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