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We use one tenth of our electricity for lighting. Since 2012, minimum energy efficiency requirements have applied to many illuminants in Switzerland. These requirements have been gradually tightened in recent years. That is why most incandescent lamps, halogen lamps, and energy-saving lamps are now banned. In addition, since 2021, all illuminants must prove how energy-efficient they are with the stricter new energy label. For this purpose, their power consumption per 1,000 hours of operation is measured: Energy class A (green) is very efficient, energy class G (red) wasteful.
This year, Switzerland is adopting the EU directive 2011/65/EU (Restriction of Hazardous Substances in electrical and electronic Equipment) and restricting the use of certain hazardous substances such as mercury in electrical or electronic equipment. Since February 24, 2023, no compact fluorescent lamps without integrated ballast as well as ring-shaped designs may be imported and sold, and from August 24, 2023, no fluorescent tubes may be sold. Mercury endangers our health and the environment, in addition LED lamps and lights are much more energy efficient than older light sources. Mercury-free LED lights or lamps consume about half as much electricity as a fluorescent tube or energy-saving lamp and even up to ten times less electricity than an incandescent bulb or halogen lamp.
The illuminants ban is a sales ban. You do not have to replace any lamps, but you should start thinking about their replacement now. On the one hand, because they are no longer or soon will no longer be available, and on the other hand, because new lamps are more energy efficient.
These lamps may no longer be sold after February 24, 2023:
These lamps may no longer be sold after August 24, 2023:
In addition, on September 1, 2023, high-voltage halogen lamps (G9) and low-voltage halogen lamps (G4 and GY6.35) will also be banned in Switzerland due to the directive 2009/125/EC.
For some halogen lamps, there are still or no equivalent replacements. That is why halogen reflector lamps, rod lamps and pencil lamps are still permitted.
Nothing yet. You may use old fluorescent lamps and energy-saving lamps until they no longer work. However, you will no longer be able to find replacements in hardware stores or on the Internet because importing and selling them is prohibited. That's why, sooner rather than too late, you should start thinking about how you're going to replace these mercury-containing, power-hungry light bulbs. You have three options: Replace the light bulb, replace the whole lighting fixture, or convert the lamps. You can replace individual light bulbs and fixtures yourself. For multiple fixtures and bulbs or an atmospheric lighting concept for your home, an electrician is recommended.
For permanently installed lights, for example in the mirror cabinet in the bathroom or under the kitchen cabinets, you should talk to an electrician. On the one hand, because the fixtures and light sources will (soon) no longer be available, and on the other hand, because the integrated ballasts will have to be replaced.
The easiest and cheapest way to replace the light bulb is to take it out of its socket and replace it with an LED bulb of the same diameter, length and base. As long as no electrical changes are necessary, you don't need an electrician to do it. But if you are unhappy with the new light distribution, an electrician can give you expert advice and develop a professional lighting concept for you.
Replacing an entire lighting fixture involves more work. On the other hand, with a 1:1 replacement, you benefit from perfect light diffusion in the room, more safety and greater living comfort, for example thanks to integrated motion sensors. If the existing installation openings, cable outlets and mounting points can be used for the installation of the new LED fixture, the effort required for the replacement is manageable. It is best to ask certified electricians from your region for offers.
Do you own a valuable designer lamp or an heirloom that reminds you of a loved one? Lamps that are dear to you can be converted: the technology is replaced, the housing and the reflector are still used. Meanwhile, there are conversion kits for designer lamps from well-known manufacturers, for example. The conversion is complex and requires a lot of electrical engineering expertise. That's why you should leave the work and your favorite lamp to an electrician.
LED bulbs are highly energy efficient, last up to 25 years, require no start-up time, and can be easily separated for environmentally safe disposal. In addition, their light does not flicker, unlike fluorescent tubes. LED lamps have only one disadvantage: the color rendering is not (yet) completely natural. Daylight has a color rendering index of 100. High-quality LED lamps (and energy-saving lamps) now achieve values of 95 and are slowly but surely getting closer and closer to the natural color temperature of incandescent bulbs and halogen lamps.