End of light as we know it: Millions of Britons are stocking up to grab the last of the traditional bulbs
Millions of Britons are finally waking up to the fact that their beloved light bulb will disappear for good after 120 years.
Traditional 100-watt bulbs are vanishing from the High Street because of a controversial European Union decision.
Yesterday panic buyers were snapping up the remaining bulbs in a last-ditch attempt to stockpile the final supplies. Hundreds of leading supermarkets and DIY chains – including Sainsbury’s, Asda and Homebase – have already sold their last remaining bulbs after a surge in panic buying.
Other stores say they have enough stocks to last until the end of next week.
The supplies are running out after the Government signed up to an EU decision to replace conventional 100w light bulbs with supposedly greener low energy alternatives.
Ministers claim the switch will reduce carbon dioxide by around five million tons each year.
But experts have questioned whether or not the new bulbs, far from being environmentally friendly, are actually harmful.
The low-energy fluorescent bulbs can trigger skin rashes, migraines and epilepsy.
There is also concern because the fluorescent bulbs contain mercury, which makes them dangerous to get rid of.
They can also be more expensive. Currently, an average supermarket price for a six pack of standard 60w pearl light bulbs is £1.21, but a single 60w low energy stick light bulb already costs around £2.19.
Retailers stopped replenishing supplies of conventional incandescent 100w bulbs at the start of the year under a ‘voluntary’ Government scheme to force people to buy green compact fluorescent lights.
New light: Energy-efficient bulbs use less energy – but critics say they can cause skin rashes, migraines and epilepsy
But concerns about the poor quality light of low energy bulbs – and the fact that most don’t work with dimmer switches – has led to tens of thousands of people stockpiling supplies.