South Korea to ban incandescent light bulbs

Seoul, July 16 (IANS) South Korea plans to ban production and import of incandescent light bulbs in a bid to replace the low-efficient device with high-efficient ones such as light-emitting diode (LED) light bulbs, the commerce ministry said Tuesday.

South Korean companies will be prohibited from producing and importing incandescent light bulbs, which were invented by Thomas Edison in 1879, starting from Jan 1, 2014, according to the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy.

The prohibition came as part of a decision made in 2008 to phase out the use of the low-efficient device, which wastes as much as 95 percent of electricity energy to generate heat, reported Xinhua.

The ministry has planned to encourage consumers to use higher-efficient LED lamps to save energy nationwide and help consumers reduce costs for electricity usage.

Using the LED light bulbs will cost consumers around 2,813 won ($2.5) per year in electricity bills and purchase costs. The figure was 82 percent lower than 15,863 won for incandescent lighting usage, according to the ministry.

If incandescent light bulbs are completely replaced by higher-efficient devices, it would save South Korea around 1,800 gigawatts hour (GWh) per year in electricity.

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