Hanging above the antique desks and Victorian dining chairs of 10 Downing Street are several magnificent antique chandeliers lit, in common with crystal chandeliers the length and breadth of Britain, by delicate candle-shaped incandescent bulbs. Whoever is in charge of replacing them could soon have a problem – thanks to EU legislation, the only option may soon be ugly, oversized low-energy bulbs.
In Lancashire and Cumbria, Victorian dining chairs can fit quite nicely into a modern environment. Most people have become used to buying low-energy bulbs along with the beeswax polish for their antique desks. But some Preston antique dealers are incandescent with rage over the way these so-called environmentally friendly products (in fact, they contain mercury and are highly poisonous) have been forced onto us.
100W and 75W bulbs – which, agreed, are not generally used to light antique desks, even in Cumbria – are already banned from manufacture and import. In September, it’s the turn of the 60W variant. But the overall objective of the EU is to ban all bulbs not adhering to the low-energy, fluorescent screw-in pattern – tolling the death knell for thousands of antique lamps and chandeliers which depend on small, bayonet-style fittings to work.
However, there is a light – excuse the pun – on the horizon. In an editorial for January 11th, the Daily Mail describes how shopkeepers in the UK are rebelling, by stockpiling thousands of tungsten bulbs, of all sizes, ahead of the ban.
People buying antique desks in Preston often buy desk lamps of the same age; good antique dealers in Lancashire should have bulbs to fit, or at least tell you where to buy them.
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