Last year 100W incandescent light bulbs were outlawed, triggering the first wave of stockpiling by worried consumers who do not like the energy saving alternatives.
By next week, it will be an offence to import or manufacture 75W bulbs, although shops can continue to sell them until stocks run out. As you might expect this has resulted in a wave of panic buying of 75w bulbs across Europe.
The greatest concern is being shown by those people who have old fashioned light fittings that take candle shaped bulbs for which there is no simple low energy replacement. This could pose a problem for the landed gentry with chandeliers and wall lights in their stately homes.
Panic buying of light bulbs is expected to get even worse when 60W bulbs are banned next year and all incandescent bulbs are phased out by 2012.
Advocates claim that replacing the old fashioned lamps with more efficient models will reduce domestic energy consumption for lighting by 60 per cent in the EU, equivalent to saving 30 million tons of CO2 pollution every year.
Unfortunately that argument does not sit well with those who simply do not like the colour of the light from the new bulbs of the shapes that they come in.