Halogen lamps are due to be banned in 2016 as part of the European Commission's DIM regulations.
However, in order for them to be phased out, there has to be a suitable alternative in place. The ban will affect halogen MR16, G9 and GU10. Low cost LEDs were supposed to replace halogens but manufacturers are struggling to make them in time. The ban could be delayed to 2018 to give LED manufacturers more time.
If the ban went ahead in 2016 and low cost LEDs were not available the only possible substitute for MR16s would be versions with an infrared coating (IRC). It also looks like G9s will be remaining on the market as LED manufacturers have found it hard to produce the same format.
A source stated: "The European Commission is terrified of creating black holes [of missing lamp formats] in the market as it will fuel anti-EU sentiment and play well in the Eurosceptic press. The format that everyone gets worked up about is MR16 but the IRC patent issue is a massive spanner in the works."
Managing Director of Neonlite International (owner of Megaman), Fred Bass, said: "It looks like the goalposts are being moved. In my view, it's not sensible to push back the date of the final ban on mains voltage halogen lamps by a further two years and leave these high energy lamps for more than four years from today. From a technical point of view LED lighting technology is progressing so rapidly, surely it makes more sense to make decisions on the extension of the halogens phase-out 'based on affordability issues' that is allowed up to a year before its implementation. In addition, I feel that the decision to extend the phase out to over four years from now, when the pace of change in LEDs is so fast at this time, will result in the loss of an opportunity to significantly reduce energy consumption and carbon emissions. As well as impacting our environment negatively, this revision sends the wrong message."