Low-voltage halogen lamps are to begin to be banned from next year under draft legislation drawn up by the European Commission, Lux magazine can reveal

12V MR16 lamps are the workhorses of retail, commercial and, increasingly, residential lighting and millions are sold every year in the EU.

But under Ecodesign legislation, ‘poor performing’ versions are to be phased out from next year.

Better-performing versions, such as those with infra-red coatings, can remain until 2016.

The law sets out a series of minimum performance measures, including lifetime, output in a 90-degree cone and efficiency, which will effectively mean that low quality lamps – often Far Eastern imports – will be excluded from sale in the European Union from 2013.

The phase-out is part of the Ecodesign legislation, which led to the phase-out of incandescent lamps in recent years.

Paul Hodson of the directorate-general for energy is currently consulting with peers before publication of the final draft.

Lamp makers are said to be concerned with the new performance metrics, the timescales of the ban and supplies of IRC capsules.

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