European regulators were more aggressive in their approach to light bulbs
legislation than regulators in the US, banning inefficient light bulbs starting in September of 2009. Since September 1, it has been illegal to sell light bulbs that do not meet "eco-design" standards. That means pretty much every standard A-line incandescent light bulb. Not everyone agrees with this regulation; a German website, heatball.de, has begun to sell the very same incandescent light bulbs that were banned, but under a different name.
They call their product Heatballs. By marketing incandescent light bulbs as heaters, this German company is able to circumvent the European ban on inefficient light bulbs. The website states that the Heatball is the "best invention since the light bulb. Heatballs are technically similar to incandescent light bulbs, but they are intended for heating rather than lighting." In spite of exploiting a legislative loophole to sell energy inefficient light bulbs, the company does seem to have at least a marginal interest in the environment; Heatball donates 0.30 euros from every "heater" purchase to projects for the protection of the rain forest.
It's an interesting move against a decision celebrated as helping to save enough electricity to power a small country. Judging by the lines of people trying to get the last of the 100-watt incandescent light bulbs, Heatballs should sell pretty well.
It remains to be seen if this is something that will be accounted for in future modifications to our own EPACT lighting legislation, or if we too will have mini heaters for sale in place of incandescent light bulbs when they are banned in the next couple years. It seems like something the government wouldn't want to allow, but who knows if it is serious enough an issue to warrant legislative resources.