Just what every European household needs: heat balls. A German businessman has decided to start marketing the items as 'small heating devices' for households requiring additional warmth. Apparently, there's a perceived need for that in Europe.
Anyway... very ingenious things, heat balls: they work by converting electricity into heat energy, with an impressive 95% efficiency, which makes them perfect for warming specific spots in the house. They're also absurdly simple to make: glass, tungsten, some argon to keep the device stable - it's all very cheap to make, particularly since it's all off-the-shelf technology. Best of all: heat balls fit in a standard lamp socket, which means that you won't need any kind of special equipment to use them! They're not perfect, though: the extremely small amount of energy wasted by a heat ball ends up generating photons, which means that you don't want to look at a heat ball directly. But even that can be mitigated by using exterior shades. Really, on balance it's a great little device: as Instapundit (H/T) notes, very green.
What's that? I've just described the incandescent light bulb?
Don't be absurd: the European Union banned those, remember? This is just a heat generator; that's how it's marketed, and that's how it's being sold. If somebody plugs one in just to generate light, well, that's hardly the seller's fault, is it?
Moe Lane (crosspost)
PS: Californians, take note. Heck, Americans in general after 2012.
PPS: Here's the English-language site. Note that the EU is being called out for its anti-environmental stance on the Heat Ball, by the way.