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Bye Bye Light Bulb?

Author: Ashton Harrison

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The government has passed measures to prohibit the sale of incandescent light bulbs, thus encouraging the use of more energy-efficient lighting alternatives, such as compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs) and LED lamps. However, you don’t need to panic or stock up on bulbs! In response to the fact that the federal government enacted the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007, the industry has been hard at work coming up with energy efficient options.  This law will require all general-purpose light bulbs that produce 310–2600 lumens of light (greater than 30 watts) to be 30% more energy efficient than our current incandescent bulbs by 2012 to 2014.  The efficiency standards will start with 100-watt bulbs in January 2012 and end with 40-watt bulbs in January 2014. Exempt are Light bulbs outside of this range; historically, those less than 40 watts or greater than 150 watts. In addition, several classes of specialty lights such as appliance lamps, rough service bulbs, 3-way bulbs, colored lamps and plant lights are also exempt. By 2020, a second tier of restrictions will become effective. This next tier requires all general-purpose bulbs to produce at least 45 lumens per watt (similar to current CFLs). Exemptions from the Act include reflector flood, 3-way bulbs, candelabra, colored and other specialty bulbs. California will phase out the use of incandescent bulbs by 2018. They mandate a minimum standard of 25 lumens per watt by 2013 and 60 lumens per watt by 2018.

Incandescent light bulb production was expected to end in the coming years as regulations come into force banning their sale. However, manufacturers are now making more efficient incandescent bulbs and should have compliant versions available before the “official ban”. There is also currently a high-efficiency “hybrid” version of the halogen light bulb that looks just like your regular incandescent bulb! Meanwhile, LED bulbs are now coming in familiar shapes and sizes and color rendering has improved. And prices continue to fall, making them more affordable every day.  In many cases, the LED alternative might make more sense because they are so efficient. You will be able to use a 3-watt LED where you currently use a 60-watt incandescent bulb and a 17-watt LED where you currently use a 100-watt bulb and you will get the same amount of light!

What this all means to you is that there is good news! Bulbs that look JUST LIKE your regular household incandescent bulb in every way will be available to you by the time the incandescent bulb goes away (-And remember, there is also the chance that a high-efficient incandescent bulb will be developed!), so you definitely don’t want to stock up on the high energy-consumption bulbs that we all use today! WE will keep you posted.

The chart below compares Incandescent, Fluorescent and LED wattages and their corresponding Lumens:

Incandescent Watts

Fluorescent (CFL) watts

LED Watts

Minimum Light Output Lumens

40

9-13

4-5

450

60

13-15

6-8

800

75

18-25

9-13

1100

100

23-30

16-20

1600

150

30-55

25-28

2600

Links to our special bulbs:

Our compact fluorescent bulb virtually indistinguishable from your current bulb: 15 watt CFL fluorescent regular light bulb shape
Our LED household bulb: 5.8 Watts 2700K LED Regular Shape A Bulb Medium Base
Our Halogen Hybrid:  43 Watt Clear Eco-Friendly Halogen A19 Bulbs, 2-Pack
Our Best LED Chandelier Bulb:  2 watt Best LED Candelabra Light Bulb

©Shades of Light 2011

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4 Responses to “Bye Bye Light Bulb?”

  1. Kat says:

    Government restrictions on light bulbs is absolutely Ridiculous! CFL’s give terrible lighting, they are expensive and they contain mercury. There are safety issues with the CFL’s and the disposal of those are something that is not being talked about. I will be stocking up on the “regular” light bulbs.
    The Government screws up way too many things already….. we can choose our own light bulbs!

  2. ashton says:

    Thank you for your comments. We always love to hear from our followers. While we are totally in agreement with you, we strive to keep you informed of changes in our industry. Our hope is that LED technology will make fluorescent bulbs extinct!
    Ashton Harrison

  3. Darla says:

    This little chart is so great. Every retailer and manufacturer should get smart and post this on their product and on their display shelves. This change is not going to be easy. We’re talking about the same country who has never gotten the hang of the matric system, after all.

  4. Mary says:

    Have you ever been stuck on one of the newer commercial airliners with LED’s for reading lights? It’s pure misery. Reading or working under CFL’s or LED’s is for the birds. Some things are greener as they are. Incandescents are affordable, biodegradable and warm and inviting. I cannot imagine our sterile world of government-regulated light bulbs and beyond. Any idea how much money went into this new little chart of regulated lighting??? The “research”, “studies”, appointed panel of experts drawing hefty pay checks and so on. How many tax payer dollars does it take to change a light bulb?

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