As of January 1st 2014 it is illegal to import or manufacturer the popular 60-watt and 40-watt light bulbs commonly used for residential lighting because of laws signed by George W Bush in 2007. The Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 was part of a federal mandate to increase efficiency standards to reduce the amount electricity required to literally keep the lights on. Just in case you didn’t notice the 100-watt incandescent bulbs were banned in 2012 followed by the 75-watt bulbs 2013.
However, the first replacement compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs) did not make consumers happy as they were slow to turn on and gave off less light than the bulbs there were to replace. The first shortcomings have since been overcome as CFLs now illuminate instantly and emit light equal to the old incandescent bulbs and also last about ten times longer.
Even newer LED bulbs which use Light-Emitting Diodes have recently undergone major improvements in the areas of quality and price. The biggest negative to LED bulbs (their initial price) seems to dropping more every day as the technology improves. What makes LEDs cool, besides wasting far less energy as heat is that they can be programmed via computer chips to do many things, flicker like a candle or controlled remotely.
No need to panic or horde: The ban on Incandescent bulbs only covers the most basic type used in US homes, the three way bulbs and those with 150+ watts are still exempt. Even for those incandescent bulbs currently being phased out the law allows retailers to continue selling their current stock.
After the current supply of banned incandescent bulbs are sold, consumers will probably have to pay more upfront for their bulbs, but on the upside their replacement LED bulbs can last up to 25 times longer and use 85% less electricity, and the new bulbs won’t need to replaced for about 20 years. If they choose a CFL bulb as their replacement they will still save up to 75% on the electricity and the CFL bulb will only need to replaced again in about nine years or so, which is still a vast improvement over Incandescent bulbs.
It is hard not to a see a brighter future due to Incandescent bulb replacement. Industry was happy and content to waste electricity, since they weren’t paying the bill and having a relatively short lifespan allowed them to sell more Incandescent light bulbs.
The new laws have given birth to the proliferation of LEDs and the continued technological advancement of the lighting sector even though many businesses and politicians were screaming bloody murder trying to resist these green laws.
Green-Eco-EV News Reporting by Ken Green Burridge
EV of the Year Judge, independent green journalist, photographer, author and sustainability activist that has published over 1000 articles. Mr Burridge’s travels have taken him to over 30 countries and 300+ major cities. He is originally from the USA, but has been residing in Australia for the last seven years. Connect to Ken Burridge on: Twitter, facebook, Google+, Linked in or website