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Understanding the New Light Bulb Regulations

Andy Darnell —  — Leave a comment

New light bulb regulations are going into effect starting in January of 2012. The changes brought on by the regulations will phase out current incandescent light bulbs for more energy-efficient bulbs.

Learn more about the new law and the energy-efficient bulbs that will work best in your home or workshop.

What does the new legislation state?

Beginning in January 2012 and phasing through the start of 2014, the U.S. Federal lighting efficiency standards has approved legislation banning the manufacturing of most 100, 75, 60, and 40-watt incandescent light bulbs. The new legislation mandates that these incandescent light bulbs be replaced by a bulb that uses 30% less energy, but produces the same amount of light output.

What does this mean for you?

After 2012, the incandescent light bulbs that you use today may not be available at your True Value Hardware Store or any other store, for that matter. These bulbs will be replaced with energy-efficient options such as Halogen, CFL, and LED light bulbs.

Is there an exception to the ban?

Yes. Many specialty bulbs such as refrigerator & appliance bulbs, shatter-resistant bulbs, globes, and candelabra bulbs will still be available.

How much energy do these new light bulbs really save?

Quite a lot! After the new regulations go into effect, U.S households will be on the way to collectively saving close to $6 billion by 2015, according to an estimate by the U.S. Department of Energy. We’ll accomplish this because the new light bulbs require less electricity to operate, which saves on energy costs. They also emit less heat than incandescent light bulbs, so cooling systems won’t work as hard, thus helping to lower cooling bills. Finally, since the new bulbs last longer, you’ll change them less often, and that will save you money as well.

What are the differences among the new light bulbs?

While the most common alternative to incandescent light bulbs used today is the CFL, there are some subtle differences among the options, depending on your lighting fixture and preference. And while the upfront cost of the bulb may be more ($2.99 – $9.99, based on product line and wattage), the cost is more than offset in energy savings and product longevity.

Halogen bulbs CFL bulbs LED bulbs
How do these 3 types of bulbs rate for energy efficiency?
Least energy efficient Very energy efficient Very energy efficient
How long do they last?
Up to 2,000 hours Up to 12,000 hours Up to 40,000 hours
How many watts of electricity do they use, compared to incandescent bulbs?
27% less 75% less 75% less
What type of light do they produce?
Bright, crisp light A wide range of color options Bright, crisp light
Do they come as a dimmable option?
Yes Yes, however, not all CFLs can be used with dimmer switches Yes, however, not all LEDs can be used with dimmer switches
Can I use it outdoors?
Yes Yes, but they need to be covered and/or protected from the elements. Low temps also may increase warm up times. Yes
What are their limitations?
Life & efficiency is not to the level of CFL or LED Slow warm up vs. standard incandescent to reach full light output from a cold start, minute mercury content, and dimmability Limited light output (lumens vs. standard incandescent) and dimmability
Shop Halogen bulbs > Shop CFL bulbs > Shop LED bulbs >

(Source: TrueValue.com)

Andy Darnell

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