Incandescent bulbs are on their way out. As of January 1, 2013 the 75 watt light bulb is no longer allowed to be manufactured in, or imported to, the United States.
Retailers are allowed to sell through their existing inventories of 75 watt light bulbs, however. The 75 watt light bulb has now joined the 100 watt light bulb, which was phased out in 2012. 40 watt and 60 watt light bulbs are to be banned in 2014.
The ban of the traditional incandescent light bulb is due to legislation that was adopted by Congress and signed by former President George W. Bush in 2007 in an effort to promote energy efficiency in the United States. The reason? Wasted energy. “90 percent of the energy the bulb uses is wasted,” said Celia Kuperzmid-Lehrman of Consumer Reports. “What they replaced them with are much more energy-efficient bulbs.” Most screw-in bulbs must use at least 27 percent less energy by 2014.
So what are the options left for consumers?
The remaining options for consumers are Compact Fluorescent Light Bulbs (CFLs) and Light-Emitting Diode bulbs (LEDs), which use considerably less energy. These options, however, have been met with some resistance.
In regards to CFLs, most people didn’t like them when they first arrived on the scene because they were not as bright as the incandescent bulb(s) they were replacing. Brightness is becoming less of an issue these days, as advancements in the CFL technologies has the blubs producing cleaner, brighter light.
The second reason for resistance, and maybe this should be the first, is the price difference. The new light bulbs are significantly more expensive than the old incandescent version, so you’ll have to shell out more cash up front. The advantages, however, will save the consumer money over time.
EFFICIENCY: CFLs are four times more efficient and last up to 10 times longer than incandescent bulbs. LED bulbs last up to 10 times as long as compact fluorescent bulbs, and far longer than typical incandescent bulbs.
COST-EFFECTIVE: Although initially more expensive, you save money in the long run because CFLs use 1/3 the electricity and last up to 10 times as long as incandescent bulbs. Although LEDs are initially expensive, the cost is recouped over time and in battery savings. LED bulb use was first adopted commercially, where maintenance and replacement costs are expensive. But the cost of new LED bulbs has gone down considerably in the last few years. and are continuing to go down.
For more information on CLFs and LEDs, including comparison charts, visit Eartheasy.com.