I hear incandescent light bulbs are being phased out? Is that true?

The Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 (the “Energy Bill”), signed by President George W. Bush on December 18, 2007 requires all light bulbs use 30% less energy than today’s incandescent bulbs by 2012 to 2014. The phase-out will start with 100-watt bulbs sold starting in January 2012 and end with 40-watt bulbs sold starting in January 2014. By 2020, a Tier 2 would become effective which requires all bulbs to be at least 70% more efficient (effectively equal to today’s CFLs).

The standards set by the bill are technology neutral, meaning any technology can qualify. In the near future, a "next generation" of incandescent bulbs could satisfy the 30% increased efficiency. There are also other lighting technologies, such as halogen and LEDs that will be able to meet the new requirements and are expected to both increase in performance and drop in cost over the next few years. 

 Today’s Bulbs

After the Standard

Standard Effective Date

100 watt

≤ 72 watts

January 1, 2012

75 watt

≤ 53 watts

January 1, 2013

60 watt

≤ 43 watts

January 1, 2014

40 watt

≤ 29 watts

January 1, 2014

There are many types of incandescent bulbs that are exempt from this law:
--any kind of specialty light (ie. bulb in refrigerator)
--reflector bulbs
--3-way bulbs
--candelabras
--globes
--shatter resistant
--vibration service
--rough service
--colored bulbs (i.e. "party bulbs")
--bug lights
--plant lights

The law applies to the sale of bulbs, not the use of existing stock of bulbs. Learn more: 5-page factsheet 

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Topic Information
  • Topic #: 23002-24835
  • Date Created: 1/15/2008
  • Last Modified Since: 12/9/2011
  • Viewed: 29389
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