New Lighting Efficiency Rules
Take Effect Nationwide January 1, 2012.
Information from the
National Lighting Bureau
As of January 1, 2012, it will be a violation of the Energy Independence and Security Act (EISA) of 2007 (Public Law 110-140) to import the 100-watt incandescent light bulbs to the United States or to manufacture them here. In California, state law banned the bulb as of January 1, 2011.
January 1, 2013, 75-watt general-service incandescent bulbs will begin disappearing from retailers' shelves January 1, 2014, 60-watt and 40-watt general-service incandescent bulbs will disappear.
According to the National Lighting Bureau, the nationwide ban is the first of several designed to reduce energy waste. Light bulb efficiency is measured in lumens - a measure of the amount of light produced - per watt of electric power required to operate the bulb. Conventional 100-watt incandescent light bulbs produce about 17 lumens per watt, a rating that's too low to meet the new standards.
Compact fluorescent bulbs (CFL) produce about 62.5 lumens per watt, about four times the amount of light that incandescent lamps produce on a watt-for-watt basis, and they last ten times as long. Although the typical CFL is a coiled device, CFLs are available in many sizes and shapes. Some are manufactured with outer bulbs that make them look just like conventional 100-watt incandescent bulbs. Dimmable CFLs also are available;. Only those CFLs designated as dimmable will function properly when used with a dimmer.
Solid-state lighting, incorporating light-emitting diode (LED) technology, can also be used to replace incandescents. At 75 lumens per watt, the 10- watt LEDs used to replace 100-watt incandescent bulbs are about 20% more efficient than CFLs, but they can last six or more times as long; that's about 65 to 70 times as long as conventional 100-watt incandescent bulbs.
The impediment to widespread LED use is a comparatively high cost (about $30 or so for some 10-watt LEDs), but prices are rapidly declining.
Most 100-watt specialty incandescent bulbs are not affected by the ban. The specialty bulbs include, among others: 3-way bulbs; appliance lights; "bug lights"; infrared and colored bulbs; shatter-resistant, vibration-service, and rough-service bulbs; bulbs used in signs; and bulbs used for marine, mine, and traffic applications.
Halogen, CFL, and LED replacements for these three lamps are already being sold.
So, if you dislike the new compact fluorescent bulbs as much as I do, there's not much time left to stock up on the old incandescent light bulbs. Just do me one favor. Leave some for me.