Will the Full Benefits of the Incandescent Bulb Ban Ever Kick In?
It has been more than a year since the final phase of the incandescent light bulb ban went into effect. As of January 1, 2014, 40- and 60-watt tungsten filament incandescent light bulbs can no longer be manufactured in the United States because they do not meet federal energy efficiency standards. The phase out began in 2012 with 100-watt bulbs, and continued in 2013 with 75-watt bulbs.
In terms of the number of households affected, the 2014 phase out was the most significant because the majority of consumers use the 60- and 40-watt variety.
And while sometime in the near future, consumers will no longer be able to purchase the phased out incandescent bulbs in their local supermarkets, they aren’t going away completely, according to a Renewable Energy World blog post. Some consumers likely stocked up on the 40- and 60-watt bulbs in anticipation of the phase out. But it’s important to remember that halogen incandescent bulbs were not included in the incandescent ban and will continue to be manufactured. The halogen contained in these bulbs makes them more efficient than normal incandescent bulbs, so they cannot be placed in the same category.
Even though halogen incandescent bulbs have a shorter lifespan than the CFLs and LEDs that are intended to replace incandescent light bulbs, their upfront cost is lower, making them a more attractive option for the average consumer. So it is very possible that halogen incandescent bulbs will be more widely adopted by the average consumer than their more energy efficient and more expensive CFL and LED counterparts.
Before the full environmental and cost benefits of energy efficient lighting can be realized, the loopholes in laws that govern lighting should be closed, and strict measures should be put in place to bring the cost of LED bulbs to an affordable level, says the Renewable Energy World post.
Photo via Shutterstock.
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