Top 4 Things to Know About the Incandescent Bulb Phase Out

Around since the late 1800s, the incandescent light bulbs are now on their way out because they no longer meet federal energy-efficiency standards.

Light bulb in hand (green tree growing in a bulb)The incandescent bulb phase out began in 2012 with 100-watt bulbs; 75-watts were phased out the next year.  As part of the Energy Independence and Security Act, this year marks the final stage of the phase out, meaning incandescent 40-watt and 60-watt bulbs will no longer be manufactured.

Most facility managers have already been dealing with the phase out of the incandescent light bulbs for the past couple years, so the effects this year should be minimal.

Here’s what Lowes says you should know about the phase out:

  1. You can keep on using your incandescents. Facilities can continue to use the bulbs they already have and retailers can sell all of their existing stock so they won’t completely disappear just yet. Manufacturers are most affected as they have to stop producing their non-compliant products. But not all products are non-compliant. Some types of incandescent light bulbs, such as appliance bulbs and decorative bulbs, are exempt from the law and will still be manufactured.
  2. You won’t notice much difference in the ambiance created by other bulbs. Even if you prefer the look of incandescents, many manufacturers have already developed bulbs with the same characteristics. Halogen bulbs are growing in popularity because of their crisp, white light. While halogens cost more initially, they pay off in the long run, enabling you to save 28% in energy costs over the life of a bulb.
  3. Your bulbs will last a long time, particularly if you use LEDs. They’ve come down in price while their performance has improved. The average LED lasts more than 22 years (when used about three hours per days). It will only cost about $30 to use an LED (light-emitting-diode) bulb over its lifetime, compared to $165 for an incandescent bulb.
  4. You’ll be surprised at the advancements of CFLs. Compact fluorescent light (CFL) bulbs are very popular replacements for incandescents, and you’ll be pleasantly surprised at how drastically they’ve changed from the CFLs of the past. They now offer better light output and they turn on quicker. While CFLs used to a pose safety risk because of mercury, they now contain less mercury than a standard household thermometer.

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