Lights Out on Traditional Bulbs


In 2007, the United States Congress passed the Energy Independence and Security Act, which was designed to promote energy independence, renewable fuels and energy efficiency technologies. One of the provisions in the Act was the implementation of increased energy efficiency standards for incandescent light bulbs. Beginning in January 2012, 100-watt incandescent bulbs must be 30% more energy efficient than the current incandescent bulbs on the market. 75-watt bulbs must meet the heightened energy efficiency standards by 2013 and 40- and 60-watt bulbs must meet the new standards by 2014. While incandescent-style bulbs will remain legal to manufacture, the heightened energy standards effectively ban the traditional light bulb as we know it. Traditional light bulbs will continue to be sold in stores until existing inventory is exhausted, but the manufacture of such bulbs must cease on January 1, 2012. Some companies have already closed manufacturing plants and commenced selling off their existing stock.

What does this mean for consumers? First, it means consumers will have to consider new options for lighting. Halogen, LED and CFL (compact fluorescent) or “squiggle-bulb” lights meet the new energy efficiency standards, so consumers will be screwing a new light into lamp sockets going forward. If you cannot live without the traditional light bulb, you had better start stocking up now!

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DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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