Goodbye to the Light Bulb We All Know and Love

You know which light bulb I mean. It’s the one you’ve burned your hands on when trying to unscrew it too soon after it’s been turned off. It’s the one you put in the lamp in your living room to read by in your comfortable chair; the one you use to light the stairways at night. It’s the 100-watt incandescent that uses practically the same technology put together by Thomas Edison in 1879. It’s a metal filament inside a glass vacuum that gives off light and heat when exposed to an electric current. Say goodbye. It’s out of our hands. It’s a goner. I’m guessing it won’t go quietly.

It’s a little late to say goodbye in California, where 100-watt incandescents have been effectively banned since January 1. The rest of the country will catch up to us next year, when the popular light bulb will be banned everywhere in the United States. It is not really an outright ban that is clearing the shelves of 100-watt incandescents in 2012, followed by the 75-watt bulb in 2013, and the 60- and 40-watt bulbs beginning in 2014. What’s killing the familiar bulb is an act of Congress that mandated efficiency standards that incandescents cannot meet: the Energy Independence and Security Act (EISA) of 2007. As the standard for watts per lumen (a measure of light output) become higher and higher, the familiar bulbs will begin disappearing from store shelves. It will be illegal to manufacture the less efficient bulbs in the United States or import them from abroad. A few special use incandescents will still be allowed, for example 3-way bulbs and appliance bulbs.

The most popular incandescents will gradually give way to more efficient halogen, fluorescent and compact fluorescent lights, and solid state lighting (SSL) devices like light emitting diodes (LED). The reduction in total energy use and green house gas emissions in the United States will be dramatic. According to an analysis by the American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy (ACEEE) the efficient light bulb provisions of the EISA will reduce national energy use by 60 terra-watt hours (terra equals trillion) of energy and reduce national emissions by 12 million metric tons of carbon by the year 2020.

Incandescents are already banned in Europe, but according to Ira Eisenstein, writing in the Home Energy Pros blog space, some stores there are selling 100-watt incandescents under the name “100-watt heat source.” Look for the creative American mind and the market to come up with similar workarounds in the United States. But gradually the incandescent bulb will be a thing of memory, while cleaner, more efficient, and longer lasting light sources become much less expensive.

Views: 169

Tags: climate, efficiency, energy, legislation, lighting

Comment

You need to be a member of Home Energy Pros to add comments!

Join Home Energy Pros

Home Energy Pros

Home Energy Pros was founded by the developers of Home Energy Saver Pro (sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy,) and brought to you in partnership with Home Energy magazine.

Latest Activity

Paul Haasz joined Evan Mills's group
Thumbnail

Home Energy Ratings

Calculating them; visualizing them; explaining them; selling them .... there is a lot to discuss…See More
13 hours ago
Paul Haasz joined James Sayers's group
Thumbnail

Marketing Energy Efficiency

Sharing ideas, tools and examples of promoting energy efficiency to consumersSee More
13 hours ago
Paul Haasz joined allen p tanner's group
Thumbnail

Energy Auditing Equipment for Sale, Trade or to Purchase

Discuss the pros and cons of the equipment you are interested in prior to purchase. Post equipment…See More
13 hours ago
Paul Haasz joined Leslie McDowell, BPI's group
Thumbnail

Building Performance Institute (BPI)

BPI is the nation's premier standards development, quality assurance and credentialing organization…See More
13 hours ago
Paul Haasz joined Sean Lintow Sr's group
Thumbnail

Best Practices (Residential)

Best Building, Retrofitting, or even Auditing Practices - what are they, what should change, what…See More
13 hours ago
Profile IconPerry Hurtt, charles michael durishin, Robert Lewis and 7 more joined Home Energy Pros
14 hours ago
Joe Konopacki posted an event

Duct & Envelope Tightness (DET) Verifier at Temperature Equipment Corporation

May 8, 2015 from 8:30am to 4:30pm
The Duct & Envelope Tightness Certification (DET) was designed by the Illinois Association of…See More
21 hours ago
Paul Raymer posted a blog post

Shades of Gray in Residential Construction Morality

I was called in to perform a last minute duct test for a modular home builder.  He was all in a…See More
23 hours ago

© 2015   Created by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service