No, Incandescent Bulbs Aren't 'Banned'
They're just evolving and getting more expensive
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 2, 2014 10:09 AM CST
In this Jan. 21, 2011, file photo, Manager Nick Reynoza holds a 100-watt incandescent light bulb at Royal Lighting in Los Angeles.   (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong, File)

(Newser) – By now, you've probably heard that as of yesterday, it's illegal to manufacture 40W and 60W incandescent light bulbs, due to a government ban. Ergo, the incandescent bulb is dead—except it's not, writes Sean Hollister at The Verge. "There is no such thing as an incandescent light bulb ban in the United States." At least not exactly. All the government has done is tighten efficiency standards about 25%—now, a bulb needs to be able to generate as much light as an old 60-watt bulb using just 43 watts of power.

Some incandescents can do that. Halogen bulbs, for example, are just incandescents with efficiency-boosting gas added. They're much more expensive (think $1.50 versus 25 cents), but should pay for themselves in energy savings. Of course, that's the logic that "could indeed kill the incandescent light bulb one day," because compact fluorescents (CFLs) and LEDs use even less juice. But some industry insiders believe CFLs are actually the endangered species; consumers haven't loved their light quality, they're not dimmable, and LEDs are more efficient. "Wouldn't it be something if the filament bulb outlasts its competitor?" Click for Hollister's full column.