Today Kicks Off a Ban of These Lightbulbs

Barring of incandescent, halogen bulbs emitting fewer than 45 lumens per watt is now in place
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 1, 2023 11:27 AM CDT
Say Goodbye to Most Incandescent Bulbs
GE lightbulbs are displayed in a supermarket April 5, 2021 in New York.   (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan, File)

The country may look a bit brighter Tuesday under a new rule banning most incandescent and halogen lightbulbs. Under an Energy Department rule put in place in April 2022, the manufacture and sale of most household incandescent and halogen bulbs is banned as of Tuesday, per Quartz. There are exceptions, however, for appliance lamps, chandelier lights, infrared lamps, colored lamps, black lights, floodlights, plant grow lights, traffic signals, and other specialty lights, per CNN Business. For most household uses, consumers will have to opt for LED (light-emitting diode) bulbs. Unlike the traditional bulbs, the modern LEDs convert electrical energy directly into light, rather than heat, and are about 75% more efficient.

A bipartisan effort to ban incandescent bulbs began under the Bush administration and was expanded under the Obama administration. President Trump later rolled back the ban, complaining that LED bulbs were too pricey and made him look "orange." However, the Biden administration pushed ahead with the plan, and the Energy Department announced last year that common household bulbs would be required to emit at least 45 lumens (brightness) per watt as of this August. Traditional incandescent bulbs emit 12 to 18 lumens per watt, halogens emit 10 to 20 lumens per watt, and LEDs emit 75 to 110 lumens per watt, per Quartz. Though they cost up to four times as much as incandescent bulbs, LEDs also last 25 times as long—about 25,000 hours, according to Perch Energy.

You're free to use up any household incandescent bulbs you have on hand. But manufacturers and retailers can now be fined for producing or selling them. The change is expected to save US consumers up to $3 billion on utility bills. MarketWatch lays out this comparison: At a sample electricity rate of $0.11 per kWh, it would cost $6.60 to operate a 60-watt incandescent for 1,000 hours, but only $1.32 to operate a 12-watt LED bulb of similar brightness for the same amount of time. The change is also expected to cut carbon emissions by 222 million metric tons over the next three decades, per CNN. The Biden administration next looks to target compact fluorescent light (CFL) bulbs, which at 25% more efficient than incandescent bulbs are considered inferior to LEDs. (More incandescent bulbs stories.)

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