New Law to Essentially Eliminate Incandescent Lightbulbs

New energy efficiency standards, set to become effective as of January 1st, 2012, are expected to phase out incandescent lightbulbs.

Although the law does not expressly ban the use of incandescent lightbulbs, it does require lightbulbs to be 25 to 30 percent and at least 60 percent more efficient by 2014 and 2020, respectively, which will effectively eliminate the bulbs falling short of the standards. However, specialty bulbs, three-way bulbs, chandelier bulbs, refrigerator bulbs, plant grow lights and others will not be restricted by the new law.

A lot of consumers are not happy about the new law, as the alternatives cost more than incandescent bulbs. According to the American Lighting Association (ALA), consumers can choose a CFL or halogen incandescent in substitution. Prices of those types are about US$ 3 each and an equivalent LED costs about US$ 40, much higher than that of basic incandescent. As a result, the law has triggered certain consumers preferring incandescent bulbs to stock up.

For the purpose of making it easier for consumers to compare different kinds, starting in January, 2012, light output of lightbulbs will be measured in lumens instead of watts and indicated on new packaging, ALA pointed out.

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