How Do You Like Your Light?

Time to say goodbye to the bulb that Edison made

Between now and 2014, lighting your home will by law become a more energy efficient endeavor. Standard incandescent bulbs, as per the “Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007,” will no longer be allowed to be manufactured in or imported to the U.S.A, which will change the lighting options available to you.

You can still get (and buy) regular lightbulbs

To be clear — the regulations that passed in 2007 (and that went into effect Sunday, January 1st) mandate a three-year phase out of the manufacture and import of incandescent bulbs. Buying and selling these bulbs is not against the law. According to the schedule laid out, the 100-watt bulb is the first to go — this year, 2012. In 2013, say goodbye to the 75-watt bulb. And in two years, 60- and 40-watt bulbs will no long be allowed.

Banned, but not enforced—yet.

In a rather peculiar turn of events, however, the government voted to disallow spending any money to enforce the ban on 100-watt incandescent bulbs — at the very earliest until October 1st, 2012.

In fact, not exactly banned at all

Although there are plenty of posts and articles about the total demise of the incandescent bulb, this is not actually the case at all. What the new rules demand is that incandescent bulbs manufactured or imported into the U.S.A. must conform to new energy standards. A normal 100-watt incandescent bulb draws 100 watts of power to produce the amount of light it does, but uses most of that energy to emit heat. The new rules require that a bulb that throws off the same amount of light only draw a maximum of 72 watts of power.  In April of last year, Philips Lighting launched a new line of incandescent bulbs that meet the new requirements. These bulbs are not as energy efficient as LED or CFL bulbs, but, according to Philips, the light they give off is the same as the light from traditional incandescents.


The EcoVantage bulbs are available at, Home Depot and a variety of online and local stores, if you want to see what kind of light they produce.


For more information on the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 and how it could impact you:

·        New York Times: Almost Time to Change the Bulb

·        The Advertiser: Out with the old-fashioned light bulb

·        The Washington Post: The incandescent light bulb is dead; long live the incandescent light bulb?