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Incandescent Thomas Edison Light Bulb Banned

Incandescent bulbThe incandescent bulb or the Edison bulb as we know it has been banned. This is going to dramatically change home lighting and the manufacturering of lighting fixtures and light bulbs. The goal is to encourage the use of energy efficient lighting such as compant fluorescent lamps (CFLs), Halogen and LED Lamps. Most of us respect the work and memory of Thomas Edison but it is time for change to use less energy.

CFL BulbCalifornia was the first state to pass a bill, signed by Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, to phase out the use of the incandescent bulbs by 2018. The bill aims to establish a minimum standard of twenty-five lumens per watt by 2013 and sixty lumens per watt by 2018.

The federal government then passed the Clean Energy Act of 2007 which was signed into law on December 19, 2007. This legislation bans incandescent bulbs by January 2014 that produce 310 - 2600 lumens of light.  Bulbs outside this range (roughly, light bulbs currently less than 40 Watts or more than 150 Watts) are exempt from the ban. The legislation also exempts several classes of speciality lights, including appliance lamps, "rough service" bulbs, reflector "flood", 3-way, candelabra, colored bulbs, and plant lights.

LED LampIn December 2007, The United States enacted the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007, requiring all general-purpose light bulbs to be 30% more energy efficient (similar to current halogen lamps) than current incandescent bulbs by 2012 to 2014. The phase-out will start with 100-watt "general service" bulbs in January 2012. 60 and 40-watt "general service" incandescent lamps are targeted to be phased out by January 2014. By 2020, a second tier would become effective; which requires all general-purpose bulbs to be at least 70% more efficient (similar to current CFLs).

Both California and Nevada have the option of adopting the federal law a year early, and in the meantime, California has already enacted its own standards that reduce the maximum wattage of common incandescent bulbs by 5% while maintaining lumen output.


The light bulb ban makes no sense -from any perspective... 
Americans choose to buy ordinary light bulbs around 9 times out of 10 (light industry data 2007-8) 
Banning what people WANT gives the supposed savings - no point in banning an impopular product! 
If new LED lights -or improved CFLs- are good, 
people will buy them - no need to ban ordinary light bulbs (little point). 
If they are not good, people will not buy them - no need to ban ordinary light bulbs (no point)! 
The arrival of the transistor didn't mean that more energy using radio tubes had to be banned... they were bought less anyway. 
All lights have advantages.... 
The ordinary simple light bulb has for many people a pleasing appearance, it responds quickly with bright broad spectrum light, is easy to use with dimmers and other equipment, can come in small sizes, and has safely been used for over 100 years. 
100 W+ equivalent brightness is a particular issue - difficult and expensive with both fluorescents and LEDS - yet such incandescent bulbs are first in line for banning in both USA and the EU. 
Since when does America need to save on electricity? 
There is no energy shortage. 
Note that if there was an energy shortage, the price rise would make people buy more efficient products anyway - no need to legislate for it. 
Energy security? 
There are usually plenty of local energy sources, 
Middle East oil is not used for electricity generation, 1/2 world uranium exports are from Canada and Australia. 
Consumers - not politicians - pay for the energy used. 
Certainly it is good to let people know how they can save energy and money - but why force them to do it? 
Most cars have emissions. 
But does your light bulb give out any gases? 
Power stations might not either: 
In Washington state practically all electricity is emission-free, while around half of it is in states like New York and California. 
Why should emission-free Seattle, New York and Los Angeles households be denied the use of lighting they obviously want to use? 
Low emission households will increase everywhere, since emissions will be reduced anyway through the planned use of coal/gas processing technology or energy substitution. 
Also, the supposed savings can be questioned for many reasons: 
For example, official research (Energy Star, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory Berkeley University and other institutions) question the lifespans, brightness, energy usage, and overall usage savings with CFLs 
Even for those who remain pro-ban, taxation to reduce consumption makes more sense, since government can use the income to reduce emissions (home insulation schemes, renewable projects etc) more than any remaining product use causes such problems.  
A 1 dollar tax that reduces the current 2 billion ordinary incandescent bulb sales per annum, still raises future billions, and retains consumer choice. 
Taxation in itself is hardly needed, and wrong for similar reasons to bans - it's just preferable to bans. 
Posted @ Friday, August 07, 2009 1:50 PM by peter dublin
I love these "what's the point" comments. I agree, why phase out the equivalent of 1970 eight cylinder gas guzzelers? Why try to improve ourselves with better technology, while Europe and Japan clean our clocks with high efficiency products (look at the US auto industry) we can just blame the communists, cause we're Americans dammit. If anyone paid attention we still have great looking halogen MR-16 and PAR lamps, CFLs very good too, not anymore of the 1980s vintage. American ingenuity has been replaced by lazy, whiners.
Posted @ Friday, September 04, 2009 12:40 PM by Henderson Jackey
With my very best regards 
Posted @ Tuesday, September 22, 2009 4:36 AM by Stan
So we don't have incandescent bulbs but we add more mercury to the environment with compact fluorescents? Hmmmm! And I hope they do something to drastically improve those UGLY LED Christmas Lights! They are more suited to a funhouse, not Christmas! UGH!
Posted @ Wednesday, December 16, 2009 12:37 PM by Jeff
good post! i have used each of these lights before. I almost still prefer a standard lightbulb.
Posted @ Thursday, September 30, 2010 10:32 AM by lighting gal
There's no need to ban the incandescent bulbs, as consumer's purchasing decisions will eventually lead to nearly universal usage of CFLs anyway. No one had to ban tube type televisions in order to force people into paying double for an LCD flat screen; the sheep couldn't buy the new technology fast enough. These same sheep now mill about in the lighting aisle looking, reading, comparing. Most of them invariably leave with a 3-pack of some type of CFL. I try my best to squeeze by them as I make a beeline for that narrow strip of shelving still dedicated to the GE 100 watt Reveals which I hoard in my closet at home.
Posted @ Thursday, November 18, 2010 11:07 PM by Jay Howe
this type of fluorescent bulb has been offered as a replacement for the incandescent bulbs that may be banned by 2014. they are closer to incandescent bulbs in size but retain the energy saving properties.the two most common shapes are u-shaped and spiral. recent developments have also led to a light that is more natural and similar to the light produced by incandescent bulbs.
Posted @ Tuesday, December 07, 2010 1:52 PM by Compact Fluorescent
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