As of January 1, 2014, 60 and 40 watt incandescent bulbs will no longer be manufactured or sold in the United States. Retailers will sell out what is on their shelves and not restock incandescents. George W. Bush signed the phase-out, which was called for by The Energy Independence and National Security Act, in 2007. The bill also includes improvements in energy efficiency for lighting and appliances many of which have been in stores for several years.
Consumers will benefit financially. The transition is better environmentally, as well; making it a win, win for all. Incandescent light bulbs presently make up for over half of all bulbs purchased but are inefficient, turning about 90 percent of the energy they consume into heat, not light. 75 and 100 watt incandescent bulbs have been phased out over the last two years.
According to Noah Horowitz, Senior Scientist and Director of the Center for Energy Efficiency for the Natural Resource Defense Council, the phase out will save Americans $13 billion on their annual energy bills.
Alternatives to the incandescent bulbs include the following:
Philips SlimStyle LED — Currently under consideration for ENERGY STAR certification, the SlimStyle LED bulb reduces energy consumption by 85 percent and lasts 25 times longer than a traditional 60-watt incandescent. It is dimmable, brighter and delivers a softer white light than CFLs. It is safer and lighter weight. The SlimStyle is available exclusively at HomeDepot.com starting January 2, 2014, just in time for the final phase out.
CFLs (Compact Fluorescent Lamps) —CFLs were the first alternative to incandescent light bulbs. Now it has been learned that LEDs are better and will last longer, yet the high initial investment puts them out of reach for most people. CFLs are widely available in grocery and convenience stores. They come in a spiral shape and A-line. If broken they can be hazardous to your health and disposal is difficult.
Energy-Efficient Soft White bulbs by GE — If you’re completely devastated by the idea of switching to those newfangled CFLs or LEDs, GE’s Energy-Efficient Soft White bulbs will ease your transition. They look and light exactly like the bulbs you grew up with, only they use 28 percent less energy.
Article by Robin Blackstone, appearing courtesy Environmental News Network.