It’s been a nice 134-year run, but the end-times have arrived for the incandescent light bulb. That’s because the New Year brings with it the final implementation of the Energy Independence and Security Act (EISA).
In case you’re in the dark about the EISA (and many Americans are), it’s a legislative act that was signed into law by George W. Bush in 2007. The law mandates that light bulbs failing to meet the energy standards mandated by EISA may no longer be manufactured or imported. And that means that the good old incandescent bulbs that you’ve been using for most of your life are about to go bye-bye.
Some incandescent bulbs have already gone away. 100-watt incandescent bulbs were phased-out in 2012. 75-watt incandescents were phased-out in 2013. And starting in 2014, the last remaining old-tech survivors, 60- and 40-watt incandescents, are also being phased-out.
The Survey Says…
While the Energy Independence and Security Act will impact virtually every American, many are unaware of the full ramifications of the law. Lighting manufacturer Osram Sylvania recently conducted a survey to measure consumers’ awareness of EISA. They found that nearly half of all Americans are unaware that 40- and 60-watt incandescent bulbs are being phased-out.
The survey also revealed that a significant percentage of consumers that are aware of the law aren’t particularly happy with it. Thirty percent intend to continue purchasing traditional incandescent bulbs as long as they are available.
And incandescents will continue to be available for a while. The law only forbids the manufacturing and importation of bulbs that don’t meet the mandated energy requirements. But old-style incandescent bulbs that are currently in stock or in storage may continue to be sold.
Retailers anticipate that the old 40- and 60-watt incandescents will continue to be available for several months. When the 75- and 100-watt incandescents were phased-out, existing stocks lasted for about 6 months.
The law also permits the continued usage of the phased-out bulbs as long as they are available. So there’s no need to gather up and discard all the old-style incandescents in your home. You’re free to continue using them as long as you have them.
Resistance Is Futile
Lots of Americans believe that EISA is symbolic of a Federal Government whose nose is poking way too far into the private business of citizens. But right or wrong, the law is the law. And whether you’re on-board with the new law or not, you’ll eventually have to say good-bye to your old-style incandescents.
Inarguably, though, the old-style incandescents are quite energy-inefficient by modern standards. After all, it’s been well over a century since Edison’s “Eureka!” moment gave us the incandescent bulb. And there have been many advancements in lighting technology along the way. The full implementation of EISA is expected to save Americans upwards of $13 billion annually in energy costs.
You’ll have several flavors of technology to choose from in replacing your incandescent bulbs. Each will offer a substantial increase in energy efficiency – and in cost. So you’ll still have the freedom to make choices about the lighting technology you’d prefer to use. But with the advent of 2014, one of those choices is gone. Forever.