Beginning on August 1, 2023, the U.S. Department of Energy will outlaw the sale of inefficient light bulbs. Many people see this as a ban on incandescent and halogen light bulbs given that they are significantly less energy efficient than LED light bulbs. When U.S. bans bulbs, it is for energy efficiency.
A new minimum standard for light bulbs at 45 lumens—or brightness—per watt, an improvement above the usual 12 to 18 lumens per watt. U.S. bans bulbs with the purpose of energy saving, but also as a means to have monetary benefits.
Although homeowners using any current bulb that does not meet the standard will not be obliged to quit using them, retailers will be forbidden from selling any bulbs. Including incandescent bulbs—that do not satisfy the new standard.
According to the department, more energy-efficient bulbs, such as LEDs, use at least 75% less energy. They also may last 25 times longer than incandescent lights. In view of this, the decision was made to preserve energy and “help consumers save on their energy bills.”
The Energy Independence and Security Act, signed into law by former president George W. Bush in 2007, called for household light bulbs to have “about 25% greater efficiency. Though it did not outright outlaw incandescent bulbs. Furthermore, this initiative to phase out less efficient bulbs was started as a result.
Utilizing energy-efficient bulbs for an entire year will save Americans around $3 billion in total on power costs.
Is Every Bulb Banned?
As part of the new regulation, not all incandescent light bulbs are prohibited, according to the Department of Energy. What retailers can still sell and manufacturers can still make is listed below:
- Appliance lamps, including fridge and oven lights
- Black lights
- Bug lamps
- Colored lamps
- Infrared lamps
- Left-handed thread lamps
- Plant lights
- Reflector lamps
- Showcase lamps
- Traffic signals
- Some other specialty lights, including marine lamps and some odd-sized bulbs
Bulbs And Politics?
The general public is free to use whichever light bulbs they like as long as they are still functional. (The Energy Department reports that incandescent light bulbs typically have a substantially shorter lifespan than LED light bulbs).
As U.S. bans bulbs, the use of non-conforming bulbs is not prohibited. Only the manufacturing and sale of light bulbs that generate fewer than 45 lumens per watt are subject to the restriction.
The ban completes a bipartisan campaign to outlaw incandescent bulbs that began under the Bush administration and lasted for decades. However, there has been significant opposition to the regulation, notably among certain Republican legislators and conservative media outlets.