Traditional light bulbs are being hoarded ahead of federal phaseout
As the federally-mandated phaseout of some incandescent light bulbs draws near, some Americans are stashing bulbs in order to have their favorites for their home's light fixtures.
The bulbs will be replaced by energy-efficient compact fluorescent lights (CFLs), light-emitting diodes (LEDs) and halogen incandescents. On Jan. 1, manufacturers will no longer be able to produce traditional 100-watt bulbs. In 2013, 75-watt bulbs will be phased out, and in 2014, 60-watt and 40-watt bulbs will no longer be manufactured. Specialty products, including three-way bulbs, appliance bulbs, and those under 40 watts or more than 150 watts, will still be produced.
Sales of standard incandescent bulbs are up 10 percent to 20 percent over the past year at The Home Depot, according to a spokesman.
In addition, a 2010 survey by Osram Sylvania, which manufactures light bulbs, reported that 13 percent of consumers will stockpile bulbs.
Part of the change will require consumers to decipher the wattage of the new bulbs. For instance, a 25-watt incandescent bulb equals a 5-watt CFL while a 60-watt equals a 13-16 watt CFL. And even the terminology will change, with lumens being used as a measurement instead of watts.
The federal mandate is known as the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007, and it basically requires new bulbs to be about 25 percent more efficient. The purpose is to reduce energy consumption and greenhouse gases
The U.S. Department of Energy estimates it will save U.S. consumers nearly $6 billion in 2015, the first full year after all of the standards go into effect.
For more information, see our Energy Efficient Lighting Research Center.
Teena Hammond Teena Hammond has published more than 2,000 articles in People and W magazines, Women's Wear Daily, and in dozens of newspapers and books. She also wrote a home improvement, remodeling and decor column that ran in Gannett newspapers nationwide. She's interested in all things green and would love to hear from you with your story ideas.