Yes, There’s a Light Bulb Ban
This news could have easily slipped under the radar: as of Aug. 1, 2023, incandescent light bulbs are no longer manufactured or sold in the United States.
The reasons for this ban are intended to save people money and to use more energy and Earth-friendly options for illumination. There is no law against using the bulbs you may already have though.
In fact, these aren’t the only lightbulbs on a short list of being banned: halogen bulbs are also no longer going to be sold and CFLs (compact fluorescent lights) will soon be phased out too. The United States Department of Energy has estimated that each American family has the potential to save $100 per year on their energy bill by not using incandescent light bulbs in their home, which adds up to $3 billion in savings across the country. However, it’s important to note that LED bulbs are pricier than their energy-sucking predecessors.
By the end of 2024, the standard for light bulbs will be minimum efficiency of over 120 lumens per watt. For those more familiar with selecting their light bulbs based on wattage, it’s helpful to know the conversion between lumens and wattage. You can use a conversion calculator just know that a 60 watt bulb is equivalent to 800 lumens, but an LED light of 800 lumens is only using about 9 watts.
Incandescent Light Bulb Ban Exceptions
As stated, there’s no ban on using the bulbs you already have. There are other incandescent light bulb exceptions to the ban:
Light bulbs in appliances, such as the refrigerator
More details are shared on the DOE website.
Light Bulbs You Can and Should Buy Now
Don’t worry, you won’t be left in the dark without incandescent light bulbs!
We’ve shared some ideas for which light bulbs to select for your home in this article.
An incandescent light bulb, or more accurately an incandescent lamp, is one that uses a wire filament that shines when heated. These bulbs last about half the amount of time as LED light bulbs. LED stands for light emitting diode and it is the diode, rather than a filament, that generates the illumination. Incandescent lamps have been around since Thomas Edison invented the first model in the 1800s, with few changes to their basic make up. Although LED light was first discovered in the 1960s, there were several factors that kept it from being widely used until improvements were made, including cost and color (initially it was only red).
When comparing an incandescent lamp to a LED lamp, consider that the older style can provide about 750 to 2,000 hours of light and the modern LED offers approximately 40,000 to 50,000 hours of use.
Incandescent light bulbs are also very fragile whereas LED lights are much sturdier (still breakable but not as delicate).
The best choice for a glow that is similar to an incandescent bulb is one with a “soft white” feature or 2,700 kelvins. LED light bulbs have come a long way and are available in different colors, dimmable, and other qualities that provide wide appeal. This Wirecutter article did the research on dozens of bulbs to narrow it down to three LED bulbs that were favored by their tests.
Ask your Mister Sparky electrician for expert advice on which light bulbs to use in your home.