Say Goodbye to 40 and 60 watt bulbs in 2014

As of January 1, 2014, it will be ‘lights-out’ for forty watt and 60 watt light bulbs. It is now illegal to either manufacture or import these light bulbs – which are still common in many households. Per the article cited below, about 50% of households still use these old-fashioned light bulbs. Retailers will be allowed to sell their remaining stock; however, once they are gone – they will be gone for good. Beginning in 2012, 100 watt light bulbs were phased out and seventy-five watt light bulbs followed in 2013.

The mandate is a byproduct of the Energy and Independence Security Act, signed by President Bush in 2007. These old, incandescent light bulbs are highly inefficient – only about 10% of their energy is converted to light, the rest being lost as heat.

Once the nation’s four billion light sockets are replaced with higher efficiency light bulbs, a mere $13 billion will be saved by consumers and thirty large coal-burning power plants worth of electricity per year. How much money does this save you? For every incandescent light bulb that is replaced with a CFL (compact fluorescent light), you will save about $50 per bulb over their expected life. Although LED light bulbs are pricier with their up-front costs ($10 per bulb for their 60-watt equivalent), consumers are expected to save between $100 and $150.

To avoid common complaints from many individuals who have already converted, follow these helpful tips:

  • Don’t inadvertently buy a bulb that’s too bright. New bulbs are measured in lumens, not watts, which can be confusing. A 10-watt LED is as bright as a 60-watt incandescent, so if you purchase a 19-watt LED for a small accent light, it will seem glaring. The NRDC has a useful chart showing the light equivalences of various bulbs.
  • Choose different types of bulbs for different purposes. Meeker uses LEDs and CFLs to light hallways, stairwells, and basements, and for spotlighting objects. For living spaces, he prefers halogen incandescent bulbs. He says they are a great substitute for the old bulbs, especially if you use them on a dimmer.
  • If you want to use CFLs, choose the right color. Most people prefer the ones labeled “warm.” The bulbs that are labeled “daylight” are bluish.
  • Bring the bulb you want to replace to the store so you can find an equivalent that is the correct size and shape.
  • The new bulbs don’t work in recessed can lighting. You will still need to buy reflector bulbs, which are not subject to the same regulations.
  • If you have dimmers, chose a halogen incandescent bulb or LED. Most CFLs do not work with dimmer sockets.

While change is always tough – this one has all the properties of a win-win situation: consumers save money on their electricity bills and each household becomes less energy dependent. As always, knowledge is power and these helpful hints should make this transition as seamless as possible.

Information Courtesy of the following article: