Attempts to reduce the usage of incandescent lights has been an ongoing process for well over a decade, but new guidelines set in place by the Biden administration may see these pear-shaped bulbs phased out for good by 2023.
The hope for this new standard is to not only reduce the amount of energy consumed by commercial businesses and households, but also to help save millions in utility bills by encouraging the use of more energy efficient LED lighting alternatives. Keep reading for more!
What Are Incandescent Light Bulbs?
Incandescent bulbs have been around since the early 1800s and were the traditional choice for lighting homes and businesses around the world up until recent years when LED bulbs grew in popularity for commercial and residential use.
Incandescent bulbs feature a wire filament in the center that is heated until it glows. While incandescent bulbs are still used in many settings today, they are generally considered outdated and lead to higher electric bills and greater energy consumption.
What’s the Difference Between LED and Incandescent Bulbs?
Incandescent light bulbs utilize more energy just in heating than to actually illuminate a space. In fact, up to 90 percent of the energy used to power these bulbs is wasted on heating alone, while only 10 percent is actually used for illumination.
Alternatively, LEDs use 80% less energy than incandescent bulbs to operate and last substantially longer, around 25 times longer, than incandescent lights. Put simply – LEDs are considered to be the prime choice for those seeking higher quality lighting and lower electric bills.
Why Are Incandescent Bulbs Being Phased Out?
Attempts at removing incandescent bulbs from store shelves is nothing new. Back in 2007, former president George W. Bush signed the Energy Independence and Security Act (EISA) that saw 60-watt incandescent bulbs phased out between 2012-2014.
In addition to saving homes and businesses close to $3 billion annually on utility bills, these new standards are also projected to reduce carbon emissions by 222 million metric tons over the next 3 decades.
Are Incandescent Bulbs Being Banned?
Not exactly. The new rules being put in place will require manufacturers to produce better, more energy efficient lighting options.
More specifically, the new standards will ban sales of light bulbs that produce less than 45 lumens per watt. Lumens measure the brightness of a light, while wattage measures the amount of energy used to power it. Currently, traditional incandescent bulbs you find in stores and online produce only 14 lumens per watt, a substantially lower number than more energy-efficient lighting such as LEDs, which produce 63 lumens per watt.
Will Incandescent Bulbs Still Be Purchasable?
Incandescent bulbs will likely still be around for quite some time, but it may not be as easy to find them in stores or via the web in the future. The plan is to phase them out, meaning it’s going to be a process that will take time to achieve.
Incandescent Vs LEDs: Which Is Better?
While incandescent lights are often slightly cheaper than their energy-efficient counterparts, LEDs are generally better all around not only for saving money on your electric bills, but also reducing the strain on energy resources.
In addition to saving money on utility bills, LEDs can also save you money on light bulbs because of their extremely long lifespan and offer greater flexibility in terms of style and function.
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