As of Jan. 1, 2012, standard 100 watt incandescent bulbs will no longer be manufactured for use in the United States of America. Following suit will be 75 watt incandescent bulbs in 2013, and 60 watt and 40 watt bulbs will be eliminated by 2014.
The mandate contained in the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 has successfully created a plethora of lighting options for consumers. Saving energy by replacing outdated incandescent bulbs is as easy as screwing in a new light bulb.
Option 1: Save 25 watts of power by replacing a standard 100 watt bulb with a 75 watt incandescent bulb. This will reduce the available ambient light but save you from adjusting to new technologies sooner than absolutely necessary.
Option 2: Save 28 watts of power by choosing a 72 watt halogen light bulb. These relatively new A-line bulbs resemble the shape, size and color of incandescent bulbs but use 28 percent less energy to produce the same amount of light. Halogen bulbs last 25 percent longer and provide a seamless transition into energy efficiency.
Option 3: Save 77 watts of power by replacing a 100 watt incandescent bulb with a 23 watt compact fluorescent bulb. CFL bulbs are by far the most energy efficient bulbs on the market today, using 77 percent less energy and lasting 94 percent longer than the equivalent incandescent bulb. CFL bulbs do not always fit into existing light fixtures because of their spiral shape and larger base size. CFLs’ delayed start and warm up time can also be problematic for applications requiring instant light.
Option 4: Combat some of the disadvantages of regular CFLs by purchasing instant-on CFLs instead. These turducken-like bulbs merge the convenience of halogen with the more attractive energy saving components of fluorescent by wrapping a halogen bulb inside a florescent spiral and incasing it all within a standard A-line shell. The halogen bulb turns on instantly and then turns off once the CFL portion of the bulb has reached its optimum brightness. Hybrid bulbs appear similar to incandescent bulbs in shape and size, but use 75 percent less energy and last 90 percent longer.
Option 5: Watch for 100 watt equivalent LED light bulbs that use 91 percent less energy and last 20 times longer than standard incandescent bulbs. These state-of-the-art bulbs should be available to consumers before the end of 2012 and offer a brighter and convenient energy efficient future.