If you find your friends hoarding incandescent light bulbs, they’re not actually preparing for the apocalypse. In fact, they’re just preparing for New Year’s Day 2014.
Soon, the last piece in the gradual phase-out of incandescent bulbs will take place. Starting January 1 2014, the manufacturing of 40- and 60-watt incandescent light bulbs will be illegal. The ban is part of the Energy Independence and Security Act enacted in 2007 to transition the country to more energy efficient lighting, like my favorite LEDs. Production of 100- and 75-watt bulbs ended in 2012 and 2013 respectively. Specialty bulbs and high efficiency incandescent bulbs are exempt from the ban.
If you have yet to consider LED lamps or other more efficient light sources, maybe it’s finally time to make the switch.
The commercial incandescent bulb has hardly changed since Thomas Edison invented it more than a century ago. While it was an incredible invention at the time—and I’m a BIG Edison fan—it doesn’t compare to modern light sources. Only ten percent of the energy used by an incandescent bulb actually produces light, while the remaining is given off in excess heat. As I, Dr. Bulb, have discussed previously, LEDs are long-lasting and energy efficient, lasting more than 20 times longer than an incandescent. With prices continuing to fall while technology advances, these incandescent phase-outs are beginning to make a lot of sense.