December 16, 2013 | Vol. 24
Let the Countdown Begin
by Phallan K. Davis, Public Relations Specialist, NEMA
As of January 1, 2014, production of 40W and 60W incandescent light bulbs will change. Similar to the way other technologies have faded from the market, such as console televisions, and rotary-dial telephones, older light bulb technologies associated with incandescents will no longer be available for sale in the United States.
Innovation in the United States has long been defined by moments of discovery. While we’re more than a century removed from Thomas Edison and his invention of the first modern incandescent bulb in 1879, the quest for the next great light bulb has not ceased. We now have the advanced incandescent light bulb, which uses 28 to 30 percent less energy than traditional incandescent bulbs. But this is not consumers’ only option. Lighting manufacturers have brought innovative energy technologies to the market for more than four decades. These innovations provide multiple choices for more efficient lighting solutions to the consumer.
You will continue to have the option to buy other energy-efficient light bulbs, such as CFLs and LEDs. Consumers can choose the best product option for each application in their home, whether it’s in a task light in their home office or in the floor lamp next to their sofa.
As we continue to transition to more energy-efficient lighting products, you will hear a lot about lumens and wattage. And you may wonder, what are these? Lumens measure the brightness of a light bulb. A high brightness value or lumen value means a greater amount of light. A watt, on the other hand, is a measurement of the rate at which electrical energy is dissipated. The light bulb that produces the greatest number of lumens per one watt of energy is the most efficient.
The benefit to the consumer comes in the form of overall cost-savings. The average U.S. household saves over $100/year when they transition to energy-efficient lighting. Efficient lighting technologies deliver the same amount of lumens as incandescent bulbs but use less energy, therefore saving money for consumers, businesses, governments, and all other segments of the U.S. economy.
For help selecting the right bulb, make a trip to your local home improvement store. My last tidbit is courtesy of an Environmental Protection Agency podcast that featured a home improvement store associate: “Bring your old burnt-out bulb to the store so the clerk can help you find the new replacement bulb that will deliver the same amount and type of light—and is roughly the same size to fit your existing fixture.”
The future of lighting innovation is now.
Download our 5 L’s of Lighting: The Consumer’s Guide to Choosing Energy-Efficient Lighting one-pager
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