What you need to know about new light bulb guidelines

What you need to know about new light bulb guidelines

Starting in January 2012, any 100-watt bulb a consumer purchases must use 30 percent less energy than today’s conventional incandescent, regardless of light bulb type.

According to the Energy Star website, the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 requires that all light bulbs use 30 percent less energy than today’s incandescent bulbs.

Other bulb types, such as 40-watt bulbs, will have to comply with the same 30-percent reduced energy use guidelines by January 2014.

Lighting accounts for up to 12 percent of the average American home’s annual energy bill, according to the U.S. Department of Energy. With the Energy Independence act, the DOE estimates the nation’s electric bill could be reduced by nearly $6 billion by 2015.

But not all light bulbs are covered by the new law. While the most common forms of residential lighting will fall under the new law’s requirements, many specialized bulb types that consumers may purchase can continue to rely on conventional incandescent bulbs.

There are many types of incandescent bulb applications that are exempt from this law:

  • specialty lights such as those in appliances like refrigerators
  • 3-way bulbs
  • candelabras
  • rough service, vibration service and shatter resistant bulbs
  • colored bulbs, such as party lights
  • bug lights

When purchasing new energy efficient light bulbs such as compact fluorescents (CFLs), look for bulbs that carry the Energy Star-qualified logo. These bulbs have been certified by the Energy Star program and carry a two-year minimum warranty for residential applications.

The DOE recommends that homeowners replace their conventional incandescent light bulbs with energy-saving models such as CFLs to start seeing energy savings immediately. Instead of replacing and tossing out old incandescent bulbs that still work, try switching them in less frequently used locations such as guest rooms or closets.

Interested in even more ways to reduce electricity use or upgrade your home's electrical system? Sign in to Angie's List to read reviews on more than 700 highly rated New York City-area electrical contractors.

Leave a Comment - 2


Mike Smith

Subject: some problems

I have tried to replace incandescent bulbs in my 20 year old lighting fixtures outside and have found that the contact points don't line up and produce light.

I have also replaced most of my bulbs within the past year and am not finding any savings to my electric bill.

Louise Gabriela


TO ANYONE PURCHASING CFL BULBS: Do your research,READ LABELS on the en closer of the CFL BULB. HIGHLY TOXIC. If one should break U need to open doors & windows,put on a pair of gloves to remove broken glass plus protect your self from inhaling TOXIC MERCURY. No Children should be around when picking up broken glass. CFL's effect the Pituitary Gland plus eyes. I have purchased LED Bulb's, as they last longer even soft lite is easy on the eyes. Alson Healthier for your Eyes. Our Society needs to READ & Investigate more of products plus what we put into our bodies. There is a lot of Healthy information out there. Enjoy the journey.

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