As of January 1, 2013, the second phase of EISA has taken effect, banning the import and production of 75-watt incandescent light bulbs.
For those unfamiliar, EISA stands for the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007. President Bush signed this act during his second term, and it aims to do the following:
- Move the U.S. toward greater energy independence and security
- Increase the production of clean, renewable fuels
- Increase the efficiency of products, buildings, and vehicles
- Promote research on and set up greenhouse gas capture and storage options
- Improve the energy performance of the Federal Government
- Increase U.S. energy security, develop renewable fuel production, and improve vehicle fuel economy
One of the main goals enacted by this legislation is to raise appliance and lighting efficiency standards, which is what has brought about the incandescent light phase outs. These older incandescent lamps just don’t meet the mark.
Last January, we said goodbye to the 100-watt incandescent lamp, and now the 75-watt has followed. It’s likely you’ll still see them in stores in coming months, but with the ban on importing or manufacturing these lights, the supplies we already have will dwindle and eventually run out. Now, a light bulb must use 53 watts or less if it emits the equivalent lumens of a 75-watt incandescent light.
These new standards are technology neutral, so any kind of light bulb can still be sold, as long as it meets the efficiency requirements.
The good news is that without the 75-watt incandescent, the consumer is not left high and dry when it comes to finding a replacement. In fact, in today’s market there are more replacement options than ever before. Halogen, fluorescent, and LED are a few popular alternatives.
It can, however, be slightly overwhelming to adapt to the change at first. That’s why manufacturers and legislators are working together to help consumers find their ideal replacements. The Federal Trade Commission began requiring new packaging for all light bulbs in 2011. The labels include lumen information, wattage, and a brightness scale, so it’s easy to know what you’re actually buying.
To learn more about EISA, you can read about it on the United States Environmental Protection Agency website.
Is this year’s 75-watt phase-out going to affect you? Please let us know how we can help!