How To Cope When Your Favorite Light Bulb Gets The Shaft: Household A Lamps

Incandescent A Lamp
Love your light bulbs like they’re going out of style? Bad news: some of them actually are. As of January this year, the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 (EISA) began its push to phase-out inefficient incandescent, fluorescent, and halogen light bulbs.

This is the first in a three part series to help you find the perfect replacement for almost any discontinued light bulb. In this post we’ll review the incandescent phase-out, which household A lamps are on the way out, and the benefits of various replacements. In the next two posts we’ll probe new territory, learning about discontinued reflector lamps and fluorescent light bulbs, why they’re getting the boot and how to handle the changes…    

Discontinued Household Lamps

General service incandescent lamps (the run-of-the-mill medium screw base light bulbs) have already begun to disappear, and will continue to do so for the next few years (excluding only certain lamps). This phase out will probably affect the general public most directly, since these lamps are so popular, but it’s also one of the easiest changes to adapt to. The new regulations have raised the standards for rated life and lumen output, and have set a ceiling for how many watts a single lamp can use. The iconic incandescent A lamps just don’t cut it.

Here are your new standards:


Date Discontinued

New Lumen Range

New Max Watts

New Min Rated Life

Replacement Options

100W A19

Jan 1, 2012



1000 hours

Halogen, CFL, (and LED coming soon)

75W A19

Jan 1, 2013



1000 hours

Halogen, CFL, and LED

60W A19*

Jan 1, 2014



1000 hours

Halogen, CFL, and LED

40W A19

Jan 1, 2014



1000 hours

Halogen, CFL, and LED

*A heads up: 60W B10 chandelier and 60W G25 globe light bulbs are also getting the boot on 1-1-14, but you can also replace them with halogens, CFLs, and LEDs.


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Hey, Light Bulb, I Like Your Shape (A Guide)

It’s true, we often pay a lot of attention to shape. This infographic, in fact, makes a career of it! It’ll help you learn to identify each screw-in light bulb by it’s shape – everything from the slinky little chandelier light bulb to the festively rotund globe.

Dying to put this infographic on your website or blog? Go for it! Here’s the embed code:

<img src=”” width=”600″ height=”3500″>
<br><br> <strong>A Guide to Screw-in Light Bulbs: By Shape</strong> created by <a href=””>Pegasus Lighting</a>.


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The Low-Down on High Intensity Discharge (HID) Lamps

Courtesy of

HID lamps offer bright, efficient alternatives to filament lamps like incandescents and halogens. They’re found illuminating parking lots, streets, and indoor arenas, among other commercial, industrial, and outdoor locations. What is an HID lamp, you ask? Read on to find out…

All HID (High Intensity Discharge) lamps produce light by passing electricity through a gas (called an arc discharge) between two electrodes at either end of the lamp’s arc tube. There are four different kinds of HID lamps, each with its own unique properties:

  1. Mercury Vapor is the oldest of the HID lamps, and is on the way out. New federal laws have begun prohibiting the manufacturing and importation of this product. A mercury vapor lamp’s rated life ranges anywhere from 16,000 to 24,000 hours, but with an output of only 25-60 lumens per watt and a poor CRI of 50, there are better choices out there.
  2. Low Pressure Sodium lamps are classified as HID, but lack a compact, high intensity arc. Instead, the long stretched-out arc has more in common with a fluorescent light. Low pressure sodium lamps are the most efficient of HID lamps, producing the most lumens per watt (up to 150 l/w), but their stark yellow color produces extremely poor color rendition (a CRI of 0),  limiting their use to lighting streets, tunnels, and parking lots. They last anywhere from 14,000 to 18,000 hours.
  3. High Pressure Sodium light sources have become increasingly more popular over the years, and with their efficacy of 50-140 lumens per watt, we can see why. Compared to low pressure sodium lamps, these lights produce a slightly less severe yellowish white light, making them a more versatile light source. Their lifetime ranges from 16,000 to 24,000 hours, which makes them a smart choice for most outdoor lighting applications.
  4. Metal Halide lamps have a CRI that ranges from fair to very good (between 65 and 90) – the best color rendering index of the bunch. This high CRI means that metal halide lamps thrive in many applications that require white light with good color rendering – they’re replacing high pressure sodium lamps in some applications and certain MH lamps are even used in retail displays!  The lamp itself is very similar to a mercury vapor lamp, but the added metal halide gas provides a higher light output, more lumens per watt (65-115 l/w), and a better color rendering. The biggest drawback to a metal halide lamp is its rated-life, which is capped at about 20,000 hours. (more…)

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How To Choose Light Bulbs For Your Home: Bathroom Light Bars

You depend on it to prevent shaving nicks and makeup mishaps. It wakes you up in the morning; it’s one of the last lights you turn off before bed. Bathroom lighting is crucial to your home. How much thought do you give to your bathroom light bulbs?

We’ve written a couple of posts on bathroom lighting: this one explains a few design tips to enhance the space, and this one advises you not to use recessed downlights over the mirror to avoid the Dracula effect. For those of you who are looking for light bulbs to your bathroom light bar appropriately:

  • The best bathroom lighting emulates sunlight. Heard of G.E. Reveal light bulbs? They have a special coating of an element called neodymium – you’ll see that the light bulbs have a bluish tint when turned off. That neodymium coating helps create something very close to natural, outdoor light.
  • Keep an eye on Color Rendering Index (CRI) – it’s a measure of how accurately your light bulb renders colors. In the bathroom, you want a high CRI. It’s measured on a scale of 1 to 100, with 100 being sunlight. Anything 85 or above is considered to be very good.
  • Many people don’t think about dimmability in the bathroom, but it’s a very useful feature. Ever felt like you’re blinded by the light first thing in the morning, or wished it didn’t have to be so harsh for late-night trips to the bathroom? If you install a dimmer, you can create those low-light conditions without sacrificing the bright light levels you need the rest of the day.

So, there you have it: For bathroom light bars, look for dimmable, neodymium-coated light bulbs with a high CRI.

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How To Choose Light Bulbs For Your Home: Table/Floor Lamps

Architect Louis Kahn once said, “Just think, that man can claim a slice of the sun.” What a beautiful way to describe lighting!

Of course, choosing light bulbs for your home doesn’t always feel so empowering, because there’s a little bit of leg work to get there. The finished product is what you’re looking for: A room with lighting that’s just right and adaptable to any situation, whether you’re entertaining, relaxing, or working around the house. Do you envision sophisticated light fixtures with dimmer controls, sparkling chandeliers, decorative pendants, or all of the above?

This post is the first in a new series that will help you realize that vision. After all, every light fixture needs a light bulb. We’ll start with the easiest category – table and floor lamps …

Chances are, your household lamps take the classic “A-lamp” shaped light bulb. You have a few options here:

  • You can stick with the tried and true incandescent light bulb, making sure to comply with the maximum wattage specified on the lamp. You’ll get a good amount of light output, but there’s a whole lot of heat that comes with it, and it’s as about as inefficient as you can find. Read on if you want to branch out to something a little more energy bill friendly.
  • The halogen light bulb is ideal for those incandescent lovers out there. It’s actually a type of incandescent – it just has a bit of halogen gas added inside the glass envelope of the lamp to lengthen the lifetime a little. The thing is, halogen lamps still give off a lot of heat, and the strides in efficiency are not very far. Still, halogen A-lamps are good alternatives to standard incandescent lamps. (more…)

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Light Bulbs And Your Wallet – What’s The Damage?

There’s a lot more to the cost of a light bulb than the price tag sticker. There’s the impact on your electrical bill, the tally of replacement bulbs you’ll need to buy, and the time you have to factor in for maintenance. Sure, the light bulb in your table lamp may take just a few minutes to replace, but what about your recessed cans that are two stories away from easy access?

We published an infographic on replacing 60 watt light bulbs recently, designed to lay out your options in a reader-friendly format.

Lighting Facts, a program of the U.S. Department of Energy, created the one below, showing the five-year-cost of 100 watt equivalent light bulbs. As you can see, the low purchase cost of an incandescent light bulb doesn’t necessarily pay off in the end:

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