New bulbs, new standards push out Incandescents

Starting January 1, 2012 new light bulbs must work more efficiently. Compact fluorescent (CFL), light emitting diode (LED) and some halogen bulbs, meet that requirement.

133-year-old incandescent light technology doesn’t because Mr. Edison’s bulb is an energy hog.  Less than 10 percent of the energy it uses produces light.

The federal Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 requires most screw-in light bulbs to use at least 27 percent less energy by 2014.

First up for energy saving upgrade are the 100-watt bulbs, then 75-watt in 2013, and a year later 60- and 40-watt light bulbs. Watts measure energy use; lumens indicate brightness.

All bulbs lose brightness over time, including old-fashioned incandescents. To replace a 100-watt incandescent bulb, Energy star recommends 1,600 or more lumens.

To get the familiar soft white light, use a Color Rendering Index (CRI) of 80-85.

When comparing types, consider the life time cost (not just bulb cost).

CFL Lightbulbs

  • Will provide best energy saving for light output; Energy Star qualified
  • Will last typically up to 10 to 20,000 hours
  • Will work outdoors not exposed to moisture
  • Won’t dim (but pin-style lamps can)

Recommended: Feit Electric ECObulb Plus 100W BPESL23TM/ECO $2.35. + up to 10,000 operating hours

Halogen Lightbulbs

  • Light CRI tends to be slightly whiter
  • Will brighten instantly and retains brightness over time better than CFL
  • Will dim; works in motion sensors, electronic timers, and photocells
  • Won’t last nearly as long as a CFL
  • Won’t save nearly as much money as a CFL

Recommended: Philips Energy Saver 100W T60 Halogena  $5.50 + 3,000 operating hours

LED Lightbulbs
Major manufacturers hope to have a 100-watt equivalent LED bulb available later in 2012.

As you switch to more efficient bulbs , I’d like to hear your questions or comments. Leave your thoughts here.

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