The news and rumors continue to spread about the government mandate to do away with incandescent light bulbs in lieu of other light bulbs that are far more efficient. For many people this is seen as an assault on their personal freedom of choice and how dare anyone dictate how we can light our houses and businesses. The reality is that it is not as far-reaching as most rumors have it. This change was actually put into law in 2007 and signed by President Bush, and if one considers the facts instead of the assault, it really is a good thing.
The 2007 Energy Bill, officially named the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007, includes a mandate that incandescent lights bulbs of 40 through 100 watts be made more efficient by approximately 30%, requiring a reduction in wattage while maintaining lumens levels, a measure of the bulb’s produced light brightness. The law requires the change to take place by July 2012 with the elimination of the traditional 100W incandescent bulbs, then 75W bulbs by 2013, and finally 40W and 60W bulbs by 2014. Most specialty and decorative lighting sources are not regulated and will continue to be sold. There are many other provisions impacting fluorescent lights, ballasts, and other commercial lighting needs, but for this discussion, we will only cover the typical residential needs.