Lighting Understanding for a More Efficient Nation

What’s happening with light bulbs?

What’s happening with light bulbs?


I hear that stores are going to stop selling the old types of incandescent light bulbs that I, my parents and even my grandparents grew up with. What’s happening?


The Energy Independence and Security Act (EISA) of 2007, signed by President George W. Bush on December 18, 2007, is a technology-neutral performance standard. It is not banning incandescent bulbs and it is not forcing people to buy CFLs, but rather requiring the regular light bulbs use less energy. Benchmarks have been set to create realistic and smooth changes:

  • Beginning on January 1, 2012, light bulbs as bright as a 100 watt traditional incandescent bulb can use no more than 72 watts of electricity,
  • In January 2013, bulbs as bright as current 75-watt incandescents will not be able to use more than 53 watts,
  • Starting January 1, 2014, the standard will apply to 60 watt bulbs, which will not be able to use more than 43 watts and 40 watt bulbs will not be able to use more than 29 watts, and
  • Additional savings begin in 2020.

The light bulb standard has spurred innovation in lighting and given consumers more choices. There are now new options like halogen incandescent bulbs and LEDs, in addition to CFLs. Manufacturers across the country are producing light bulbs that meet the standard’s requirements.