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Article Archive >> Environment

Shining new light on bulb legislation

Shining new light on bulb legislation

(NewsUSA) - Confused about changing light bulb technology and new regulations affecting the types of bulbs stores sell? The American Lighting Association (ALA) offers information to help simplify the process of selecting efficient, economical and effective light bulbs.
Are certain types of light bulbs being banned?
The word "ban" is incorrect. While it is true that the 100-watt incandescent bulb will no longer be manufactured after January 2012, it is not a ban as much as it is a replacement. Products in every industry go through a similar process where something that is no longer efficient is replaced in the marketplace by a new model.
"The legislation is meant to improve the efficiency of lighting," says Brian Brandes of light bulb manufacturer SATCO Products. "There is nothing in the law that stipulates that CFLs (compact fluorescent lights) are the mandatory replacement. The government is not telling consumers which type of bulb to buy."
The new FTC Lighting Facts labels, which go into effect in January, will help educate consumers as to which lamp types are more efficient by showing the cost to operate per year based on a national average of 0.11 per kilowatt hour.
What am I supposed to replace my 100-watt incandescent bulbs with after January?
There are several options:
* One option is the 72-watt halogen-incandescent that is available now. It produces slightly less light than a 100-watt incandescent, but 72 watts is the standard that has been set by federal legislation for replacing the 100-watt models. It is also important to select a bulb with a "warm" color temperature, such as 2,700K and 3,000K.
* Another good choice, and the least-expensive option, would be a halogen or xenon hybrid that will just meet the efficiency requirements and minimum life ratings. These bulbs will look, light and dim just like the 100-watt versions they replace.
* A halogen IR (infrared-coated) bulb will provide higher efficiency and three times longer life than a halogen-xenon bulb, but at approximately twice the price.
* A 26-watt, medium-base CFL also offers the same amount of light as a 100-watt incandescent and uses one-quarter of the electricity. It will also last 10 times longer.
Still confused about the light bulb legislation and how to select the right bulb? Find a local ALA-member lighting showroom for expert advice at www.americanlightingassoc.com.

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