In 2007, a ban was passed on incandescent light bulbs, as this type of lighting wastes approximately 70% of the energy it uses. This has led to the creation of new, energy-efficient light bulbs that last longer than their incandescent predecessors do. The most popular light bulbs replacing incandescent are light-emitting diodes (LEDs) and compact fluorescent lights (CFLs). Each of these light bulb types far surpass traditional light bulbs in life expectancy, energy-efficiency and, in the end, cost-effectiveness. As an incandescent bulb has a life span of approximately 1,000 hours, becomes extremely hot as it burns, and wastes the energy it produces, longer-lasting, more energy-efficient bulbs are beneficial to the environment.
A traditional incandescent light bulb ranges between 40 watts and 150 watts. Part of the ban includes phasing out inefficient light bulbs and creating newer, longer-lasting and energy-efficient compliance models. This is accomplished by ceasing the production and importation of light bulbs with a specified wattage. While many incandescent are phased out, inventors have ample room to create new incandescent bulbs that meet industry standards. At this point, however, the focus has been placed on LEDs and CFLs, as these light bulbs are showing outstanding performance benefits and have essentially revolutionized the lighting industry. An LED light bulb ranges between 4 watts and 22 watts and has an average life span of 20,000 hours. That is a phenomenal advantage over traditional bulbs. CFLs range between 9 watts and 52 watts and have an average life span of 10,000 hours. Halogens are the least impressive of the newer models, as they have a life span of 1,000 hours and range between 29 watts and 72 watts. Halogen light bulbs are similar to traditional incandescent light bulbs, but they use a miniscule amount of halogen gas to recycle wasted energy within the light bulb, thus making them more efficient. When it comes to choosing longer-lasting light bulbs, LEDs and CFLs are top choices.
Creating longer-lasting light bulbs has been the result of more than 100 years of technological advancements and developments. Some LED light bulbs last up to 20 years and come with warranties to ensure their longevity. As more technological breakthroughs are discovered, it is to be expected that more advanced light bulbs will be added to the market. The current selection, however, ensures that everyone can make the switch to energy-efficient light bulbs easily.
You may learn more about longer-lasting light bulbs in the links below.
Energy Star LED Bulb Challenge: Energy Star reviews and compares different long-lasting light bulbs.
Lighting and Energy Efficiency: The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority offers this guide to help consumers choose the best light bulb for their needs.
Compact Fluorescent Lamps (CFLs): The FDA examines CFLs and answers questions regarding these new light bulbs.
CFL and LED Bulbs (PDF): Utah State University discusses new, longer-lasting light bulbs in this document.
How Energy-Efficient Light Bulbs Compare with Traditional Incandescents: Energy.gov provides this review of new, energy-efficient light bulbs and how they differ from incandescent light bulbs.
LEDs Emerge as Popular Green Lighting: The New York Times discusses environmental advantages to LED light bulbs.
Frequently Asked Questions - New Light Bulb Standards for a More Efficient California: The Energy Commission of California explores different light bulbs and their advantages over incandescent models.
LED Light Bulbs for Home Decoration: The Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory discusses the versatility of energy-efficient LED light bulbs.
What You Should Know About Compact Fluorescent Bulbs (CFLs) (PDF): A document issued by the state of Oklahoma shares the benefits of using CFLs.
NPR's Guide to Changing Light Bulbs: Learn about the benefits and drawbacks to the new light bulbs currently replacing incandescent light bulbs.
Money-Saving Light Bulbs Guide (PDF): The Natural Resources Defense Council explores the advantages of long-lasting light bulbs in this document.
Different Types of Light Bulbs (PDF): Learn about light, long-lasting light bulbs and the environment in these notes from the Benson Lighting Conference at the University of Delaware.
From Lanterns to LEDs: The Milwaukee School of Engineering looks at the origins and evolution of light bulbs.
Let the Hoarding of 60-Watt and 40-Watt Bulbs Begin: USA Today looks at new technology in light bulbs and the innovative ways that LED light bulbs are used.
Lighting Myths and Facts: North Carolina State University takes a close look at the misconceptions and fears associated with longer-lasting light bulbs such as LEDs and CFLs.
Energy-Efficient Lighting: The New Jersey Star-Ledger examines the new landscape of long-lasting light bulbs.
LED vs. CFLs: Shedding Some More Light on the Subject of Light Bulbs: The Chicago Times examines CFLS and LED light bulbs in this article.
Saving Energy and Money Compact Fluorescent Light Bulbs (CFLs) (PDF): The University of Kentucky looks at different types of CFLs in this document.
Energy Efficient Lighting: Michigan State University compares different types of lighting and long-lasting light bulbs.
The End of the Light Bulb As We Know It: U.S. News and World Report looks at the phasing out of less-efficient bulbs.