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Some lightbulbs may go dark in 2023

January 11, 2023 - 00:00
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    Lightbulb types.jpg Courtesy photo by Mark jurrens (CC BY-SA 4.0) Except for the LED, light emitting diode bulb on the right, the manufacture and sale of these and other bulbs would be banned under the proposed standards.


The U.S. Department of Energy, DOE, has been attempting to phase out incandescent lightbulbs. Congress first passed standards to begin the process with the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 during the George W. Bush administration. The Obama administration implemented the standards but the Trump administration reversed them in 2019. In April 2022 they were reimplemented by the Biden administration. Then, in December 2022 new rules were proposed that would also phase out some other bulb types in favor of light emitting diode, LED, bulbs. 


U.S. Secretary of Energy Jennifer M. Granholm said, "Today’s proposed rule significantly raises the minimum lightbulb efficiency level, from 45 to over 120 lumens per watt for the most common bulbs. Earlier this year, DOE implemented a near-term phaseout of inefficient incandescent bulbs. Today’s new rule will accelerate the transition away from compact fluorescent bulbs as well, toward more efficient and long-lasting LED bulbs that deliver significant savings and that the lighting industry is already embracing." The DOE said the change will save the average family at least $100 annually through lower energy bills. 


Compact fluorescent and fluorescent bulbs contain mercury and should not be mixed with regular garbage. If broken, the mercury is unhealthy for people and the environment if it enters landfills or the water supply. High temperatures generated by halogen bulbs pose fire and burn hazards. Incandescent bulbs have no hazards but their lifespan of 750 - 2,000 hours is the lowest. LED bulbs last 40,000 - 50,000 hours, the highest in commonly used bulbs. They have no hazards, can be disposed of in regular garbage and contain recyclable components. Many countries including those in the European Union have already adopted the proposed standards.


When the rules are finalized, the use of incandescent and other bulbs would be permitted but their manufacture and sale would be banned. The DOE will host a webinar on February 1, 2023 at 1:00 p.m. ET to solicit feedback on the proposed new rules. For more information and to register for the webinar go to