The age-old light bulb as we know it will no longer be manufactured as of Jan. 1, 2014. This is part of the Energy Independence and Security Act that began in 2012 with a multi-year phase out of incandescent light bulbs in an effort to increase the nation’s energy efficiency.
In place of the traditional incandescent bulb there are a variety of more energy-efficient options, including one that is 85 percent more energy efficient and built to last up to 23 years– the LED. Other options include the CFL, which has been around for a number of years, and the halogen or energy-efficient incandescent bulb. All three options have their benefits and choosing the right one often depends on individual preference.
LEDs are the latest innovation in lighting and use up to 85 percent less energy than incandescent bulbs.
If energy efficiency is not enough, LED bulbs cut down on operating costs and reduce maintenance required because each bulb can last up to 23 years. No more climbing on a ladder year after year to change those hard-to-reach bulbs.
In 2013, Cree, Inc. introduced a game-changing series of LED bulbs, many of which cost less than $10 per bulb. Along with innovation by Philips and EcoSmart, consumers are seeing some of the most affordable, highest quality LED bulbs on the market today.
CFLs (Compact Fluorescent Lights) are another good energy-efficient option for those looking to save money on their utility bills. CFL bulbs cost approximately $2.50 per bulb, sometimes less, and emit the same amount of light as traditional incandescent bulbs but use 75 percent less energy and last up to 9 years longer.
CFL bulbs usually pay for themselves within three to six months, helping consumers cut energy costs up to $55 per electricity bill.
Like incandescent bulbs, CFLs are available in a wide range of wattages, from 5-watts to 68-watts.
Halogens or energy-efficient incandescent bulbs
Energy-efficient incandescent bulbs are the closest bulbs to the traditional incandescent. They cost approximately $1.50 per bulb, last up to two years and are 28 percent more efficient than incandescent bulbs.
Cost savings and longevity aside, many consumers base their light bulb selections on light temperature. Whether you prefer bright white or that warmer, soft white color, technology has advanced to provide a variety of light temperatures across all three options. Also, LED and CFL bulbs come in dimmable options now.
At the end of the day, you’ll still be able to find 60-watt and 40-watt incandescent bulbs on retail shelves well into the New Year. But as the bulbs sell out, they won’t be restocked, so it’s time to start thinking about which alternative options are right for you.