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Light Bulb Legislation FAQs

Get the lowdown on incandescent light bulbs, and learn more about the energy-efficient light bulb options so you can start saving energy and money.

What is the light bulb legislation about?

In 2007 Congress passed the Energy Independence and Security Act requiring new energy-efficient standards for basic light bulbs. From 2012 to 2014, all standard 100-, 75-, 60- and 40-watt incandescent bulbs are being phased out and will no longer be produced. Standard incandescent bulbs will still be available to purchase while supplies last. A number of specialty incandescent bulbs will remain available.

Are ALL incandescent bulbs going away?

No. The incandescent bulb ban only affects specific types of light bulbs. Only the standard 100-, 75-, 60- and 40-watt incandescent bulbs are being phased out.

Are the old incandescent bulbs unsafe?

No. The standard incandescent bulbs simply do not meet the energy efficient guidelines outlined in the Energy Independence and Security Act and because of this they will no longer be produced.

What are my energy efficient light bulb options?

CFL and LED light bulbs.

Light emitting diode (LED) bulbs and Compact Fluorescent (CFL) bulbs are the most energy efficient bulbs on the market along with Halogen bulbs.

What’s the difference between CFLs and LEDs?

Chart showing the difference between CFL and LED light bulbs.

I’ve always used 60-watt incandescent bulbs, what do I buy now?

Chart showing light bulb wattage.
Keep an eye out for bulbs with the Energy Star® logo and enjoy even more energy savings.

What’s a watt?

A watt is the amount of energy a light bulb uses. The lower the wattage, the lower the electric bill. CFLs and LEDs have a lower wattage than incandescent bulbs, but emit the same light output.

Never exceed maximum wattage recommended for your lamp.

What's a lumen?

Graphic showing what lumen means.

Lumens are the amount of light emitted from a light bulb. More lumens equals brighter light, fewer lumens equals dimmer light.

I like the color of the old incandescent bulbs, what color should I shop for now?

Light bulb color temperature chart.

Incandescent bulbs are known for their warm glow. If you prefer this color temperature, shop for Warm White bulbs with a Kelvin temperature of 2500K-3000K. Color temperature can be found on the package in the lighting facts.

What are lighting facts?

Lighting facts chart.

Lighting facts are listed on light bulb packaging and tell you everything you need to know about the light bulb from lumens to estimated energy costs.

What is the best type of bulb to use for a table lamp?

LEDs, CFLs and any left over incandescent bulbs you may have can all be used for a table lamp. However, LEDs will save you the most on energy costs especially if it’s a light you use often, like a desk lamp.

How do I dispose of my CFL bulbs?

Not that you’ll need to throw out your CFLs for a while, they last up to 9 years, but when you do, there are recycling centers available.

Find a recycling center