Lights out for the incandescent bulb

Incandescent blub

The Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 is imposing new restrictions on energy use and greenhouse gas emissions. The law provides for phasing out today’s general service incandescent light bulbs in favor of lower-wattage, energy-saving bulbs. Lighting accounts for about 15 percent of the electrical use in homes.

Phase-out dates

(effective Jan. 1)

2012

2013

—2014—

ENERGY USED

(watts)

100W

75W

60W

40W

LIGHT PRODUCED

(lumens)

1,690

1,170

850

475

Replacement options

These bulbs use less energy to emit the same levels of light as the incandescent bulbs.

CFL blub
CFLs

20-25W

18-20W

13-15W

11W

Compact fluorescent light bulbs are expected to be the leading replacements for standard incandescent light bulbs, at least at first. In CFLs, electric current energizes argon and mercury vapor, which in turn causes a phosphor coating inside the bulb to emit light.

halogen blub
Halogen

70-72W

53W

43W

28-29W

New halogen bulbs look like the incandescent bulbs people are used to buying. Halogens are a more energy efficient form of incandescent, but they are the least efficient of the incandescent replacement technologies. The filament is encased in a bulb made of fused quartz or high silica glass containing a halogen gas.

LED blub
LEDs in light bulbs

 

 

12W

8W

LEDs are the gizmos that have been around for years lighting up digital clocks and calculators. They use semiconductors that emit light when electrons move around. Recent innovation has allowed engineers to make them bright enough for light bulbs.

SOURCE: National Electric Manufacturers Association, Philips (LED photo). The Washington Post - September 7, 2010.

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