Future Of Incandescent Lightbulbs Is Dim

MIAMI (CBS4) — Thomas Edison must be rolling over in his grave. This year is the beginning of the end for the incandescent light bulb. The phase out is part of the “Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007.”

Good old fashioned incandescent bulbs will soon extinct, just like dinosaurs, and John Codman isn’t happy about it.

“I will have a stock of incandescent light bulbs,” he said. John’s stocking up because a 3-year-old federal law most people don’t know about raises efficiency standards for light bulbs and the old energy inefficient incandescents won’t pass.

Codman has collected about 400 bulbs so far.

Here’s how the Energy Independence and Security Act will phase out these bulbs. At the beginning of 2012, 100 watt incandescents will phase out. The next year, its 75 watts and in 2014, say goodbye to the 40 watt bulb.

“I’m not going to have a basement full of them, but I’m going to have a few cases,” says Codman.

What about the rest of us?

CFL’s, or compact fluorescent bulbs, are available but a lot of people aren’t crazy about them. They don’t get to full brightness instantly, and they contain tiny amounts of mercury, so if you break one, you have mercury to contend with.

So what’s next?

The Sylvania Company says the future of lights is LEDs, light emitting diodes. LEDs are just now coming on the market for home use, though they’ve been available for commercial use for a while.

“The LED equivalent is 80-percent more efficient and will last 25 times longer,” says Dr. Makarand Chipalkatti from Osram Sylvania.

The LEDs don’t have mercury, they’re instant on and dimmable but they’re expensive, about $20 but prices are dropping.

“The same 40 watt bulb was once $40,” says Chipalkatti. “Over the life of the lamp, you would probably save something like $130.”

As we’ve seen with other electronic products, prices are expected to keep dropping. Consumers will save electricity and so will the country.

“We will actually make a big dent in our energy consumption,” says Sylvania’s Chipalkatti.

As for John? Well, he’s no light bulb snob. He has a couple of CFLs and is even trying out an LED. He just doesn’t like the government telling him how to light up his life.

Halogen bulbs are another alternative already on the market but they’re not as efficient as CFL’s and they’re expensive.

  • Jimbo99

    I have no issue with this as long as we don’t get bent over converting the light bulbs. If these are 10X the cost of a current light bulb, that’s unacceptable. At the end of the day here, we’ll save on electricity, but the other variables like we’re finding with more fuel efficient cars is that gasoline prices are increasing. So with a light bulb it will cost more if it lasts longer and electricity prices per kilowatt hour will drive up. You can rest assured the power company isn’t going to sacrifice on profits at the expense of consumers using less electricity. And those selling light bulbs, are going to charge more if consumers buy them less frequently. Going green in a capitalistic economic model won’t pass on the cost savings to end users.

  • http://www.gunfreezone.net Miguel

    Energy inefficiency vs Government mandated Mercury poisoning…..

    I’ll take energy inefficiency for $200 Alex….

  • Moreta

    Can we get some more info on what to do when a bulb breaks and we have the mercury to deal with? What about how to dispose of them safely?

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