It shouldn’t come as a surprise that you missed a major change in light bulb manufacturing as you danced beneath New Year’s Eve disco balls, toasted each other and sang “Auld Lang Syne.” Nevertheless, the traditional song could have been dedicated to 100-watt incandescent light bulbs.
As of January 2013, 100-watt incandescent bulbs can no longer be manufactured for sale in the United States due to their energy inefficiency and significant heat production. Plans are underway to make the same changes to the bulb’s dimmer siblings—the 75-, 60- and 40-watt incandescent bulbs. Available replacement bulbs now include Compact Fluorescent Lamp or CFL bulbs and computerized Light-Emitting Diode or LED light bulbs. Both CFL and LED bulbs are based upon newer technology than that of incandescent light bulbs, which were first invented over 200 years ago. Because of their advanced technology, Energy Star CFL and LED bulbs can save up to 75 percent in energy costs as compared to the antiquated incandescent bulb.
The Push for CFL & LED Use
Despite their negative points, incandescent light bulbs are relatively inexpensive to purchase while CFL and LED bulbs have significantly higher sale prices. Consumers looking only for short-term savings fail to realize that 20 years of lighting a lamp would require 21 incandescent bulbs versus three CFL bulbs versus one LED bulb.
The number of bulbs required isn’t the only savings. That 75 percent greater energy efficiency of CFL and LED bulbs results in real dollar savings on electric company bills. These same savings can be traced back to how the electricity is produced. According to a GE representative, if every U.S. household replaced one 60-watt incandescent bulb with a CFL one, annual energy cost savings would surpass $646 million and avoid the production of 3.4 million tons of CO2 emissions—no small consideration for future generations celebrating many New Year’s Eves to come.