Incandescent lightbulbs banned

August 2, 2023

Most major retailers stopped selling the inefficient bulbs months ago, and I don’t think very many people even noticed.

Executive director of the Appliance Standards Awareness Project, Andrew DeLaski, discussing the ban on incandescent light bulbs which went into effect on August 1.

Why It Matters: The Department of Energy (DOE) adopted a ruling in April 2022 that light bulbs must emit at least 45 lumens (measure of brightness) per watt, therefore banning the sales and manufacturing of most incandescent bulbs. These types of bulbs are what have traditionally been used in homes, but the DOE established the ruling to encourage the use of more energy-efficient bulbs, such as LED lights.

While retailers are prohibited from selling bulbs that don’t match the updated standards, households using any of the banned bulbs are not required to switch out their bulbs for newer ones.

Something to Consider: An effort to establish standards for more energy efficient lighting originates with President George W. Bush, who signed the Energy Independence and Security Act in 2007. This act called for household lighting to have about 25% greater efficiency” (EPA). President Barack Obama’s administration added additional regulations to this act in order to phase out certain bulbs (like incandescent), though President Donald Trump, often favoring fewer regulations, blocked this effort in 2019. Forbes explains, “Regulations on less efficient bulbs have faced opposition over the last two decades, as some Republicans argued the rules violated ‘personal freedom,’ while others, including former Sen. John Warner (R-Va.), argued using energy-efficient bulbs was more cost-efficient.”

What to know about the ban on incandescent lightbulbs

U.S. Ban On Incandescent Light Bulbs Starts Today: Here’s What To Know

by Jenna Lee,