With 2018 here, we can now say goodbye to the incandescent light bulb — at least in California and soon nationwide. The inefficient, polluting, and short-lived old bulb from Edison’s day is now required to give way to higher-efficiency LED and flourescent bulbs, per federal and state law.
As the Sacremento Bee reported last month:
Driving the change is energy efficiency. Former President George W. Bush signed a law in 2007 that gradually phases in new standards for bulbs, with the latest installment set to take effect across the country in January 2020. The federal law allows California to implement the regulations two years earlier, state officials say.
The new rules don’t explicitly ban incandescent bulbs. Instead, they impose such high energy standards that the incandescent bulbs will become effectively obsolete.
“Incandescents won’t be able to compete,” said spokeswoman Amber Pasricha Beck of the California Energy Commission. “When a consumer goes into a store they will not see an incandescent bulb.”
The change is a positive one, as it will save consumers money and the hassle of having to frequently change bulbs. And as more people buy LEDs, the prices have come way down while the selection has greatly improved.
Meanwhile, the environmental benefits are huge, given that lighting is about 7 percent of the country’s electricity usage. That means we will not need to build as many expensive, polluting power plants.
All in all, this change is a bright idea that will surely illuminate the benefits of cost-effective climate strategies for everyone.