Light Bulb Ban to Take Effect: What to Know

Light Bulb Ban to Take Effect: What to Know

( – Way back in 2007, then-presidential candidate Barack Obama promised to sign a law to phase out incandescent light bulbs. President George W. Bush actually beat the 44th president to it, signing the Energy Independence and Security Act before leaving office. When Obama took office, he clarified provisions of the law that he hoped would ultimately lead to the bulbs being phased out. In 2019, President Donald Trump reversed the ban. Four years later, Obama’s former vice president and the current POTUS, Joe Biden, is making his former boss’ dream a reality.

In 2022, Biden announced new regulations for energy efficiency that sought to phase out incandescent bulbs. According to the Department of Energy, LED bulbs use 75% less energy than old incandescent light bulbs. They also last up to 25 times longer, so homeowners don’t have to purchase bulbs as often. CNBC reported the department believes it would save $3 billion in utility costs and prevent 222 million tons of carbon pollution.

After the administration made the announcement last April, the Energy Department sent a warning to manufacturers about the ban so they could prepare. Those who violate it will face possible fines of $542 per light bulb.

Fox News reported that although many families have moved away from incandescent bulbs, only 47% use LED light bulbs. Despite the possible savings, not everyone is happy about the switch. Many unhappy consumers complained about the ban, saying it’s another example of big government at work.

Last year, a group of consumer groups said the rule is “regulatory interference in the marketplace,” and they think incandescent bulbs should remain available for consumers who prefer those instead. They explained that although LED bulbs are more efficient, they are “inferior for certain functions,” like dimming, and more expensive. And they argued the climate change claims by the Energy Department were “speculative [and] assumption-driven.”

As of July 31, US retailers will be prohibited from selling incandescent bulbs.

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