Lighting Changes in Store for Americans

Lighting technology in the U.S. is changing dramatically. In fact, there will be more changes in the world of electric lighting in the next few years than there were in the past 100 years. 

The current incandescent light bulb invented by Thomas Edison is notoriously inefficient. It wastes 90% of its energy as heat rather than light, which is why it is so hot when in use. In 2007, Congress passed the bipartisan Energy Independence and Security Act, requiring light bulbs to use at least 25% less electricity for the amount of light produced. For example, a bulb that yields 1,600 lumens (typical in a 100-watt bulb) can now use only 72 watts or less of power. Congress recently de-funded the January 1st ban on the 100-watt incandescent bulb, but the federal law is still on the books. Retailers who sell the bulb will technically be violating the law.  

While the traditional incandescent bulb does not meet the new standards, there are a number of options that do—including the halogen incandescent bulb, compact fluorescent bulb (CFL) and the LED (light emitting diode) bulb.  

The fact is that electric lighting is changing in the interest of increased efficiency, which is not a bad thing. New more efficient light bulbs will cost more to purchase but will save money in the long run by using less energy.  Here are some tips to help you adapt to the changes: 

  • Don’t be afraid of change.
  • Realize that there are many more choices than just the compact fluorescent (CFL) bulb. For example, halogen bulbs provide instant brightness and last 6 times longer than incandescents.
  • Select cool/blue colors for alertness and warm/yellow colors to relax.
  • Don’t fret the higher cost of LEDs. The energy savings will quickly offset that cost and the price of LEDs will drop by the end of 2012. 

Oak Electric Service is one of southeast Michigan’s leading electrical contractors. We are standing by to answer all of your residential and commercial electrical questions. Give us a call at (800) 964-7070. Be sure to ask about our “Free Electrical Safety Inspection.” We invite you to visit our website at www.oakelectric.com to learn more about us.

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