You may have heard the rumors that the light bulbs you are used to using in your home are being phased out. It’s true. However, the transition is not nearly as scary, confusing or time-consuming for you as you may think. In fact, the phase-out is already happening in California and it’s going totally smoothly for consumers.

Understanding the phase-out will make you feel better about the fact that the light bulbs you’ve used your whole life are now disappearing. Here are some of the most frequently asked questions about this phase-out and the answers that will keep you informed:

Q: What is an incandescent light bulb?

A: If you’re not familiar with the term, it just refers to the standard, traditional type of light bulb that most of us still use in our homes today. If you don’t specifically go looking for energy-efficient CFL or LED light bulbs for your home then you are probably using incandescent light bulbs.

Q: Why are incandescent light bulbs being phased out?

A: They are outdated. There are more energy efficient light bulbs options in the market today. We can save the earth as well by getting rid of these old inefficient light bulbs. Consumers can also save money on these bulbs.

Q: Will the new light bulbs cost a fortune?

A: No, not at all. They will be comparable to light bulbs in the market today. In fact, over time they will actually save you money. That’s because they will last longer so you won’t have to pay to replace them as often. They will also drain less electricity so your energy bills will be lower.

Q: I’ve heard that the new light bulbs will have a lower wattage. Does this mean that they won’t be as bright?

No, not at all. Light bulbs are measured in two ways – watts and lumens. Watts refer to the amount of power required to operate the light bulb so when you get a 100 watt light bulb it means that you are getting a light bulb that requires 100 watts of energy to operate it. The other measurement, lumens, is the measurement that refers to the measure of light that we perceive. A light bulb can be 80 watts or 100 watts and have the same number of lumens so it looks the same to our eyes but uses less energy if it’s 80 watts. The phase out is designed to create more energy-efficient light bulbs that use lower amounts of watts but are still as bright as we are used to.

Q: That sounds confusing – how will I know what watts / lumens to look for?

The great thing about the phase out is that it’s happening in conjunction with a new light bulb labeling system that will make it easier than ever before for you to choose the right light bulbs for your home. The new labels on light bulbs provide extensive information about how bright the light is in lumens and how warm or cool the light will appear to the eye along with additional information that can help you select the right light. The labels are designed like food nutrition labels so that you can easily grab two different light bulb packages and compare them to find the best one. Shopping for energy efficient light bulbs has never been easier!

Q: What will I have to do to participate in this phase out?

A: Nothing. The incandescent light bulbs are being phased out at the manufacturing level. The new light bulbs that will replace them will be available in the store in the same place where you buy your light bulbs now. You do not need to get rid of incandescent light bulbs in your own house. When they do burn out, you’ll just go to the store and buy light bulbs like you always do.

Q: When is this happening?

Incandescent light bulbs are already beginning to be phased out in the state of California beginning with the 100 watt light bulb. The rest of the nation will begin participating in the phase out next year. By 2014 all of the incandescent light bulbs across the nation will have been phased out and replaced by the new more energy-efficient models.

Q: What if I still have questions?

Leave your question in the comments below and we’ll do our best to address it in this blog!

4 Responses to “Incandescent Light Bulbs are (slowly) Disappearing – Answers to your FAQ”

  1. Douglas says:

    I am interested to know 1) if the small-base chandelier incandescent blubs will also be replace, and if so) what will their replacements look like? Since the "flame shaped" chandelier bulbs were designed to convey a look of elegance, I'm wondering what the new ones will look like. All of the non-incandscent bulbs I've seen don't convey what I consider an elegant look.

  2. lightingbylux says:

    Hi Douglas, they will be replaced as well. Here are some examples of what the might/will look like

    Thanks for leaving a comment

  3. Marc says:

    I have kids. Kids break things – like light bulbs. New bulbs have mercury and practically require a hazmat team for cleanup if they break. These are not good for people or the environment. Just another political ploy. It is NOT going smoothly in CA. We are stocking up on incandescent bulbs and will likely import them from other countries as needed. We're even swapping out CFLs for incandescents in new homes.

    Stay away from CFLs if you care about your health or the environment.

  4. Janis says:

    Can I assume that the new LED lights will be a compatible fit on current lights? In other words the LED's will be interchangable with the currently used bulbs?

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