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Update: Incandescent Light Bulb Ban of 2014

So, if you happened to be following obscure tech policy journal announcements back in January – or are a light bulb fanatic – you may have heard something about the “2014 Incandescent Light Bulb Ban” that was supposed to be implemented in the U.S. at the beginning of the year. If this is news to you, well, that actually happened. It was a result of the passage of the <a title="Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007" href="http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/BILLS-110hr6enr/pdf/BILLS-110hr6enr.pdf" target="_blank">Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007</a>, which was passed into law by President George W. Bush. This fat piece of legislation did all kinds of wonky stuff, to include mandating that incandescent bulbs be made more efficient by January 2014. So, how’s that going, anyway? <strong>‘Ban’ Is a Strong Word</strong> It’s hard to say who first started using the word “ban” to describe what was happening with the beloved <a title="Incandescent Light Bulbs" href="http://www.atgstores.com/incandescent-bulbs_36.html" target="_blank">incandescent light bulb</a>, but there are two likely culprits: 1) the incandescent bulb lobby and/or 2) the media. Either way, it was a stretch. The bill does not ban incandescent bulbs – it mandates that they provide the same luminosity (lumens) using <em>less power</em>. In other words, the law requires a 60-watt bulb, let’s say, to create the same amount of light with only 43 watts of electricity. But, is that even possible? <strong>Check Your Light Bulb Labels</strong> The answer is: <em>We put a man on the moon. Of course it’s possible. </em>And, by the way, we already did it. Despite all the gloom and doom, the change likely occurred without you even noticing. Here’s some photo evidence: [caption id="attachment_22691" align="aligncenter" width="300"]<a title="Light Bulb Display" href=" http://sa.atgstores.com/img/blog/2014/08/bulbdisplays-300x169.jpg" rel="attachment wp-att-22691" target="_blank"><img class="size-medium wp-image-22691 " title="Light Bulb Display" src="http://sa.atgstores.com/img/blog/2014/08/bulbdisplays-300x169.jpg" alt="Light Bulb Choices" width="300" height="169" /></a> Energy-saving halogen![/caption] The photo above was taken at a local store today. These <a title="Light Bulbs" href="http://www.atgstores.com/light-bulbs_7.html?linkloc=tn" target="_blank">bulbs</a> look and act like incandescent bulbs, only they use halogen to help meet the energy-conservation requirement. They’re a bit pricier off the shelf, but they last much longer and use less energy so you’re saving money in the long run. Now, take a look at the back: [caption id="attachment_22692" align="aligncenter" width="300"]<a title="Light Bulb Label Changes" href=" http://sa.atgstores.com/img/blog/2014/08/bulbfacts-300x169.jpg" rel="attachment wp-att-22692" target="_blank"><img class="size-medium wp-image-22692 " title="Light Bulb Labeling" src=" http://sa.atgstores.com/img/blog/2014/08/bulbfacts-300x169.jpg" alt="Light Bulb Labeling Changes" width="300" height="169" /></a> Lumens, shmumens.[/caption] This handy chart was part of the mandate, so you can see with your own two eyes you’re not getting robbed. <strong>Lighting the Loopholes</strong> And, this isn’t the only good news. You can <em>still</em> buy various kinds of incandescent bulbs thanks to plenty of exceptions in the legal language. What’s more, with light-bulb technology improving on the daily your options are continuing to expand … … although you probably haven’t noticed yet, because these new bulbs last a really, <em>really</em> long time.
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