A light bulb ban is set to begin in January 1, 2014. The ban will include sales of 40- and 60-watt incandescent bulbs. Although the alternatives are more expensive, the US government decided that energy-efficient bulbs are better for the environment.
Consumers are urged to purchase compact fluorescent bulbs, high-efficiency incandescents, and LED lights, which are all more efficient and costly. The impending ban has prompted consumers to stock up on the cheaper bulbs.
Home improvement stores, including Home Depot, are using the ban to their advantage. As reported by Washington Times, the Home depot website warns consumers to “get them while you still can… stock up on incandescent light bulbs before they are completely discontinued.”
Beginning in early 2013, 75 and 100-watt incandescent light bulbs were also phased out. The light bulb ban was included in government-mandated efficiency standards, signed into law by former President George W. Bush.
The 2007 law was meant to reduce waste. Research conducted by the Environmental Protection Agency concluded that traditional light bulbs waste 90 percent of their energy. Only 10 percent of the energy is converted to light. The remaining 90 percent is converted into heat, which is considered waste.
Critics argue that the government has no right to make purchasing decisions for consumers. Several groups, including a majority of conservatives and libertarians, argue that the government is forcing consumers to purchase more expensive products.
National Electrical Manufacturers Association president Kyle Pistor said light bulb manufacturers have not presented any opposition “with respect to compliance.” He also explained that while energy-efficient bulbs are more expensive, they will eventually save consumers money.
CNN reports that high-efficiency incandescent bulbs are around $1 more than the traditional bulbs. However, they use 28 percent less energy and last up to twice as long. LED bulbs cost around $7,50 per bulb and use 85 percent less energy. LED bulbs last an average of 20 years.
Although the newer bulbs are more energy-efficient and more cost-effective, some consumers believe the light bulb ban is unnecessary. Critics point out that if the newer bulbs are indeed a better choice, consumers will purchase them without influence from the government.
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