Search CE Pro

Print  |  Email  |  Share  |  News  |  Follow on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ or RSS

Energy Management

California Begins Phase Out of 100W Incandescent Light Bulbs

California will not allow re-sellers to re-stock 100W bulbs once current supplies are exhausted.

Jumping the gun one year earlier than federal law requires, California is phasing out the sale of 100-watt incandescent light bulbs.

California is allowing stores to only sell the 100W light bulbs they have in stock. After that stock is exhausted, the stores will be permitted to only sell energy-efficient bulbs that consume a maximum of 72 watts.

The LA Times, which cites a source saying the new bulbs are 28 percent more efficient, says the 72W bulbs burn "just as brightly and just as long" as their 100W ancestors invented 132 years ago by Thomas Alva Edison.

The federal Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 does not take effect in other states until January 1, 2012, but Congress gave California special permission to make the switch early. The charts below explain the phase out law.

Click image for full-size version

Click image for full-size version

The LA Times cites the California Energy Commission as estimating the elimination of 100W bulb will cut California consumers' electric bills by $35.6 million in 2011.

California will eliminate the 75-watt bulb in 2012, the 60-watt bulb in 2013 and the 40-watt bulb in 2014, according to the L.A. Times, with each replacement bulb using one-third less energy and lasting at least 1,000 hours.

The federal regulations do not affect a variety of specialty incandescent bulbs, such as three-way, colored, bug lights and heavy-duty bulb, according to the L.A. Times.

Energy Management

Behind every successful custom installation is a CE Pro

And CEPro magazine is there keeping you up-to-date on the latest products, techniques, designs and business practices. From HDBaseT 2.0 to cat5e wiring, from UHDTV to wireless lighting control, CEPro explains how they work and how best to use them. Each issue delivers constructive, real-time content to help you find innovative ways to successfully build and maintain your business.
Discover how to make smart use of today's current technologies...and those that are emerging...subscribe today!

Subscribe to the CE Pro Newsletter

Article Topics

News · Product News · Home Automation and Control · Lighting · Energy Management · Energy Management · Legal · All topics

About the Author

Jason Knott, Editor, CE Pro
Jason has covered low-voltage electronics as an editor since 1990. He joined EH Publishing in 2000, and before that served as publisher and editor of Security Sales, a leading magazine for the security industry. He served as chairman of the Security Industry Association’s Education Committee from 2000-2004 and sat on the board of that association from 1998-2002. He is also a former board member of the Alarm Industry Research and Educational Foundation. He is currently a member of the CEDIA Education Action Team for Electronic Systems Business. Jason graduated from the University of Southern California.

12 Comments (displayed in order by date/time)

Posted by Magic Bob  on  02/28  at  04:07 PM

I, for one, will NEVER buy a CFL bulb and will plan on using incandescent bulbs until newer technologies provide similar quality light, similar cost, similar dimming characteristics and similar post-use concerns (i.e. - none) as the tried & true bulbs we’ve been using for the last 132 years.  It’s really easy to save energy by dimming or turning off lights when not in use.  But when I want a real 100W of light in my home, regardless of the Greenies say, the CFL bulbs just don’t cut it.  Furthermore, it seems just incredible that we have time to legislate what lamps we’re using in our homes when so many larger issues aren’t tackled.  I already have nearly a life-time supply of the all the incandescent bulbs I believe I’ll need.  Perhaps I’ll stock some more for the coming Black Market.  Pssst…Hey, Mister, do you want to buy a 100
W bulb?  Who would have thought.

Other other vent,  we could save a lot on our electrical bills by going back to whale oil lamps and candlesticks. grin

Posted by lighthouse  on  03/01  at  05:52 AM

About the unpublicised industrial politics behind the USA ban on simple incandescent light bulbs
with documentation and copies of official communications

The site also shows why the supposed savings don’t hold - with US dept of energy data…

Posted by Michael Hamilton  on  03/01  at  01:07 PM

What happens to all those mercury-based CFLs when, God forbid, there’s an earthquake and they all shatter?
What kind of mess then?

Posted by lighthouse  on  03/01  at  01:20 PM

Michael, no need to wait for an earthquake..
think of all the CFLs on dump sites
USA = average 45 lights per household
USA = around 4 billion light bulbs in use today

(The CFL Mercury Issue
Breakage—Recycling—Dumping—Mining—Manufacturing—Transport—Power Plants )

Posted by Michael Hamilton  on  03/01  at  01:25 PM

The better mouse trap clearly isn’t better.

Posted by lighthouse  on  03/01  at  02:08 PM


Posted by Seth_J  on  03/01  at  04:04 PM

I’m going to take the opposite stance. This is a good thing. Maybe its the hippie in me but if we have the option of using less energy we should do everything we can to make it happen.

The fact that its become so politicized is what is stupid. The US should be leading the world in these technologies…

And CI’s should be loving this.. Sell lighting control with specialty fixtures and LEDs for general lighting. WTF is wrong with you people.. we’re supposed to be leading the way on technology. Instead you’re stocking up on old tech. Silly silly silly.

Posted by Michael Hamilton  on  03/01  at  04:11 PM

Say, Seth…

Drop one in your house and use some new technology to clean up the mercury.

Posted by Chris  on  03/01  at  06:03 PM

Well I’m all for not wasting resources. But who is to say what wasting and what is appropriate? If the goal is to use less energy whenever possible, why not stop selling electronics altogether? We are just enabling people to use more electricity with their gadgets that we sell them. But that would seem silly to me. If I want to use more electricity than my neighbor, so what? How much less energy should we use? Who is to say what the “proper” amount of energy use should be anyway? For me, this kind of thing is about controlling personal behavior and limiting freedom in the name of “saving” something. I am also stocking up on incandescent bulbs for my dimming system, while I am experimenting with LED’s, Xenon and other light bulb technologies.

Posted by Seth_J  on  03/01  at  09:46 PM

The drop the bulb in your house and call in hazmat is BS. Plain and simple.

If you drop ANY fluorescent light in an enclosed room it has a trace amount of mercury in it. The cleanup procedure is EXACTLY the same:

Open up the room and air it out 10 minutes. Sweep up the mess. Put it in a closed container in the trash.

I don’t know who couldn’t handle that. Most of the reports on clean up have been blown WAY out of proportion. Its the same procedure for the tube type bulbs we all have in a garage/closets.

People want lights in their homes. People want TV. I guess the government could legislate we couldn’t have either and then theres no energy crisis any more…. smile

This is essentially the same as the government saying your refrigerator has to use less electricity.

Over the years we’ve gotten pretty good at making better more energy efficient refrigerators.. Or HVAC equipment for that matter. I remember installing SEER 9’s thinking nothing could get higher.. now what are they up to SEER 23?

One thing for sure.. Saving money with CFLs/LEDs/etc is a joke. Once these things get out there and we start using less I’m sure utility rates will go up. I don’t for a second believe they are going to lose money because we all put in CFLs.. smile

Posted by Paul  on  03/02  at  02:42 PM

@Seth_J: You are correct on the usage/adoption will probably affect rates.  The key then is to get in early enough that the energy companies haven’t raised rates, but not so early that you are paying a huge premium for lighting.

I recently bought a new home, and replaced all of the incandescent bulbs with a mixture of halogen bulbs, a few CFL’s, and even a few LED bulbs.  I spent a total of $210 on new bulbs.

My power bill dropped by 12%. Apparently this was significant enough that the power company sent someone out to check my meter, as my power usage dropped enough to flag something in their system. 

I might recoup the $210 in 13-16 months, and anything after that is a bonus as far as I’m concerned. 

While I disagree with the governemnt regulating the bulbs in the first place, it effectively forced my local Home Depot start carrying new light styles, and CFL friendly fixtures, so I could use the bulbs if I chose to.

Posted by Kurt Saldutti  on  03/04  at  12:53 PM

There should always be a choice.
We do not need the government to stand in way of choices in anything. I choose incandescent or Halogen for my lighting needs and wish to pay my usage as a result that is my business.

Page 1 of 1 comment pages
Post a comment
Commenting is not available in this weblog entry.

Sponsored Links

  About Us Customer Service Privacy Policy Contact Us Advertise With Us Dealer Services Subscribe Reprints ©2015 CE Pro
  EH Network: Electronic House CE Ideas Store Commercial Integrator ChannelPro ProSoundWeb Church Production Worship Facilities Electronic House Expo Worship Facilities Expo