How to Buy Energy Efficient Light Bulbs

At the climate crisis town hall on Wednesday, 10 Democratic presidential candidates discussed fossil fuels, hydraulic fracturing, carbon taxes, electric vehicles and light bulbs. Earlier in the day, the Trump administration lifted rules setting new energy efficiency standards for light bulbs in the United States; these standards would help lower energy costs for consumers and reduce carbon emissions.

But what exactly is going on? And how can consumers make smart purchasing decisions without affecting the environment?

What’s happening?

The Trump administration overturned Obama-era rules that required four categories of light bulbs from January 2020 – including those used in chandeliers, recessed lighting, plumbing, and road lighting – to meet current energy efficiency standards. The Department of Energy would look at the best efficiency standards for pear bulbs in 2020) The rules themselves are extensions of the G of the eorge Bush Act of 2007 to phase out energy inefficient bulbs, like traditional halogen and incandescent options.

In other words, the Department of Energy will allow the sale of such energy efficient lamps to continue until 2020 (and without specifying an end date). Such standards affect about half of all six billion light bulbs used in the United States, Bloomberg reports . “Together, these bulbs could cost the average American household over $ 100 a year, adding $ 14 billion to Americans’ annual electricity bills as of 2025. and require at least 25 additional power plants annually, ”the Natural Resources Defense Council wrote on its website in response to the pullback.

President Trump disagrees, despite claims on the Department of Energy’s own website that energy efficient light bulbs are cheaper to run and require fewer replacements overall. “What’s saved isn’t worth it, President Trump told reporters Wednesday. “Because of the little they save and the things people experience, it’s not worth it. The price is another matter. “

Several large light bulb companies are probably very happy with this decision; companies such as GE, Silvana and Philips supported the rollback, the NRDC points out.

What can I do to shop more efficiently?

In a rollback statement, the NRDC encourages consumers to make more informed purchasing decisions by replacing halogen and incandescent bulbs with LEDs whenever possible. “The average US household has about 40 outlets, so you will not only save money but also contribute to national energy savings that will truly help our fight against the climate crisis,” writes NRDC.

CNET has put together a guide to buying your first LED bulb if you’re unsure of where to start. Look for Energy Star certified lamps before buying, a marker that provides a certain level of quality and energy efficiency. And take note of the lamp’s lumen rating (the amount of light it emits) and the wattage (the amount of energy / electricity it uses) on its packaging. If the LED lamp is too bright, try a lamp with a lower luminous flux.

“LED bulbs differ for different brands, but the main thing to note is that some are more efficient than others,” u / winterholdmage wrote on a recent Reddit thread . “For example, one brand might have a 1600 lumen lamp at 20 watts, while another brand might have the same lumen rating at 16 watts. The easiest way to get the most energy efficient lamp is to find out the desired brightness level and then find the one that offers that lamp with the lowest wattage. “

And don’t be intimidated by the cost of an LED; While they vary in price, a pack of two 25-watt incandescent bulbs costs about $ 3 at Home Depot, compared to $ 10.75 for their LED counterparts . And when comparing a 60-watt incandescent light bulb versus a 12-watt LED lamp emitting similar light, the Department of Energy estimates that the LED lamp will last 25 times longer. (They also estimate that if you replace the five most commonly used fixtures or bulbs with Energy Star certified lamps, you will save $ 75 over the course of the year.) So do yourself a favor and swap out your light bulb for an LED one to save the time and effort of changing over and over again.


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