This week the nation took its first step toward a more energy efficient lighting policy, lagging a full year behind California standards. On January 1st, 2012, the U.S. banned the manufacture of the traditional (type A, identified as the Edison) 100 watt incandescent light bulb. The reference to this as the “Edison” bulb is accurate in its nod to 100 year old technology. The carping and dithering that’s met this advancement in policy is bizarre. None of us would accept 100 year old technology in our telephone, television, or any other electronic device. Yet Congress tacked on to the spending bill last month a ban on enforcing the policy.
I’m proud to say, as usual, California is forging the path to a more efficient energy policy ahead of the rest of our nation. Some would decry even this… insubstantial effort. This week we put the next chink in the armor of phasing out low efficiency lighting by banning the manufacture or sale of the 75 watt Edison bulb in this state. (FAQs CAL Light Bulb Standards)
Last year the death of the 100 watt went with a murmur, and I suspect the 75 watt’s end will be met with little fan fare. The reason being is the ample supply alternatives and increasing improvement of both fluorescent and LED lighting.
As a residential Interior Designer, the biggest issue with these energy efficient changes was the lag in available lighting fixtures that accommodate a different type of bulb base. (Even though the halogen incandescent and compact fluorescents use the same screw base as the Type A bulb always has.) I’m pleased to say that in 2011 major strides were made and the variety of fluorescent and LED fixtures coming to market are truly exciting.
So for the naysayers to regulation - I say phooey! Remember when it used to be a positive thing to say “there ought to be a law”. Well that’s because sometimes there ought to be one; because it’s better for us, it’s better for our pocket books, better for our planet and I suspect making all those cool new products created a couple of jobs!