It may seem strange to talk about light bulbs particularly as we also talk new homes but we are going to see many new issues concerning light bulbs in the next couple of years. In the next few years we will see -mandated by legislation in 2007 -the elimination of the incandenscent light bulb as we know it. By the year 2014 we will not see the production of the 60 watt light bulb which we have become so familiar with. It will be replaced with a new form of understanding in light known as lumens. Actually, it is a better way to understand and buy light bulbs. A lumen is the amount of light given off by the bulb and does not have anything to do with the amount of electric used by the bulb.
Due to the Energy Act of 2007 we will see the much more efficient Compact Fluorescent Light bulbs (CFL’s) in the near future. Over the course of the next three years the bulbs that we have purchased for many years in the form of how many watts they use will be replaced with the term lumen. A former 60 watt bulb is roughly equivalent to 820 lumens. The 100 watt bulb is about 1700 lumens. The Compact Fluorescent Bulb is actually about 4 times more energy efficient that the traditional 60 watt bulb as we know it. The actual equivalent 60 watt bulb in lumens only uses 13 or 14 watts and they’ll last 3-4 times as long. Now I know you may not like the little squiggly looking bulb but they have already started to improve the CFL’s to look more like the traditional bulbs we have become familiar with.
From a practical standpoint start to replace your traditional bulbs with the CFL’s as the old bulbs burn out. If you don’t like the look of the new bulb or the brightness of the light take the new bulb and put it in a closet or basement and buy a different one for your prefered location. Keep trying until you find the particular bulb that you like. If you do find the new bulb to not give off enough light replace the new one with a higher “wattage” bulb. In other words instead of using a 820 lumen bulb to replace a 60 watt bulb use a 1120 lumen (equivalent to a 75 watt bulb) which will give you more light. Remember if you replace the more energy efficient bulb with a “larger” replacement bulb you’ll still save energy ( a 75 watt equivalent bulb only uses 18 watts) and still get at least the equivalent or more light. You can win both ways.
Over the next few years we will see many changes in light bulbs. Keep you options open and read up on what is available for you. Also, the packaging is changing for all of us to better understand what we’re buying. Good luck as we move into this new phase of lighting our homes.