I'm not a big political person myself, but from my point of view, you can't ignore the upcoming 2012 legislation that will remove "poorly" performing incandescents (standard bulbs) in favor of their energy-saving counterparts, the CFLs (Compact Fluorescent Lights). We hear from people all the time on this issue, some of them outraged that they will be forced to remove products from their own home or place of business.
So what exactly is going to happen?
Will ANY incandescents be available to purchase/use?
First of all, many of the niche special application incandescent bulbs, like Black Lights, Projector Bulbs, and Medical / Scientific Lights will still be available. There are simply too many varieties out there to provide an equal compact fluorescent counterpart for everything.
The bulbs to be concerned about are standard lamps, which are called A-Line and are recognized by their pear shape. Click for a Picture We all have this style in our homes, or perhaps the typical 75 watt flood lights in our recessed cans. Basically, the common pear shape, flood, globe and decorative lamps are up for questioning as far as their ability to waste or conserve energy. The government is pushing the CFLs as they can save up to 75% more energy than the mentioned incandescent bulbs.
The biggest drawback here is that CFLs have increased in popularity so much, resulting in many off-brands supplying very cheap CFLs to the public. The end result : CFLs that look bad and perform even worse, with many of them burning out way before their allotted life. Keep in mind that quality CFLs, from brands like Sylvania, GE, Philips and Westinghouse, look brilliant and can last 6-8 times longer than a standard incandescent. The market has been so over-populated with poor CFL manufacturers that the public's impression of CFLs has really deteriorated.
LED light bulbs are a great option, but the price point is still way too high as it is still a growing technology and is far from being perfected.
So what can you do in 2012? Will you have to switch all of your bulbs to CFLs?
Probably not! Even though there may be some really good compact fluorescent options, you will definitely see an improvement in energy conservation among popular incandescent bulbs. What we know of to be the light equivalent to a 65 watt incandescent flood, may very well be available in just 35 watts! Note: "watts" only refers to the energy required to light the bulb, not the light output itself. The light output is measured in something called "lumens". Manufacturers are working very hard to create a second generation of incandescents that will significantly outperform its predecessors.
It seems the government is not blood-thirsty for incandescent technology, but is more interested in getting the lumens per watt (LPW) figure as high as possible, resulting in high light output with low energy consumption. If these manufacturers can produce effective incandescent replacements in the next couple years then you will not have to switch from your incandescents to fluorescents; you will only have to upgrade to a more energy conserving model of incandescent. This should satisfy the government's requirements and YOU will end up saving more energy, resulting in a lower monthly utility bill.
The next couple years will surely produce some amazing innovation in the lighting industry, and you can be sure that eLightBulbs will be the best source of information as well as providing the largest variety of energy conserving light bulbs.