Paving the Way for an Efficient Light Bulb in Every Socket

The U.S. Department of Energy has just updated and expanded its definition of what constitutes an everyday light bulb in our homes and businesses, paving the way for the Trump administration to implement the second phase of a bipartisan law signed by President George W. Bush to cut the energy waste of bulbs. Energy efficiency standards were sorely needed because the incandescent light bulb had not been significantly updated since the days of Thomas Edison, more than 125 years earlier. Once the 13-year transition to more efficient light bulbs is completed, U.S. consumers will save more than $10 billion on their electric bills every year and there no longer will be a need to generate the amount of electricity that’s produced by more than 30 large power plants annually. The savings are so large because the average U.S. household has around 40 lighting sockets and more than 2 billion sockets nationwide still contain inefficient bulbs. First, some history: Back in 2007, President Bush signed a law passed by a bipartisan Congress to phase out inefficient incandescent light bulbs. The first phase, which occurred between 2012 and 2014, went smoothly and the old incandescents were replaced on store shelves by halogen incandescent bulbs that used about 28 percent less energy.