Though the media and web have been alight with stories about light bulbs, some stories actually keep you in the dark by spreading myths about the new standards. We are here to dispel the myths.
Myth #1: The new standards ban incandescents.
INCANDESCENTS are NOT GOING AWAY.
Consumers will still be able to purchase incandescents. New more efficient incandescents are already on the market and use only 72 watts of power to provide the same amount of light as a traditional 100-watt bulb and save you money on your electric bill. Below are samples from 3 manufacturers.
New and improved incandescents
Myth #2: Everyone will have to buy CFLs.
Consumers will have CHOICES.
CFLs are one of several options available to consumers. Consumers will have a range of better, smarter bulb choices including improved incandescents, CFLs, and LEDs. Improved incandescents generate energy savings of at least 25-30% compared to the 125-year old Edison light bulb (the 100-watt replacements shown above save 28%). CFLs and LEDs save even more, shaving energy usage by more than 75%.
Myth #3: I'll lose money with the new bulbs.
The new bulbs are a BARGAIN.
You'll save money on your utility bills. The old incandescent is deceiving. Though it only costs about 50 cents to purchase, it costs over $7 a year to operate. Buy a more efficient incandescent for $1.50 and you save about $3.00 over the lifetime; buy a CFL in a multi-pack for $2.00 or less and you save up to $50 over the lifetime. LEDs will save you lots of money over their 25-year lifetime, even more when the sales volume goes up and the initial purchase price comes down.
Myth #4: The U.S. will lose manufacturing jobs.
New JOBS are being CREATED.
Lighting standards are driving R&D investments in the United States and creating manufacturing jobs when we most need them. Sylvania has retooled a plant in Pennsylvania to make the new, efficient incandescents; TCP is building a new factory in Ohio to meet the increased demand for CFLs; Philips in CA, Cree in NC, and Lighting Science Group in FL are creating thousands of jobs to produce LEDs and components. Though GE did close a plant in Virginia last year, it also announced a $60 million expansion of a linear fluorescent lighting factory in Ohio.
Myth #5: Mercury levels will increase with CFLs.
Overall MERCURY levels will DECREASE.
CFLs do contain small amounts of mercury - about 4mg (for comparison, old mercury thermometers contain about 500mg, 125 times more than a single bulb). In the overall picture, mercury levels will decrease with increased use of CFLs because coal-fired power plants (the top emitter of mercury in the US) will not need to produce as much electricity. CFL's should be disposed of properly--see EPA fact sheet
for guidelines. Major retailers such as Home Depot and Lowe's accept CFLs for recycling for free.
Myth #6: Standards stifle innovation.
Photo courtesy of Hasbro
Standards spur INNOVATION.
After 125-plus years of the same old light bulb, standards spurred manufacturers to introduce new incandescent bulbs to the market. Standards did for incandescents what 125 years on the free market hadn't done - SPUR INNOVATION. And about that Easy-Bake Oven -Hasbro "will launch the Easy-Bake Ultimate Oven, a brand new oven complete with a large sized baking chamber, treats designed for today's generation and a heating element that does not use a light bulb!"