Say goodbye to your old light bulbs. The 2007 Energy Law has mandated that manufacturers must start making incandescent light bulbs at least 27 percent more efficient by 2014. In 2012, manufacturers started phasing out 100-watt incandescent bulbs, followed by 75-watt bulbs in 2013 and 40 and 60-watt bulbs in 2014. In this week's Angie's List report, Nancy Naeve explains what the lighting changes mean to you.
"There are changes on the way for light bulbs. For example, incandescent bulbs are being phased out. If you are not sure what this is going to mean for you, check with your electrician because you might find you have lighting fixtures that will need to be changed,"Angie's List Founder Angie Hicks said.
The most common alternatives to incandescent light bulbs are CFL's and LED's. CFL's only need one-fifth to one-third the electricity of incandescent to produce the same amount of light and last about ten times as long.
"They start up initially, but takes them awhile to warm up. So, to reach those optimum light output it's going to take a couple of minutes," Lighting Designer Don Dragoo said.
LED's are up to 85 percent more efficient than incandescent and 10 percent more efficient than CFL's.
"A lot of the LED's require a special type of dimmer. People who are replacing incandescent bulbs with LED bulbs have to be cognizant of the requirements of replacing that dimmer with a specialty dimmer that works in conjunction with the LED's," Dragoo said.
While energy-efficient light bulbs last longer, they do cost more than incandescent.
"When you look at total life of that bulb versus what you paid for that bulb versus what the amount of energy that bulb is using, these are much cheaper. So the tradeoff there is if you want to keep your old incandescent light bulbs you're going to pay more and change them out more. They are going to create more heat in your home as well," GoodCents Managing Director Bob Nuss said.
Lighting is one of the top energy users in the home so when shopping for light bulbs check how much energy the bulb uses because that will have an impact on your electric bill.
"Look at the mission of the light bulb. What are you using it for? If you're just trying to get general light out of it, then I go with the bulb that uses the least amount of energy," Nuss said.
If you're looking to switch over your light bulbs, but can't make them work in existing lamps or fixtures, Angie's List recommends consulting with a licensed electrician or lighting professional.