Are you up to date on the new Federal lighting regulations? Everyone is aware of the push for energy efficiency but most were caught by surprise when the Energy & Security Act of 2007 recently went into effect in California.  It applies to 100 watt bulbs at first and gradually applies to most others. The act will begin in 2012 for the rest of the country.

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A lamps (standard incandescent medium base bulbs pictured above) and shaped bulbs with different sized bases are required to have lower maximum wattage and a minimum of 1,000 hour lifespan.

CURRENT          NEW

100 W           72 W max     in 2012*

 75  W           53 W max.    in 2013*

  60 W           43 W max.    in 2014*

  40 W           29 W max.    in 2014*

* Rules go into effect one year earlier for California & British Columbia

The new law does not require you to use CFLs or LEDs, but allows you to choose between them and the newer halogen incandescent bulbs.

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CFL’s and halogen incandescents cost more initially but when taking into consideration the long term savings in electrical usage, they will actually be less expensive. As the price of electricity goes up the halogen bulbs will be more economical.

The new halogen incandescents are already on the shelves in California and are about 20-22% more energy efficient than the familiar incandescent bulbs according to GE. They sell for about $4-$7 for a 2 pack. They are the same shape as what you have been used to and they can be dimmed. They give bright natural looking light.

Don’t worry about those candelabra bulbs – they will be required to be no more than 40-60 watts and decorative bulbs less than 40 watts will be exempt. You will still get the sparkle and light needed for chandeliers.  The regulations do not affect specialty incandescent bulbs, such as three-way, colored, bug lights and heavy-duty bulbs.