Biden admin's incandescent lightbulb ban takes effect August 1

Critics say Americans should have a choice in what light bulbs they use. 


The Biden administration's ban on incandescent light bulbs goes into effect on Tuesday, forcing everyone to purchase more expensive, energy-efficient bulbs such as LED and fluorescent. Critics of the plan say that the light generated by the new bulbs is not as good as the incandescents, which are more akin to sunlight.

According to Life Hacker, incandescent light bulbs cost between $2 and $3 while LEDs run $5 to $7, but notes that they are a better investment when energy savings over time are factored in. 

The Department of Energy estimates that families save about $100 a year using LEDs because they last up to 25 times longer and use at least 75 percent less energy than incandescent. 

They claim with widespread usage it could lead to an annual power savings of 569 TWh, which is more than 92 1,000 MW power plants' annual output. While 47 percent of Americans already predominantly use LED bulbs as their choice, critics of the ban say that Americans should still have a choice in what light bulbs they use. 

According to News Nation Now, at a house subcommittee last week discussing the ban Representative Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA) said sarcastically, “I’m happy the Department of Energy is out here, making sure that we can all save money because we’re too dumb to figure out how to do it ourselves.” 

A free market consumer group wrote the DOE last year, "We believe that further regulatory interference in the marketplace is unwarranted given that more energy efficient lighting choices, namely light-emitting diode (LED) bulbs, are already available for those consumers who prefer them over incandescent bulbs."

"While LEDs are more efficient and generally longer-lasting than incandescent bulbs, they currently cost more than incandescent bulbs and are inferior for certain functions such as dimming," they said. 

Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm said when the ban was first proposed in 2022, "The lighting industry is already embracing more energy-efficient products, and this measure will accelerate progress to deliver the best products to American consumers and build a better and brighter future."

The ban does not prohibit consumers from owning incandescent bulbs, but it prohibits manufacturers from producing and stores from selling them. Violators could face up to a $542 per bulb penalty. 

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