The news is full of stories right now about the 100 watt light bulb phase-out. Some outlets even call this an outright ban on incandescent light bulbs.
Here is the simple truth, as detailed in the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007:
On December 31, 2011, manufacturers will stop production of 100 watt incandescent light bulbs. You’ll still be able to buy them, however, because EISA does not forbid retailers, including 1000Bulbs.com, from selling their existing inventory.
Other wattages will not be affected until 2013, when 75 watt bulbs will be banned, and 2014 when 40 watt and 60 watt bulbs will be banned. The same rules still apply: You can buy them as long as stores still have them.
So when they are all gone, what do you do? You have three choices: Compact fluorescents (CFLs), LEDs, and Halogen light bulbs.
You either love or hate compact fluorescents, but regardless of personal affectations, a 23 watt CFL replaces a 100 watt incandescent. LEDs aren’t yet bright enough to replace a 100 watt bulb, but you can expect to see several that do in the next one or two years. Halogens are EISA’s “silver lining” for incandescent lovers: A 72-watt Halogen replaces a 100 watt incandescent and looks and functions almost identically to an incandescent.
- 100 watt incandescents no longer produced, but you can continue to buy existing inventory.
- You can replace them with a 23 watt CFL or a 72 watt Halogen.
- There are no LEDs to replace them yet, but expect them soon.
- 75 watt incandescents no longer produced, but you can continue to buy existing inventory.
- You can replace them with a 18 watt CFL or a 53 watt Halogen.
- Just like 100 watt, there are no LEDs to replace them yet, but expect them soon.
- Both 40 watt and 60 watt no longer produced, but you can continue to buy existing inventory.
- You can replace a 40 watt bulb with a 9 watt CFL or a 29 watt Halogen.
- You can replace a 60 watt bulb with a 13 watt CFL or a 43 watt Halogen.
- There are plenty of LEDs to replace these, of various wattages.