Which Bulbs Are Exempt from the Light Bulb Ban?

holding light bulbs

Now that the collective freak-out over 100-, 75-, 60-, and 40-watt general service incandescent light bulbs being banned by the EISA has started to dissipate, it seems that many have been left wondering if the ban includes all incandescent bulbs. Thanks to some of your feedback, we’ve realized that many people aren’t aware which types of incandescent bulbs are exceptions to the new rules.

First, according to Section 321 of the EISA, the only type of incandescent bulb that may no longer be manufactured is one that’s intended for general service applications, has a medium screw base (E26), emits between 310 and 2,600 lumens, and operates in the range of 110 and 130 volts. These general service bulbs can still be bought. However, as 1000Bulbs.com CEO Kim Pederson mentioned in an interview with NBC, they are selling fast. Below is a full list of incandescent bulbs with plenty of stock that will continue to be produced in 2014 and beyond.

Appliance bulbs – Any bulb that is designed for household appliances such as an oven, refrigerator, microwave, etc. is exempt. Appliance bulbs usually operate at 40 watts or less and are designated and labeled for a specific application. However, many brands have already begun replacing incandescent appliance lamps with LEDs in newer models.

candelabra bulbs

Satco A3682 25W Candelabra Bulb

Candelabra bulbs – Have no fear! The skinny, flame-shaped bulbs you use in your chandeliers and wall sconces are exempt as long as they consume 60 watts or less. Candelabra bulbs have smaller screw-in bases, usually classified as E12 or E11, and are also available in LED options.

Rough service bulbs – If you just can’t let go of the standard A-shape of the incandescent bulb, you’re in luck. Rough service bulbs look and work exactly the same as the banned general service bulbs; the only difference is that they include a few extra filament supports and are intended for use in heavy-duty applications in industrial environments. These exempt bulbs are available in a variety of wattages and are an almost identical replacement for traditional incandescents.

Bulbrite 75W Black Light

Bulbrite 106975 75W Black Light

Bug lamps, black lights, and colored bulbs – Good news: You can still use incandescent black lights and colored bulbs to light those awesome Halloween parties you have every year. Yellow incandescent bug lamps use a special coating to block wavelengths that attract bugs so you won’t be swarmed by flying insects every time you have friends over for a nighttime backyard barbecue. Bug lamps typically have heavy-duty filaments that make them last longer in outdoor environments.

Reflector lamps – While there are exempt incandescent reflector lamps, they still have to abide by a few guidelines. The reflector lamps not affected by the light bulb ban are as follows:

  • BR30, BR40 and ER40 lamps rated at 65 watts (including 65BR30 and 65BR40)
  • ER30, BR30, BR40, and ER40 lamps rated at 50 watts or less
  • R20 lamps rated at 45 watts or less

More exempt light bulbs:

  • 3-way bulbs
  • Antique Edison bulbs
  • Silver bowl light bulbs
  • Shatter-resistant lamps (includes shatter-proof and shatter-protected lamps)
  • Showcase lamps
  • Traffic signal lamps
  • Plant grow lights
  • Vibration service lamps that use a maximum of 60 watts
  • Marine lamps
  • Marine’s navigation lamps
  • Mine service lamps
  • G-shaped bulbs with a diameter of 5 inches or more
  • T-shaped bulbs that use no more than 40 watts and are longer than 10 inches
  • B, BA, CA, F, G16-1/2, G-25, G-30, M-14, or S lamps using 40 watts or less


Do you have any more questions about exempt incandescent lamps? Leave it in the comments, or contact us on Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus, or Pinterest!

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Courtney Silva

Courtney is a Copywriter at 1000Bulbs.com. Check back often for more lighting facts, tips, and updates!

  •  lighthouse

    This is all true as it stands.
    However, will not remain true for some replacements, and unlikely for several others…

    Energy Independence and Security Act (EISA) of 2007/Title III/Subtitle B/Section 321
    “The Secretary of Energy shall report to Congress on the time frame for commercialization of lighting to replace incandescent and halogen incandescent lamp technology”

    Tier 2 2014-2017 and tier 3 by 2020 will likely ban most exemptions.
    Halogen 72W for 100W (etc) replacements banned on 45 lm/W final rule
    As per EU and already planned in Japan “Ledification” as sought by politicians and manufacturers would radically change the picture
    Already, tier 2 will monitor substitution exemptions and if sales double they will be banned

    Re Tier 2
    In cooperation with NEMA, sales of certain exempted lamps will be monitored, specifically:
    • rough service
    • vibration service
    • 2601-3300 lumen general service (150-200W)
    • 3-way
    • shatter-resistant lamps

    For each of these lamp types, if sales double above the increase modeled for a given year — signaling that consumers are shifting from standard incandescents to these incandescents and thereby supposedly not saving energy — the lamp type will lose the exemption.

  • M Campbell

    So when you say that candelabra bulbs will not be banned as long as they consume less than 60W, do you mean up to and including 60W?
    Thank you

    • http://www.1000bulbs.com Courtney Silva

      Yes, we should have clarified. As long as candelabra bulbs consume 60 watts or less, they are exempt. Thanks for your question!

  • James Giles

    What about halogen 50-75 floor lamps? I need instant-on light without the wait before CFLs reach maximum brillance and LEDs are too weak and their color index is not too good.

    • James Giles

      Edit: I meant 50-75 watt flood lamps, mainly for outdoor applications.

      • http://www.1000bulbs.com Courtney Silva

        Hi James,

        If it’s 50- to 75-watt PAR lamps you are talking about, these have unfortunately been phased out as well. There is still available stock, but soon you will need to find a replacement option. If LEDs are out of the question, a good replacement option may include Infrared PAR halogens like these IR halogen PAR38s. Most standard halogen reflector lamps are being converted to infrared so that they meet proper energy efficiency standards.

  • Michael Shawgo

    What about the vintage reproduction filament bulbs that look like old-fashioned Edison light bulbs?

    • http://www.1000bulbs.com Courtney Silva

      Thanks for the question Michael! The antique Edison bulbs you are referring to are exempt from the ban as well. We’ve added them to the list in our post. Hope this helps!

  • Bob

    what about the 3 way lamps that I have in my living room? These lamps have 3 different wattages…

    • http://www.1000bulbs.com Courtney Silva

      Hi Bob,

      3-way bulbs are exempt from the ban as well as they are considered a specialty lamp. We’ve added it to the list of exempt bulbs in our blog post. Thank you for your question!

  • joe

    Do infrared halogen bulbs have the same appearance as regular halogen spot lights or are they harsher like LED tones?

    • Jordan Loa

      Thanks for reaching out to us, Joe!

      Infrared halogen bulbs have the same appearance as regular halogen spot lights.

  • jonathan

    Hello Courtney and thank you for your article. Can you give me more information where to find the exemption information for specialty “antique” style edison bulbs.


    • http://www.1000bulbs.com Courtney Silva

      Hi Jonathan,

      There are a number of articles that mention the exemption of antique Edison bulbs, including this article from the New York Times. The reason antique bulbs are exempt is because they are typically lower wattage and don’t produce as much light. This qualifies them as a “specialty bulb.” Hope this helps!