Thursday, January 5, 2012
Seeing The Lights
Beginning in 2012 the antiquated and reliable Edison incandescent light bulb will begin to fade out. Riding off into the sunset, retiring.
In 2007 Congress passed the Energy Independence and Security Act (EISA). Then President Bush signed it into law on December 19th of that same year. The new law contains provisions for phasing in more efficient incandescent lamps.
The main reason the regular 100 Watt light bulb can no longer be manufactured and sold is quite simply it is too inefficient by the new standards. I think the most confusing thing with regards to lighting, is how it is rated.
Watts has always been the measure by which consumers purchase lighting. Watts is a measure of power. It does not measure the light produced. For light the measure is Lumens. A 100 Watt light bulb uses 100 watts of power to produce 1600 lumens of light. A compact fluorescent bulb that produces 1600 lumens uses 24 Watts, less than one quarter the power to produce the same amount of light. Presently there are no LED lights available that produce 1600 lumens, but a comparable “60 Watt” LED bulb uses about 10 Watts.
The EISA requirements are to be phased in over two years, beginning on January 1, 2012. For the same lumen output, the minimum requirements represent a reduction of 25% over the incandescent technology in use in 2007.
Change, especially when forced is hard. The fact is the lighting that will be available after January 1st produces exactly the same amount of light as the incandescent Edison bulb, but uses much less energy.
Sometimes the light we see illuminates the path to a better way.