Incandescent Bulb Regulations


Is it normal for my light bulbs to burn out after only 3 months?” That is a question I receive more and more frequently. Its often become a frustrating thing, because the answer is equivocally “yes”. At least for #incandescent and #halogen light bulbs. Which can lead to frustrations by the customer. I would often find myself trying to answer a question of "Why?" Which to be honest I had never really sought out a true answer.

I wanted to dive a little deeper into the subject and explain why this is happening, but to be honest it required a little research on my part. I’ve always known that the government is manipulating the market with legislation, but I wanted to have a better understanding.

It all started way back in December 2007, when the federal government enacted the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 (#EISA). This legislation for better or worse heavily restricted the use of #incandescent lighting. It did not include all incandescent, but it included most of them. At least the most commonly used in a household. The ultimate goal is to conserve energy usage in the United States.

The U.S is not the only country involved in this type of legislature, but we are paving the way. Countries from Brazil to South Africa have all enacted their own versions of #EISA. Whether or not you agree with the political side of energy conservation, I think we can all agree that using alternative bulbs like #LED or #Fluorescent save on the #electrical bill. I can attest from personal experience that converting my bulbs did lead to a slightly lower electrical bill. I want to be honest and acknowledge the actual energy savings is very low. I believe it equated to $20 a month savings for my home.

It is also important to note that the bill didn’t take effect until January 2012, with the full effect coming by 2020. This is why even though the legislation is over ten years old, we are still adapting to these changes. The delay also gave bulb manufacturers time to make the changes necessary on their end.

Out of curiosity, I googled #EISA with every intention of reading the document in its entirety. I changed my mind very quickly due to it being 310 pages and written in jargon meant not for mere mortals. I just wanted to understand how it applies to me and my customers. Also, it turns out that it doesn’t just change the light bulb industry. It pretty much involves all industries which consume energy in some way or another. Luckily with more digging I was able to find section 321 which applies to light bulbs.

What I learned is that regulations on incandescent light bulbs will and have become increasingly more stringent. The most common wattage 40, 60, 75 and 100, will not meet the minimum requirements set by EISA. It is an ever-increasing push to influence our buying habits. Because incandescent bulbs were significantly cheaper most people would never purchase the more expensive option. That is almost impossible now because, of the limited options. Also, the fact that LED's have generally lowered in price we are now seeing the effects of EISA take hold.

I think it is time for us to accept that Incandescent will not be around much longer. They have been restricted so much that the quality is diminishing. There are a few exceptions to the rule. For example, your “lava light” will still require the heat from an incandescent lamp. It seems like a silly example, but the government has foreseen the need for incandescent in specific situations. In general, I would highly suggest changing to #LED. The most cost-effective way is to convert as your old bulbs burn out. That way you’re not shelling out $100s or even $1000s all at once.

The great news is once you buy your new #LED bulb, you probably won't buy another one for that specific fixture in your lifetime. Happy New Years and remember you can always contact Matrix Electric for any electrical issues or general questions at (469) 812-8220 or complete the contact form.  #MatrixElectric is the "The right choice - for your electrical needs!"