How Many Engineers Will It Take To Change The Light Bulb?

The Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 calls for incandescent lights to be 25% to 30% more energy efficient in 2012 than they are now.

By Thomas Claburn InformationWeek March 7, 2008 07:00 AM

Incandescent bulbs are on the verge of extinction in Australia; they’re scheduled to be phased out between 2009 and 2010 in favor of more energy efficient fluorescent bulbs.

The Australian government projects this will lead to saving more than 4 terawatt hours of electricity, 4 million tons of greenhouse gas emissions, and a savings of U.S. $371 million.
In the U.S., there’s no plan to ban them. Rather, light bulb makers will have to improve incandescent technology, which hasn’t changed much in over 125 years, to meet goals set for the years 2012 and 2020 by the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007.

There’s considerable room for improvement. Light bulbs give off more heat than light: Less than 10% of the energy they use gets converted to light while more than 90% escapes as heat, according a Congressional Research Service (CRS) report, “Lighting Efficiency Standards in the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007: Are Incandescent Light Bulbs ‘Banned’?”, released in February.

The Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 calls for incandescent lights to be 25% to 30% more energy efficient in 2012 than they are now. Upcoming Department of Energy rulemaking may require a 60% increase in efficiency by 2020.

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