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  • 1440 Daily Digest

Incandescent Bulb Ban

A Department of Energy rule requiring new lightbulbs to have a minimum brightness of 45 lumens went into effect in the United States yesterday, effectively banning incandescent lightbulbs. The ban does not affect currently owned lightbulbs and excludes several specialty bulbs used in refrigerators, plant lights, and others (see full list).

The ban is part of a decade-long federal push to increase energy efficiency across major consumer sectors like cars and appliances. Incandescent bulbs, though cheaper upfront than light-emitting diodes, are likely to burn out 30 times faster and are more costly than LEDs in the long term (see comparison). Recent consumer surveys suggest over half of US households already partly or entirely use LEDs as general-use lightbulbs, whose longer life span has likely contributed to the 40% decline in lightbulb shipments over the last decade.

Some studies have suggested the flickering and coloration of LED lights can trigger migraines and other conditions in people with light sensitivity issues.

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