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President Joe Biden is banning traditional incandescent lightbulbs in a push to be more energy efficient, but critics claim the switch to LED alternatives will prove costly for poorer Americans.
The Department of Energy (DOE) adopted two new rules Tuesday that strengthen energy efficiency standards for lightbulbs and will effectively phase out the sale of traditional bulbs by next year.
Around 30 percent of the two billion bulbs sold in the US every year are incandescent.
The Democrat claims the changes will help conserve energy and reduce utility bills for families by approximately $100 each year, according to a DOE press release. Collectively, the measure is estimated to save Americans $3billion annually.
However, consumer analysts allege that not only are LED bulbs more expensive, costing nearly $4 each as opposed to $1 for an incandescent bulb, but are often not stocked in stores in lower-income communities.
While dearer to buy, the new bulbs save an average of of $177 over the course of a 20 year-lifespan, compared to incandescent bulbs – but critics say many poorer families are not in a position to think of long-term finances.
The phaseout of incandescent bulbs was on track to begin in 2019 but was halted by then-President Donald Trump due to ‘bowing pressure’ from some of the world’s largest lightbulb manufacturers, The New York Times reported.
The same firms had complied with similar phase-out rules in the EU without complaint, but are said to be happy about higher manufacturing costs, lower profit margins and increased competition in the LED market.
Trump’s Administration, at the time, backed their decision by alleging it was made to ‘protect consumer choice’ and ensure Americans ‘do not pay the price for unnecessary overregulation from the federal government’.
President Joe Biden is banning traditional incandescent lightbulbs (pictured) in a push to be more energy efficient, but critics claim the switch to LED alternatives will prove costly
Biden’s Administration adopted two new rules Tuesday that strengthen energy efficiency standards for lightbulbs and will effectively phase out the sale of traditional bulbs by next year. President Joe Biden is pictured in DC on Monday
The DOE claims most of the country is already utilizing LED lights, which reportedly use a fraction of the electricity of incandescent bulbs and last 50 times longer.
The shift has decreased electricity demands in American homes, saved consumers funds and decreased greenhouse gas emissions, the agency alleged.
‘The lighting industry is already embracing more energy efficient products, and this measure will accelerate progress to deliver the best products to American consumers and build a better and brighter future,’ Energy Secretary Jennifer M. Granholm said in a statement Tuesday.
‘By raising energy efficiency standards for lightbulbs, we’re putting $3 billion back in the pockets of American consumers every year and substantially reducing domestic carbon emissions.’
The DOE estimates the new bulb standards will also cut planet-warming carbon dioxide emissions by 222 million metric tons over the next 30 years, an amount equivalent to emissions generated by 28 million American homes in just one year.
The Department of Energy claims switching to LED bulbs (pictured) will help conserve energy and reduce utility bills for families by approximately $100 each year. The measure is estimated to save Americans $3billion annually
The phaseout of incandescent bulbs was on track to begin in 2019 but was halted by then-President Donald Trump due to ‘bowing pressure’ from some of the world’s largest lightbulb manufacturers. Trump is pictured at a rally on Saturday
This chart shows how LED bulbs are four times more expensive to buy than incandescent – although they do provide substantial energy saving costs in the long-run
But critics, including some bulb manufactures, allege the change is occurring too rapidly and would ‘damage their bottom line’.
According to the Times, manufacturers could find themselves with an excess inventory of incandescent bulbs that would no longer be eligible for sale.
The bulbs would eventually be discarded and end up in landfills, unused, which arguably has a negative impact on the environment overall.
Others worry the American people would suffer the financial burden of the sudden switch, especially since lower-end retailers, like dollar stores, tend to stock their shelves with halogen and incandescent bulbs.
LED bulbs tend to cost on average $2.50 more per bulb in lower-income communities, as compared to wealthier neighborhoods, according to an University of Michigan study published in 2018
LED lightbulbs (right) have a lifespan of 25,000 hours, significantly longer than the 1,200 hours an incandescent bulb (second from left) will shine
PRESIDENT BIDEN’S ENVIRONMENTAL AGENDA
President Joe Biden’s plan to fight global warming and other environmental concerns is multi-faceted.
LANDMARK LAW: The administration plans to resurrect portions of the National Environmental Policy Act that will require federal agencies to evaluate climate risks when consider proposals for projects such as highways and pipelines.
DRILLING: Biden plans to resume selling leases on public lands in an effort to increase the domestic gas and oil supply.
LIGHT BULBS: Biden’s administration has adopted two new rules that set stricter efficiency standards for lightbulbs.
The first rule establishes a revised definition of general service lamps while the second implements the minimum standard of 45 lumens per watt for light bulbs that meet the revised definition.
The rules will effectively phase out the sale of incandescent lightbulbs.
In fact, an University of Michigan study published in 2018 revealed that none of the small retailers in America’s poorest communities – where 40 percent or more of the households live below the federal poverty level – carried LED bulbs, while 92 percent carried traditional bulbs.
LED bulbs, when available, also tend to cost on average $2.50 more per bulb in lower-income communities, as compared to wealthier neighborhoods, according to researchers.
The study also noted that in America’s poorest areas there was a $6.24 mean price difference between traditional bulbs and LEDs, meaning residents are met with a ‘huge upfront cost’.
However, data published earlier this month by LED lighting company Viribright shows that while LED bulbs are more expensive per unit, the average American will spend significantly less over time.
The lighting company reported that on average an incandescent bulb costs $1 per bulb, whereas LED bulbs cost $4 each, or less.
The average lifespan of an incandescent bulb is 1,200 hours. An LED’s lifespan is approximately 25,000 hours.
This means Americans would need to purchase 21 incandescent lightbulbs to light a room for 25,000 hours, compared to the one LED bulb needed to complete the task.
Viribright estimates that over 20 years incandescent bulb years will spend $21 on bulbs, whereas LED users will only spend $4 — a $17 savings.
Environmental groups have applauded the new rules, which are part of Biden’s push to restart the green energy program paused by his predecessor.
The energy-efficiency proponents allege the shift to LEDs was already underway at the manufacturing level and the old ‘regulatory timeline gave manufacturers too much time to move away from a technology for which a replacement was already widely available.’
‘LEDs have become so inexpensive that there’s no good reason for manufacturers to keep selling 19th-century technology that just isn’t very good at turning electrical energy into light,’ Steven Nadel, executive director of the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy, told the Times.
The National Electrical Manufacturers Association said the shift to LED lighting has already proven to be an ‘unqualified success,’ adding it ‘appreciates the administration’s recognition of the challenges industry faces in complying with the rule and the adoption of a more manageable compliance time frame.’
Other supporters claim the move will also remove products falsely advertising energy efficiency from the marketplace.
‘Many of the energy-guzzling bulbs have labels claiming they save energy, and it’s infuriating,’ argued Andrew deLaski, executive director of the Appliance Standards Awareness Project. ‘Responsible chains ought to get them off their shelves as soon as possible and certainly by the end of this year.’
THE HISTORY OF LED LIGHTBULBS
The initial invention of the LED light dates back to early 1900s, but LED bulbs did not become commercially sold until more than half a century later.
British engineer Captain Henry Joseph Round discovered electroluminescence in 1907, which was essential for the development of the LED bulb.
Scientists conducted experiments and research based on Round’s work and in the 1950s, light-emitting diodes came into popular existence, but not in the form used in today’s bulbs.
They were instead used to play music on record players.
The initial invention of the LED light dates back to early 1900s, but LED bulbs did not become commercially sold until more than half a century later
In 1962, the first red LED had come into existence, followed by yellow and red-orange LEDs.
LEDs became commercially viable in the US in the 1970s when Fairchild Optoelectronics bought this revolutionary light to market.
Now, LED bulbs are used in various lighting fixtures from normal bulbs to Christmas lights, spotlights and more.
LED bulbs are hailed as being more energy-efficient than other lighting options on the market.
Source: Evergreen Energy
Source: Daily Mail