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Shedding New Light On Incandescent Light Bulb Legislation

Panicky home owners fearing the light bulb police will take away their incandescents should chillax.

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Panicky home owners fearing the light bulb police will take away their incandescents should chillax. Federal legislation doesn’t ban Edison’s bulb; it just requires that 100-watt incandescent bulbs become roughly 30% more energy efficient by January 2012; 75-watt bulbs in 2013, and 60- and 40-watt bulbs in 2014.

But your pulse should race at the number of light bulb choices currently on the market and the change in terminology on the horizon, says an article in today’s New York Times.

CFLs, LEDs, lumens, and watt equivalents — it’s enough to make you shut off the lights and take a nap.

Times reporter Bob Tedeschi grabbed armloads of different bulbs and tested them throughout his house, so you don’t have to. He likes GE Bright from the Start Energy Smart CFL for the kitchen; Philips EcoVantage and Sylvania SuperSaver for the dining room; and Philips AmbientLED for reading in the living room.

Tedeschi also provides some tips for the light bulb challenged — basically, all of us.

His top tip? Take it slow.

“Don’t shop all at once for every socket in the house,” Tedeschi says. “Lighting technology, particularly for LEDs, is improving rapidly, and prices are dropping steadily, so it makes more sense to replace bulbs as needed.”

What do you think about the new light bulb standards? Will you ditch your old incandescent bulbs or hoard them?

lisa-kaplan-gordon Lisa Kaplan Gordon

is an avid gardener, a member of the Fairfax County Master Gardeners Association, and a builder of luxury homes in McLean, Va. She’s been a Homes editor for Gannett News Service and has reviewed home improvement products for AOL. Follow Lisa on Google+.

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