(WIVB) — Thomas Edison’s incandescent light bulb is one of his most enduring inventions, right up there with the phonograph and the motion picture camera. But come next year it is about to join the scrap heap of other great works like the VCR and transistor radio.
As of July 1 next year, all sales of incandescent light bulbs, the kind that use a thin metal filament inside a glass bulb, will be prohibited in favor of LED.
“There is no good reason for manufacturers and retailers to keep selling them. It is a 19th Century technology and by switching over to LED’s everybody is saving money,” said Richard Eckman, Consumer Federation of America.
Saving money and protecting the environment, said Richard Eckman, Energy Advocate for the Consumer Federation of America. Despite the higher cost of LED’s over incandescent bulbs, Eckman and others estimate consumers will save close to $3 billion a year on their energy bill, and take more than 200-million metric tons of greenhouse gases out of the air.
Eckman said there’s also an economic divide.
“Stores serving more affluent communities exclusively sell far more efficient LED’s and that just really harms low-income communities with much higher electric bills,” added Eckman.
The new rules also ban halogen lights, and Compact Fluorescent Lights, or CFLs due to their mercury content. The light bulb ban was originally set under the Obama administration and would have gone into effect two years ago.
“But the Trump administration decided it did not need to go into place, so we are really happy that the Biden administration has gone forward,” Eckman said.
As of January 1, manufacturers won’t be allowed to import incandescent bulbs. Then on July 1 retailers can no longer sell them, with one exception. Eckman told us the ban does not apply to appliance bulbs because LEDs don’t work well in refrigerators.