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Congress has mandated that all light bulbs be 25% to 30% more efficient by 2014. The phase out begins in 2012. The first incandescent bulb to go will be the 100 watt bulb starting January 2012 and the last will be the 40 watt bulb in January 2014.

Europe has already banned 75W and 100W incandescent lamps. The 60W incandescent lamp is banned as of September 1, 2011.

Compact fluorescent lamps are more efficient than the standard incandescent lamp but the next big wave will be LED lighting. Many cities and private businesses are already taking advantage of LED lightning.

A company called LumaSmart has produced a LED with an average life of 50,000 hours which is almost 6 years. In 2008, they started producing LEDs for industrial and street lighting use. LumaSmart designed and produced the billboard’s floodlights for the first solar powered billboard in New York’s Times Square.
The city of Seattle has installed thousands of LED street lights. City representatives report they’ve saved over $300,000 in a year. They’re continuing the replacement process to realize more savings and reductions in energy usage.

Texas-based Green Star LED, a company that designs manufactures and sells LED lighting fixtures has been awarded one of the largest LED street light conversion projects to date. The project is for a 25,000-street-light conversion project in San Antonio eventually a total of 80,000 lights will be replaced.

LEDs are desirable because they use considerably less energy and are Green friendly because they have no mercury or chlorofluorocarbons by-products.

For the individual consumer LEDs are very expensive, $7 to $20 so the compact incandescent bulb will suffice for many until prices are in affordable ranges. However, it can be said that the LED lamp will pay for itself providing years of maintenance free service.

A statistic worth noting is a recent survey showed that most Americans agree with the new lighting efficiency requirements. Almost 75% of Americans that were polled say they have replaced traditional light bulbs in their home with Compact Fluorescent Lamps or LEDs.

As the LED technology becomes cheaper LED lighting will be common place for industry and homes easily meeting the 2020 mandate by congress for 70% less energy use.