Monday is the last day incandescent lightbulbs will be available for sale—with LED lights fully replacing them going forward.
- The Department of Energy announced in April that incandescent lightbulbs would be prohibited from sale on August 1, 2023.
- Incandescent lights will not be illegal to possess, but retail sales or manufacturing them going forward is illegal and could earn fines of up to $542 per illicit bulb sold.
- LEDs use 75% less energy, last 25 times longer, and save families $100 per year—saving money and reducing carbon emissions, News Nation notes.
Why It’s Important
The incandescent light ban has been a long time coming, with numerous proposals for the federal government to crack down on their sales in an energy-saving effort over the decades. While critics have argued that consumers should have the right to make their own decisions on energy saving, the Department of Energy moved ahead with the ban, warning retailers in January that the government would begin phasing out sales in the near future.
The ban going into effect comes amid renewed criticism of the federal government’s repeated suggestion that gas stoves should be banned as a health measure. While the measure has thus far been limited to specific cities and counties, the Consumer Product Safety Commission has repeatedly suggested it has the power to enact a ban as it sees fit. The House of Representatives passed a law prohibiting gas stoves in June, but it has not passed the Senate.
Republicans have generally scrutinized that both bans are an infringement on individual rights and an intrusion from the federal government into people’s homes. Democrats have defended the measures as a means of addressing public health and climate change while noting that these measures do not affect existing stoves or lightbulbs nor make them illegal to possess.
Representative Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA) contested the lightbulb and stove bans during a July 18 congressional hearing, criticizing the department’s decision and treating consumers like they are dumb. Representative Cori Bush (D-MO) defended the decision, saying “These updated regulations are not an attempt to ban or take away appliances like gas stoves, light bulbs, or dishwashers.”