January 1st, 2014 was a very significant day in the light bulb world. As a part of the 2007 Energy Independence and Security Act that was signed into law by President George W. Bush, 45 and 60 watt incandescent bulbs were officially made illegal to produce within the United States. The law called for all light bulbs to increase their energy efficiency by at least 30 percent by the end of the year 2014. Phase-out of these bulbs began a few years ago, as 100 and 75 watt bulbs ceased being manufactured at the beginning of 2012.
What is important to note about the 2007 law is that it is not illegal for companies and retailers to sell higher-wattage bulbs that have already been created, they just cannot create any new ones. The goal of the law is to have the traditional kind of light bulbs sell out, and then consumers will be forced to embrace CFL or LED lighting. The use of these energy efficiency bulbs has grown recently – over one third of homes have gotten rid of incandescent bulbs according to Sylvania – experts believe this is due to falling prices for the bulbs and their being a cost effective option.
Home Depot – the largest light bulb retailer in the United States – tracked CFL and LED bulb sales from October 2012 to October 2013, and composed a list of the top ten cities, with populations of over 100,000 people, that have invested in this new technology. The top five markets for energy efficiency bulbs are Atlanta, Boston, Hartford, Miami and Orlando. Washington, D.C., rounds out the list at number ten.