A common household item that most New Yorkers use has now officially been banned. You probably have at least one of these items in your home right now. Officials say the new ban will save consumers money and is beneficial to the environment. The ban enforcement takes effect today, Tuesday, August 1, 2023.

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What Are Incandescent Lightbulbs Vs. LED Lightbulbs?

In 1878, Thomas Edison began research to create a practical incandescent lamp. Twenty-two years later, in 1880, the first commercial use of Edison's incandescent electric lamps was on the Oregon Railroad and Navigation Company steamer, Columbia. According to Wikipedia,

An incandescent light bulb, incandescent lamp or incandescent light globe is an electric light with a wire filament that is heated until it glows. The filament is enclosed in a glass bulb that is filled with vacuum or inert gas to protect the filament from oxidation.

While you've probably heard of LED light bulbs, you might not know what LED stands for. LED stands for light emitting diode. LED lightbulbs work differently than incandescent lightbulbs, according to Energy Star,

An electrical current passes through a microchip, which illuminates the tiny light sources we call LEDs and the result is visible light.


Photo by Júnior Ferreira on Unsplash
Photo by Júnior Ferreira on Unsplash

Incandescent Lightbulbs Are Now Banned In Stores In New York

The new rules were actually put in place in April 2022, but full enforcement of the ban began this month. The rules ban retailers in New York State and nationwide from selling incandescent lightbulbs. You will now mainly be able to buy LED bulbs. The DOE says that the rules will not only save NY families money, but they will also benefit the environment.

By raising energy efficiency standards for lightbulbs, we’re putting $3 billion back in the pockets of American consumers every year and substantially reducing domestic carbon emissions.  ~ U.S. Secretary of Energy Jennifer M. Granholm

Office of Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy
Office of Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy

While LED lightbulbs are more expensive upfront to buy, consumers save money because they last much longer than incandescent bulbs. If a retailer still has incandescent bulbs on its shelves, consumers will be able to purchase them, even though the ban is in place. The rules also ban the sales of halogen bulbs and compact fluorescent lights because they contain mercury.

The DOE says it plans to fully pursue retailers and distributors who violate the new rules by continuing to sell incandescent lightbulbs in New York. Manufacturers will also face fines of up to $542 per bulb for not abiding by the rules, according to The Hill.

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