Incandescent Light Bulbs extinguished From NJ Shelves: Here’s the Reason

NEW JERSEY — Shopping for light bulbs today? You won’t see some types on shelves in New Jersey anymore, as a Department of Energy rule against incandescent bulbs in favor of more energy-efficient lighting goes into effect on Aug. 1.

Retailers cannot sell light bulbs that don’t meet the new standards as of Tuesday, as the DOE said it will begin enforcing the rule with both businesses and manufacturers.

Garden State residents who purchased standard incandescent bulbs in the past may still use them to light up their homes, but officials put standards in place last April to begin phasing them out.

The maximum penalty for manufacturers who violate the ban is $542 for every light bulb made out of regulation, according to a report from Nexstar.

“DOE’s enforcement office is committed to enforcing DOE’s regulations in a fair and equitable manner,” a Department of Energy spokesperson told Patch.

The rule on “general service lamps,” one of two adopted by President Biden’s administration last April, says that light bulbs must emit a minimum of 45 lumens (a measure of brightness) per watt.

This is a more energy-efficient measure than incandescent bulbs provide: Most light-emitting diode (LED) bulbs provide about 75 lumens per watt, according to a CNN Business report. In contrast, traditional incandescent bulbs provide 15 lumens per watt, according to light bulb manufacturer Philips.

Department of Energy officials said this move will help consumers save on their energy bills, and also conserve energy while reducing carbon emissions. Residential LED lightbulbs use at least 75 percent less energy than conventional incandescent bulbs, and also last up to 25 percent longer, said the DOE.

Ortiz explained that the Department of Energy began full enforcement for manufacturers, including importers, and private labelers on Jan. 1. There was a progressive enforcement period for retailers that ended July 31.

Small retailers were asked to contact DOE officials “for additional flexibilities regarding their inventory.”

“DOE will pursue enforcement to the fullest extent of the law for egregious violations, repeat violations, or as circumstances dictate,” officials added.

This rule does not apply to a number of specialized lamps and light bulbs, according to the Department of Energy. Here are some of the lights excluded from the rule:

  • Appliance lamps
  • Black lights
  • Bug lamps
  • Colored lamps
  • Floodlights
  • General service fluorescent lamps
  • Infrared lamps
  • Marine lamps, marine signal service lamps, and mine service lamps
  • Plant light lamps
  • Reflector lamps
  • Sign service and showcase lamps
  • Traffic signals
  • Other specialty lighting






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