ROANOKE, Va.—New lighting standards will take place beginning this January.
Common light bulbs will be required to be roughly 25 percent more efficient. Nationwide lighting accounts for about 10% of home electricity use.
News 7 spoke with Phil West with the US Department of Energy. He said the new standards on light bulbs are aimed at reducing energy use and in the process, saving money.
"If you replace a traditional 100 watt incandescent bulb in your home with a compact fluorescent you'll save about $6 a year just on that one bulb. So the bulb costs about $1.50 on the low end, maybe $6 on the high end, you'll pay for the bulb in the first year," said West. "If you look for an Energy Star qualified bulb, that bulb should last about 10 years if you use it about two hours a day. So you'll save well into the future."
CFL bulbs come in different color temperatures, not just daylight blue. West said that's a big selling point in addition to the energy savings. "The great thing is these choices have expanded their color options as well. You can buy CFLs in warm white colors. You can get the LEDs in the warmer colors as well, so there are a lot of choices that are not in the blue part of the spectrum. Some people like the blue, that's fine, you can buy those as well.
The CFLs and LEDs should also last much longer than traditional incandescent light bulbs. "I just bought some LEDs in my home to try them out," said West. "Our six year old, our eight year old may go off to college with a reading lamp with that bulb in it, it's going to last that long. The light should hold out really well over that period of time. So you've got longer lasting light and that's why they save money well into the future as well."
West added, the nationwide savings in energy costs could reach several billion when households switch to the energy efficient light bulbs.