I've been hearing my suppliers talk about the phase out so much that some of my electricians have told customers about changing over to LED or Fluorescent lighting due to future phase out. (Talking about general lighting and Christmas lighting customers)
I'm afraid I'm guilty of the old saying, "If you say something long enough, it becomes a fact."
I thought I better start getting some actual facts on it since I'm in the electrical business and Christmas lighting business. I found this tonight:
"California, one of the most progressive states when it comes to energy efficiency, has a phase-out scheduled for 2018.
As for federal legislation, back in 2007 the Energy Independence and Security Act (P.L. 110-140, H.R. 6) was enacted. The full text of the bill and the two-page summary are available online. The highlights of key provisions are corporate average fuel economy, renewable fuels standard, energy efficiency equipment standards (this is our topic) and repeal of oil and gas tax incentives.
This adopted bill includes a variety of new standards for lighting and residential and commercial appliance equipment (refrigerators, freezers and the like). So, H.R. 6 requires that energy efficiency standards of light bulbs be increased by 30% and effectively phases out most common types of incandescent light bulbs by 2012-2014.
Come January of 2012, 100 W incandescent light bulbs will be off the market. From there it will stage down until we get to 40 W bulbs in 2014. Anything less than that is exempt (and there are several other exemptions). That's the short and simplified version."
I'll do some more research and get back to this thread.
My opinion: We are definitely heading toward LED as far as Christmas decorating goes. I'm part of several outdoor decorating groups that do the animated displays. All of them are going to LED. But, for us, there's a good reason to do so. We like to have bragging rights on who can put up the most lights. LED's allow us to put up thousands of lights with much lower energy usage. I don't care so much about the electric bill, I've always had a very high bill for December. But, we start running out of available amperage in our electrical panels. LED's allow us to plug more lights in end to end and saves on hundreds of feet in cords.
I still like the old fashioned look of incandescents, though. So, it's a tough one for me. As of this year, I'm about 99% incandescent on my display. But, I'm really looking at going more LED as I can afford to just so I can get more lighting for less amperage.
General lighting - I hate the curly Q fluorescent light bulbs with a passion. The light is harsh. I have proven time and time again that I can get longer bulb life and lower energy costs by using regular incandescent bulbs on a dimmer switch. I have dimmer switches throughout my house. You can get whatever level of light you want with this method, better ambience lighting, lower energy costs, and longer bulb life than just screwing in a curly Q fluoresecent light bulb. Ex: I have (2) 90W incandescent floodlight bulbs in my hall that burn all night every night. They are on a dimmer and ususally are only on at about 40% or so. They are going on 4 years now without a burnout.