New CA Rule Creates Dim Future For Halogen, Incandescent Bulbs

Oct 20, 2015

California energy regulators want to change the light bulbs commonly used in stores. But the lighting industry’s taking a dim view of that rule proposed Monday.

In the exciting world of track lighting, LED is the next big thing. The bulbs cost more, but use a fraction the energy of other lights. So, the state Energy Commission wants to tighten track lighting standards, and only LED would fit through, says commissioner Andrew McCallister.

“We’re going to save a lot of energy, we’re going to improve the environment,” McCallister said. “And we’re going to have a lot of quality lighting that benefits people in their aesthetic life.

The rule also addresses regular-sized LED bulbs — they’ll have to glow that traditional, incandescent yellow hue. Which has some in the industry seeing red. Alex Boesenberg is with the National Electrical Manufacturers Association.

“In effect, the CEC has decided for you what you like. If you want a different color, you can’t buy it legally,” Boesenberg said. 

If approved, the rule would take effect in 2018.

This story was produced by Capital Public Radio.