Lightbulb FAQs

The lighting industry is changing quickly. New legislation, phaseouts and technologies are affecting the options we have available to illuminate our homes. We share the top five frequently asked questions (and answers) as recently found in Better Homes and Gardens’ Lighting magazine.

Q: I’ve heard that 100-watt bulbs are now banned, and 75-watt and 60-watt bulbs aren’t far behind. What’s the reason?

A: The bulbs themselves are not banned, but the federal government has instituted a staggered set of regulations that requires lightbulbs to meet certain efficiency standards. Traditional incandescent technology – which wastes 90% of the energy it emits as heat – cannot meet those regulations, so manufacturers are developing replacements for those bulbs.

Q: What’s the best replacement for a 100-watt bulb?

A: There are plenty of options that closely match the color and output of incandescents, while trimming utility bills. The traditional 100-watt incandescent bulbs delivers 1,700 lumens of warm-colored light. 72-watt halogen incandescent or 23- or 27-watt CFL bulbs are similar in appearance but last longer and are more efficient.

Q: What are good replacements for other wattages of bulbs?

A: For a 75-watt bulb, look for a 53-watt halogen incandescent. Use a 43-watt halogen incandescent to replace a 60-watt incandescent. For a 40-watt traditional incandescent, use a 29-watt halogen incandescent.

Q: I don’t like the light color of CFL bulbs. What are my options?

A: CFLs have come a long way, and you should be able to find both warm- and cool-colored light now available.

Q: Can I use LEDs in traditional light fixtures that once accepted incandescents?

A: There are LEDs to replace traditional incandescents, but many are still expensive. They pay off with energy savings and can last 25 years. Watch for the cost to continue to decrease as this advanced technology becomes more widely available.

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