Energy use has dropped in American homes and the humble light bulb can be to thanked for it. Solar panels and wind turbines have been in the spotlight, but the reshaping of the country’s energy economy can be linked to a change in light bulb use.

A recent New York Times article has looked into the impact of the switch from traditional incandescent bulbs to more energy-efficient lights. “The shift has driven down electricity demand in American homes, saving consumers money and cutting greenhouse gas emissions.” Replacing traditional bulbs with LEDs, can reduce the amount of electricity consumed in households by more than 80 percent.

Next year a second phase of rules will be added to the current 2007 lighting efficiency guidelines. Light bulbs that put out less than 45 lumens per watt will be prohibited. “That means all basic incandescent bulbs, including the recent generation of halogens, would be eliminated from store shelves on Jan. 1.”

A light bulb moment, that is good news for the consumer and the environment, it seems.

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