The run of the incandescent lamp has lasted over a century. With the passage of the Energy Act of 2007, U.S. manufacturers of lamps for lighting fixtures will begin the process of phasing out incandescent lamps by the year 2012. The reasons for the demise of incandescents are strong. Technological obsolescence in the case of incandescents means vast energy savings in regular usage of compact fluorescent lamps or even better, light emitting diodes. The manufacturers of lamps are reluctant to admit the huge increase in lifetimes as well. Let’s face it, manufacturers of lamps have a vested interest in selling the public ever more lamps. Long lasting lamps might put a dent in recurring replacement sales.

On the other hand, increased usage of new lamp technologies may be but one of the necessary steps to assist in slowing the rapid increase in the carbon dioxide percentage of our atmosphere. Regardless, it is the seductive nature of better technology that wins in the end. Sure, sometimes it takes many years for the majority of people to embrace a newer technology. For example, many folks feel comfortable and nostalgic for natural gas lamps as front yard night time lighting, but very few would use them as their whole house lighting solution. The economic value and the lessening of future environmental burdens means we must begin to end our affair with the incandescent lamp. We appreciate Edison and his invention and it has carried us a long time through many nights and dark places.

New choices abound when it comes to lamps. We hope we can demonstrate that it’s time to embrace compact fluorescent lamps and LED’s. Sometime in the near future, many will look back and wonder why it took them so long to understand how important the switch to compact fluorescent lamps and light emitting diodes is. Of course, there are still some issues to be totally solved. Color renderings, variable lumen output (i.e. dimming), and the vast array of fixture lamp mounting systems aren’t totally solved at this point. But, as the lamp manufacturing industry gears up, these issues will certainly fade. So, begin saying goodbye to your incandescents. Maybe keep one in some unused corner that’s almost always kept in the dark and turn it on for a few minutes to feed your nostalgia. As for me, I am changing everything to compact fluorescent and LED’s.