With the arrival of the New Year, the United States saw the manufacture of its last incandescent light blub. Legislation begun by Congress in 2007 encouraged the eventual switch to Compact Fluorescent Lamps (CFL) and Light-emitting diode (LED) bulbs for energy efficiency, by setting energy use standards for the 100-plus-year-old technology. The concept behind the law was to ease consumers into using the more efficient bulbs—traditional incandescents convert only about 10 percent of the energy they consume into light, the rest is given off as heat. For example, a typical 60-watt incandescent bulb emits about 900 lumens of light, which comes to approximately 15 lumens per watt of electricity. The new standard requires bulbs to produce at least 20 lumens of light per watt; by 2020 that number rises to 45 lumens per watt. A current CFL will do 50 lumens per watt or more, according to the National Resources Defense Council.
Because the new standards were technologically difficult to achieve, most manufacturers began phasing out their production of incandescent bulbs in 2012.
Retailers are expected to continue to sell incandescents until their stocks are depleted, as not everyone favors the newer designs.