It’s the end of an era for a popular household item that dates back to the 1800s – say farewell to the incandescent light bulb.

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Effective Tuesday, August 1, 2023, a ban on incandescent light bulbs will officially go into effect in what lawmakers say is a significant step towards more energy-efficient and environmentally friendly lighting options.

In 2007, the United States Congress enacted the Energy Independence and Security Act (EISA) which among other things, established energy-efficient lighting standards that require lightbulbs to consume less energy; in particular to consume at least 25% less energy than traditional incandescent bulbs.

Incandescent bulbs have long been known for their inefficiency, as they convert only a small fraction of the electricity they consume into light, while the majority is wasted as heat.  Experts say that this outdated technology not only wastes energy but also contributes to increased greenhouse gas emissions and so, the incandescent light bulb is now officially banned not only in New York but across the United States.

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The United States began phasing outs of certain types of incandescent bulbs in August of 2022 to get consumers ready for the full ban and now the only light bulbs consumers will find on store shelves are energy-saving alternatives such as compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs) and light-emitting diodes (LEDs).

While it won't be illegal to own incandescent light bulbs if you've got a stockpile, experts suggest you consider disposing of what you have and say that you should check with your local recycling facilities for specific instructions, as some incandescent bulbs may contain small amounts of mercury that require special handling.

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