For the second time this year, the Washington Times OP-ED page contains a commentary that lashes out against the national transition to modern, energy efficient lighting (David Deming, “Fluorescent Light Bulb Folly”). As a leading media venue for conservatives, WashTimes is generally effective in highlighting instances of government over-reach and misguided regulation. On this issue, however, their featured pundits continually miss the mark. The Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007, contrary to widespread belief, does not ban the incandescent light bulb. Instead, it sets performance standards for "lamps" (the industry term for bulbs) that manufacturers must meet by specified dates. By focusing on performance rather than particular technologies, the EISA preserves consumer choice while providing manufacturers with flexibility in how they choose to compete in the modern lighting market. Expect to see more efficient incandescent bulbs, therefore, sharing shelf space with compact fluorescents, while next generation products such as halogen and low-wattage LEDs become more affordable and popular. NEMA member companies worked diligently with legislative staff to ensure that the nation converts to 21st century lighting technology in an orderly, market-based manner. Look to the WashTimes Letters page in the next couple days to see NEMA’s response to this latest mischaracterization.


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