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Efficient incandescent light bulbs: available now

Just a few weeks ago I wrote about the technological advances being made with regular old incandescent light bulbs. What do you know, they’re already on the market. Head over to to stock up on Philips Halogena Energy Saver light bulbs in a variety of wattages and configurations.

Some caveats:

* the bulbs are about 30% more efficient than incandescents — the 70-Watt Halogena is equivalent to a 100-Watt standard bulb — but still not nearly as efficient as CFLs
* Nor are they as cheap as CFLs. At about $5 per bulb, they will pay for themselves in reduced energy, but the savings aren’t as dramatic
* Their lifespan isn’t as long as CFLs, although individual users tend to see a lot of variation with compact fluorescents anyway

The good news is that the bulbs come on instantly, are fully dimmable, contain no mercury, and emit the warm sort of light that people are used to. The Times says that the bulbs use a reflective coating made by Deposition Sciences, one of the companies profiled in our previous blog post. Manufacturers are also testing the claims of researchers who last spring demonstrated that blasting bulb filaments with lasers could greatly increase their efficiency.

For now, the Phillips bulbs are only available at Amazon, Home Depot, and a few other online retailers. Has anyone tried them out? Do they work as advertised?

On a related note, for anyone wondering why light bulbs matter, President Obama had some remarks on the new lighting efficiency standards just last week:

> The first step we’re taking sets new efficiency standards on fluorescent and incandescent lighting. Now I know light bulbs may not seem sexy, but this simple action holds enormous promise because 7 percent of all the energy consumed in America is used to light our homes and our businesses. Between 2012 and 2042, these new standards will save consumers up to $4 billion a year, conserve enough electricity to power every home in America for 10 months, reduce emissions equal to the amount produced by 166 million cars each year, and eliminate the need for as many as 14 coal-fired power plants.

Take the first step.

Start small. Be conscious of the impact your actions have on the environment and figure out what you can do to lessen the blow. Calculate, conserve, and offset.

For businesses, our Corporate Sustainability Plans can help you with your emission reduction goals.

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