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Trump Administration Aims To Reduce Restrictions on Energy Efficient Lightbulbs


By Ryan Berlin Lighting
LED Bulb with lighting on hand with nature background

There are several avenues maintenance and engineering managers can take when looking to increase the energy efficiency of their commercial or institutional facility. One of the more popular facility renovations that affects energy efficiency is upgrading lighting to LEDs.

In 2007 President George W. Bush, signed a law that stocked store shelves with LED bulbs that look more like the traditional pear-shaped incandescent version but use just one-fifth the energy that those curly-cue ones that were cutting edge not that long ago.

A second wave of lightbulb changes was set to take place. However, the Trump administration wants to undo an Obama-era regulation designed to make a wide array of specialty lightbulbs more energy efficient, according to NPR.

At issue here are bulbs such as decorative globes used in bathrooms, reflectors in recessed lighting, candle-shaped lights and three-way lightbulbs. The Natural Resources Defense Council says that, collectively, these account for about 2.7 billion light sockets, nearly half the conventional sockets in use in the U.S.

At the very end of the Obama administration, the Department of Energy decided these specialty bulbs should also be subject to efficiency requirements under the 2007 law. The lighting industry objected and sued to overturn the decision.

After President Trump took office, the Energy Department agreed and proposed to reverse the agency's previous decision.

Critics say if the reversal is finalized it will mean higher energy bills for consumers and more pollution.

Eventually a court likely will decide who's correct. Environmental groups vow to sue if the Obama-era changes are reversed.

Ryan Berlin is digital content manager of Facilitiesnet.com.

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