I don’t have to pay people to change the bulbs.”
That’s music to the ears of the Department
of Energy, which is working hard to educate
the public about the benefits of LED lamps. To
help consumers figure out which new bulbs to
buy, all regular lamps must begin to use the
new Lighting Facts label. Similar in purpose
and style to the nutrition labels found on
most packaged food, the Lighting Facts label
www.ftc.gov/lightbulbs) points out the
amount of light created by the lamp, lists the
bulb’s estimated yearly energy cost, how long
the bulb is expected to last, its appearance
(from warm- to cool-colored light), its lumens
and how many watts it uses. Lumens indicate
how bright a bulb is. Watts indicate energy use.
“We want consumers to make their buying
decisions based on the amount of light created
by a lamp, not the watts used to power it,” says
Kathleen Hogan, the Department of Energy’s
deputy assistant secretary for energy efficiency.
Joel Oppenheimer is one person for
whom the decision to go LED is already
made. He reports, “I’ve bought 150 LED
lamps so far, and started to put them in my
house as well. You can buy these today, and
you’re done.” C
Eric Taub writes about energy and
technology for The New York Times and
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36 ;e Costco Connection FEBRUARY 2012
3M and Filtrete are trademarks of 3M. © 3M 2012
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