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Only 4 In 10 Americans Are Aware Of The Incandescent Lightbulb Phase-Out

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From Mother Nature Network's Matt Hickman:

Consumer lighting giant Osram Sylvania has just released the 2013 edition of its Socket Survey — considered “an industry benchmark” and “the only nationwide measure of public attitudes about energy-efficient lighting and awareness of lighting legislation — and, as usual, the results are fraught with excitement, optimism, fear, conflict, and all-around bewilderment.

In addition to the shocking discovery that Millennials don’t really think about light bulbs that much, the survey found that only four in 10 respondents are aware that on Jan. 1, 40W and 60W incandescent bulbs, the most popular light bulbs in America, will join energy-wasting compatriots, 75W and 100W incandescent bulbs, in A-shape heaven when their domestic manufacture and import completely ceases.

And what about those who are aware that 40W and 60W bulbs will slowly (or not-so-slowly) fade away from store shelves as part of the final phase-out stage of the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007? What are a decent chunk of them planning on doing in the beginning of the New Year?

Heading out to IKEA to stock up on cheap CFLs (not for much longer!)? Investing in high-quality and affordable LED models from the likes of Philips, Cree, or Sylvania? Dedicating an entire weekend afternoon to a house-wide light bulb switch-out?

Nah, an estimated 30 percent of these informed consumers will be raiding the aisles of your local big box and hardware stores, sweaty and wild-eyed, grabbing all of the 40W and 60W bulbs that they can get carry. From there, they’ll take their loot home and unload it discreetly in the garage before transporting it to an oversized hunting case in the basement where a sizable cache of incandescent bulbs, even a few remaining 100-watters phased-out in 2012, are kept under lock and key.

A majority (46 percent) who don’t plan on stockpiling incandescents as a result of the final phase-out, “plan” to switch, not surprisingly, to CFLs. Twenty-four percent of those polled expressed an affinity toward more efficient but also more expensive LEDs; 13 percent are going the halogen route.

While less than half of consumers polled realize that the final phase-out will kick-in on the first of the year, 64 percent are “generally aware” that there an incandescent phase-out has been occuring for the past three years, which is something … better vaguely conscious than completely unconscious, I suppose. This is also a big leap from last year when 52 percent of Americans were “generally aware” of the situation. In 2008, that number was 21 percent.

Similar to last year, brightness (92 percent), life span (87 percent), energy consumption (82 percent), and price (82 percent) were among the chief concerns of those switching out incandescents for new bulbs. Respondents also strongly favored light bulbs that are manufactured domestically.

And this is interesting: for the small number (30 percent) of respondents who claimed to own LEDs, only 11 percent of them own stand-alone LED bulbs meant to replace standard incandescents — a majority of these LEDS (55 percent) are in Christmas light form.

Click here to read Osram Sylvania's 2013 Socket Survey in its entirety.

And in other incandescent phase-out news, Home Depot, the world's largest seller of light bulbs, has created an intriguing map that combines 2010 U.S. Census data and a year of combined LED/CFL sales information to spotlight the 10 largest markets for energy-efficient light bulb consumption (per capita) in the country: Atlanta, Boston, Seattle, and Pittsburgh all top the list as do Washington D.C. and two major metro areas in Florida.

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