As you may have heard, Christmas came early this year for a group of outrageously dim House Republications attempting to delay new light bulb efficiency standards as outlined in the Energy Independence and Security Act (EISA) of 2007. The first step of the three-part phase-out, which is to take effect on Jan. 1, 2012, would require 100-watt incandescent bulbs to be 30 percent more efficient than their energy-guzzling predecessors. Now, thanks to the delay (more of a symbolic block than anything), the efficiency standards will still technically move forward but the Department of Energy will be stripped of funding that would help to enforce them. Bah humbug.


Still, despite the ridiculous setback, this is the year for stuffing those holiday stockings with energy-efficient light bulbs and I’ve got a couple of good ones in mind ...


Ideal for incandescent hoarders who are stil terrified of the alien, curlicue form of the CFL bulb but who are still open to energy savings, are EISA-compliant Sylvania SuperSaver halogen bulbs. This mercury-free, made-in-the-USA family of bulbs take on the “familiar” shapes of standard incandescents (A, R, and BR) while offering up to 33 percent in the energy savings department over standard full-wattage lamps. Fully dimmable, these versatile halogen bulbs are available in 28-watt (40-watt replacement), 43-watt (60-watt replacement), 72-watt (100-watt replacement) and as indoor floods (35, 50, and 80-watts). I recently swapped out the one last remaining incandescent bulb in my apartment (I was on the hunt for something fully dimmable) with a Sylvania SuperSaver halogen and I’m quite pleased with the results. The bulbs are affordable — they start at $4.29 for a two-pack — and are available at a range of retailers including Lowe’s, BJ’s, and Walgreens.


For those who have graduated from halogens and have more special stockings to be filled, the Sylvania Ultra A-Line 12-watt LED is a solid bet. Dimmable and mercury-free, this 60-watt swap-out bulb lasts 25 times longer (25,000 hours) than the incandescent that it's replacing while using 80 percent less energy. Available directly through Sylvania or at Walmart or Lowe’s, this versatile LED costs $40 but offers energy savings of over $130 throughout its lifespan. It's also worth noting that the bulb produces an impressive 810 lumens of light. Click here for more ESIA-compliant light bulb replacement options from Sylvania.


So there you go: two energy-saving, non-CFL light bulbs for your stocking stuffing consideration (I should admit that my hands-down favorite light bulb of 2011, the Plumen, is a CFL). Will you be stuffing any stockings with energy-efficient light bulbs this year?

Images: Osram Sylvania 

Matt Hickman ( @mattyhick ) writes about design, architecture and the intersection between the natural world and the built environment.

Stuff this: Energy-efficient light bulbs from Sylvania
For some, a stocking full of mercury can be just as disappointing as a stocking full of coal. For non-CFL stocking stuffers that still save a bundle of energy,