Hansberger Refrigeration Blog: Your AC Repair Resource

Light Bulbs Are Changing: What’s the Scoop?

It’s a common misconception that incandescent light bulbs have been “banned” as of January 2014, forcing the public to switch to new, greener forms of lighting. In fact, only the most inefficient filament bulbs will no longer be manufactured or imported into the U.S. Halogen bulbs will still be sold.

Light Bulbs Are Changing: What's the Scoop?Incandescent bulbs will need to be around 25 percent more energy efficient. For example, a bulb with the same brightness as an old-style 60-watt bulb should use 43 watts or less. Halogen bulbs may cope better with older electrical fittings and dimmer switches, but they’re far less efficient and more expensive than their main rivals, compact fluorescent lights (CFLs) and light-emitting diodes (LEDs). Brightness will be measured in lumens rather than watts.

CFLs use the same principle as regular strip-lights. A glass tube is coated inside with phosphor powder and filled with an inert gas (usually argon), along with a small amount of mercury. Electricity excites the argon and mercury atoms, which hit the phosphor coating and cause it to fluoresce (glow).

Advantages of CFLs:


  • Not quite as efficient as LED bulbs
  • Fragile and contain mercury, making disposal and cleanup hazardous
  • Light can be bluish and “cold”

LED bulbs are made using many tiny super-bright light-emitting diodes in a diffusing plastic case. LEDs consist of a semiconductor material that emits photons when electricity is passed through it. Once reserved for power indicators and holiday lights, LEDs are now bright enough to use for domestic lighting.

Advantages of LEDs:

  • More efficient than CFLs by around 10 percent.
  • Don’t produce heat
  • Don’t contain mercury
  • Should last even longer than CFLs
  • Light is a “warmer” color


  • Cost anything between 10 times and 30 times the price of a CFL tube.
  • May not work in older light sockets
  • May not function properly with dimmer switches.

Hansberger Refrigeration & Electric Co. has been serving the Yuma area since 1952. Whether you’re thinking of upgrading to more energy-efficient light bulbs, or you just have questions about lighting, electrical issues or HVAC topics, please contact us at Hansberger Refrigeration & Electric today.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in Yuma, Arizona about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).  For more information about light bulbs and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.

Credit/Copyright Attribution: “Anton Balazh/Shutterstock”