The first phase of The Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 went into effect in January 2012 and requires that most household light bulbs use fewer watts of electricity while providing a similar output of lumens (measure of light bulb brightness). For example, regulations require that light bulbs that use 100 watts of electricity must now use 72 watts maximum. To be in compliance with the first phase of the new standards, manufacturers had to discontinue the production of 100-watt bulbs by 2012.
Traditional-style incandescent bulbs already produced and currently available in stores can still be used in your light fixtures. However, there is a timeline in place for phasing out less energy-efficient incandescent bulbs for bulbs that are more effective at saving energy. The second phase of the regulations, which began in January 2013, meant bulbs that put out 75 watts need to use 53 watts maximum. In 2014, 60-watt and 40-watt bulbs will be required to use 43 and 29 watts, respectively. And, by 2020, the regulations require that light bulbs be 60% to 70% more efficient than the standard bulbs today.
The law does not apply to some specialty incandescent bulbs. Appliance bulbs, colored bulbs and heavy-duty, shatter-resistant bulbs are a few of the bulbs that are not subject to the new regulations.