Prepare to flick off your incandescent bulbs for good under new US rules that kicked in

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Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article.

  1. denounce / dɪˈnaʊns / (v.) – to strongly criticize someone/something publicly for being bad or wrong

    Business owners quickly denounced the government’s new policy as it is too strict.

  2. undue / ʌnˈdu / (adj.) – more than necessary, acceptable, or reasonable

    There are a lot of angry passengers at the airport because of undue flight delays.

  3. scrap / skræp / (v.) – to stop or cancel something that’s not useful, like a system or plan

    The manager scrapped the idea for a new product when they discovered that other companies already offer a similar product.

  4. roll around / roʊl əˈraʊnd / (phrasal v.) – to occur or to happen

    I usually feel sad whenever the winter season rolls around because I live so far away from my family.

  5. vote with (someone’s) wallet / voʊt wɪθ ˈwɒl ɪt / (idiom) – to show what someone likes or dislikes by choosing where to shop and what to buy

    According to a survey, more consumers vote with their wallets. They choose eco-friendly products over others that are harmful to the environment.


Read the text below.

Get ready to say goodbye to the once ubiquitous incandescent light bulb, pioneered by Thomas Edison more than a century ago. You can thank — or blame — new federal energy efficiency regulations that went into full effect. Quite possibly without you even noticing.

The Energy Department rules, which date back to the Obama administration, have been whipsawed in the political process for years. Some conservatives and Republican lawmakers long denounced them for interfering with consumer choice and placing undue burdens on business. Under former President Donald Trump, the Energy Department scrapped them in 2019; the Biden administration subsequently revived them.

Yet by the time Aug. 1 rolled around, the critics had gone quiet, possibly because companies and consumers have already started voting for better lighting efficiency with their wallets.

The rules establish strict new efficiency standards for bulbs used in homes and businesses and ban the manufacture and sale of those that don’t meet those requirements. Practical incandescent bulbs, which trace their origin to an 1880 Edison patent, can’t meet those standards. Neither can halogen bulbs. The rules also ban imports of less efficient bulbs.

But those requirements carry a bit less heft than they would have several years back, largely because advances in LED technology and manufacturing have dramatically lowered prices and improved quality. LED stands for “light emitting diode,” a semiconductor device that converts electricity directly into light.

Between 2015 and 2020, for instance, the percentage of American households that reported using LED bulbs for most or all of their lighting jumped more than tenfold — from 4% to 47%, according to the Energy Information Administration, an independent federal statistics agency.

So do I have to throw away my old incandescents? Fortunately not. The rules don’t affect bulbs that you already own; they also exempt special-purpose incandescents such as those used inside ovens.

But suppose you discard — or give away — your halogen and incandescent bulbs. The odds are good that replacing them with LED bulbs could save you a fair amount of money.

This article was provided by The Associated Press.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.

Discussion A

  • Do you think it’s necessary to have a rule banning incandescent light bulbs if consumers are already choosing to buy and use LED bulbs? Why or why not? Discuss.
  • In the U.S., the cost of LED lighting dropped significantly. Compare the price of LED lighting in your country before to now. What’s the difference? As a consumer, what would be your considerations for buying lighting for your home (ex. price, quality)? Discuss.

Discussion B

  • If you were an owner of an incandescent light bulb factory, what would you do since the rule would ban the manufacturing and selling of the said kind of bulbs? Why? Discuss.
  • What do you think the United States government can do for the businesses that would get affected by the manufacturing and selling ban on incandescent light bulbs? Why? What about in your country? Discuss.