Finding High-Wattage LED Replacement Bulbs

In the lighting world, there are few bulb configurations as popular and widely used as halogen PAR38 bulbs. These sturdy and versatile lamps have found their way into just about every location in our modern lives. We use them in businesses and homes, inside and out. We love our PAR38 light bulbs—but we hate to pay for all the electricity they use. Another problem with them is that after July, standard halogen PAR38 bulbs will no longer be available in the United States thanks to the next round of light bulb bans. Although they have been a long time coming, there are now several LED options available, some of which you would actually consider buying.

Vintage cars under LED lights at National Automobile Museum.

Vintage cars under LED lights at National Automobile Museum.

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LEDs Turn Out The Light On Incandescents And CFLs

Most people have accepted that it’s all but over for old incandescent bulbs. But CFLs—compact fluorescent bulbs, the titular replacements for incandescents—may be rapidly becoming extinct as well.

Light bulbs have evolved from the standard incandescent (right) to compact fluorescents and now LEDs (left), which come in a variety of shapes -- some quite familiar in appearance.

Light bulbs have evolved from the standard incandescent (right) to compact fluorescents and now LEDs (left), which come in a variety of shapes — some quite familiar in appearance.

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Shine On, You Crazy Lightbulbs

The other day I found myself at a loss in the light bulb aisle of my hardware store. I might as well have been shopping for a carburetor. There were too many options with too many symbols and verbiage that I couldn’t decipher (LED, CFL, halogen, lumens, Kelvin, CRI), not to mention all of the various brands (GE, Philips, Cree, EcoSmart — each with its own packaging lingo). Since when do you need an electrical engineering degree to buy a light bulb?

This fluorescent energy saving light bulb (CFL) is illuminated by electrical wires inserted in the back of the bulb base. It is in a garden with primarily green plants. (Richard Goerg/Getty Images)

This fluorescent energy saving light bulb (CFL) is illuminated by electrical wires inserted in the back of the bulb base. It is in a garden with primarily green plants. (Richard Goerg/Getty Images)

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EPA Publishes the Final Draft of the Energy Star Lamps Specification

Intended to become effective September 1, 2014, the final draft of the Lamps V1.0 specification includes refinement of dimming requirements and other minor changes from draft 4 that was recently circulated for comments.

The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced the final draft of the Energy Star Lamps V1.0 specification that has been under development for more than two years. The changes from draft 4 that had been published this spring are relatively minor, and the new specification is slated to take effect September 1, 2014. The agency intends to publish the final specification in August. Continue reading