Are Christmas Decorations Part of Incandescent Light Bulb Ban?
CORRECTION: Good news for Christmas lights lovers. As it turns out, the ban on the sale of incandescent light bulbs does NOT apply to holiday lights as they are not considered "General Use Lamps." READ MORE
The ban does not apply to specialty bulbs, such as grow lights, appliance bulbs, black lights, and bug lamps, and best of all, does not include Christmas lights.
CFL bulbs will be phased out in 2024. (Courtesy Christmas Light Source)
It's a common holiday decoration you probably have in your house right now, but did you know that they're banned here in Minnesota?
These common holiday decorations were once likely found in just about every house here in the Land of 10,000 Lakes, ever since they were first invented by Thomas Edison back in the late 1800s. But as of July 2023, the sale of certain types of incandescent light bulbs-- the same kind many of us decorated our homes with for the holidays-- is now actually banned not only here in Minnesota, but across the country as well.
It's all part of a new policy adopted last year by the U.S. Energy Department (DOE) to try to be more energy efficient. This story in The Hill says that in their place, manufacturers and retailers have replaced most incandescent bulbs with new LED bulbs, which, provide more light, and last longer than traditional, old-school incandescent bulbs. (The DOE says LED lights provide 75% more light and last 25% longer than the more inefficient incandescent bulbs.)
The Hill noted that the switchover will also help the environment, as well, noting the DOE said the new LED bulbs are projected to cut planet-warming carbon emissions by 222 million metric tons over the next 30 years. That's roughly the amount equivalent to emissions generated by 28 million homes in one year, the DOE said.
So while the DOE won't be coming to your house to make sure you're not still using a string of holiday lights that contains incandescent bulbs, The Hill said there *are* fines that manufacturers and retailers can face that actually kicked in back in July.
The DOE warned manufacturers and retailers about the change at the beginning of the year in January, with full enforcement beginning July, 2023. Manufacturers who violate the ban could face a maximum penalty of $542 per illicit bulb.
If your household is similar to mine, the switchover shouldn't really be much of a big deal. We've already switched out all our Christmas decorations and light strings to the new LED versions, and you likely have, as well.
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You can read more about the DOE's decision and how you could be affected HERE. And if you're looking to take in some festive holiday lights (made with all LED lights, of course) this season, keep scrolling to check out the best displays in Minnesota and Wisconsin!
Must-See Walk-Through + Drive-Through Holiday Light Displays In Minnesota + Wisconsin For 2023
Gallery Credit: Nick Cooper