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You might have heard about a new ban on incandescent light bulbs that went into effect earlier this year. But there's good news for holiday light lovers here in Minnesota!

We'd heard earlier this summer that the U.S. government was implementing a new ban on those old-school incandescent light bulbs here in the Land of 10,000 Lakes and across the country. And, sure enough, that ban went into place back on August 1st, 2023.

Digging deeper, though, we found that the ban only applies to retailers who were still SELLING some of those types of now-banned incandescent bulbs. But what about HOLIDAY light displays? While many of us have updated our old light strings to the new, energy-efficient LED bulbs, would any old-school decorations using incandescent bulbs be banned, as we originally thought (and posted about HERE?)

As it turns out, NO. Holiday decorations are NOT included in that ban!  And we know that definitively, thanks to Jared Hendricks, Marketing/Energy Conservation Officer with
Owatonna Public Utilities. He sent us an email that sums up the details of this new ban:

Those new standards do not impact holiday lights nor other specialty bulbs (grow lights, black lights, and bug lights are other examples). Lighting standards are something we have to constantly stay on top of, and we have continued to get clarification from the DOE that the new standards do NOT impact holiday lights.

Jared's email continued, saying, 'We greatly encourage our customers to purchase and use LED holiday lights both as an energy savings measure as well as a safety measure (LED holiday lights don’t put out the heat the incandescent bulbs do), but it’s still legal to manufacture, sell, and use incandescent holiday lights,'  Jared said.

Jared also referred us to this article from Christmas Light Source, which explained more about how holiday light displays are NOT included in that new ban:

  • 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.
  • The ban is only on the manufacturing and sale of illicit bulbs. Consumers can continue using the bulbs of their choice until they run out of their hall closet stashes.
  • In other words, you don't have to throw out your current bulbs no matter the style. So, for now, Christmas light bulbs are safe.

Thank you Jared, for your expertise and clarification on this topic!  You can read more about the DOE's decision and (how holiday lights are included) 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!

Listen to Curt St. John in the Morning
Weekdays from 6 to 10 a.m. on Quick Country 96.5

Must-See Walk-Through + Drive-Through Holiday Light Displays In Minnesota + Wisconsin For 2023

Whether it is a holiday date night or family adventure, these walk through and drive through light displays won't disappoint!

Gallery Credit: Nick Cooper


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