August 1, 2023   

The Politicisation of the Incandescent Light Bulb Ban

2023 07 politics and light bulbs incandescent ban bush obama trump biden.jpg

The ban’s journey from Bush to Biden and how the media is reporting it to the American people


The recent implementation of the incandescent light bulb ban, which has been in effect for manufacturers and private labelers since 2022 and now extends to retailers effective August 1 has shined a light on the role of U.S. presidents in influencing light bulb regulations. This discussion has long been embedded in the context of the Department of Energy's press releases that frequently give credit for certain energy initiatives to the administrations that were in office at the time.

As we examine the mainstream media's coverage of the incandescent light bulb ban that comes into effect today, we've observed an abundance of news coverage attributing the success and progress of energy efficiency solely to the Biden administration. At the same time, others castigate what they term the "Biden regime" for encroaching on our civil liberties to make specific light bulb choices.


Initially, we questioned why the names of politicians should be invoked in light bulb discussions. However, upon reflection, we recognized that each administration that took action relating to energy regulations has contributed to this outcome. Thus, it's reasonable to associate the regulations with the politicians who influenced them. Nevertheless, the extreme reactions, from exorbitant praise to severe criticism of various presidential administrations, underscore the polarizing nature of this issue.


Some backstory: Bush 43, Obama, Trump and Biden:

The history of U.S. presidents' influence on today's light bulb ban dates back to the George W. Bush administration. In 2007, President George W. Bush signed the Energy Independence and Security Act, mandating household light bulbs to achieve approximately 25% greater efficiency, according to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The Act, however, did not explicitly ban incandescent bulbs.

In 2017, two additional regulations were added to the act during former President Barack Obama's term. These changes aimed to phase out not only traditional incandescent bulbs but also specific types of specialty bulbs, such as incandescent candelabra bulbs commonly used in chandeliers.

These Obama-era regulations faced a roadblock in 2019 during Donald Trump's presidency when the Department of Energy halted their implementation. Trump described energy efficient light bulbs as “many times more expensive than that old, incandescent bulb that worked very well.” He also stated “The bulb that we’re being forced to use, number one, to me, most importantly, the light's no good. I always look orange,” he said, which drew laughs from the audience.

Now, under President Joe Biden's administration, the incandescent light bulb ban will be enforced from today onward. It is now unlawful for distributors and retailers in the United States to sell traditional incandescent light bulbs or any other general service lamp that produces less than 45 lumens per watt. Some specialty lamps are exempted. The move favors energy-efficient bulbs and culminates a bipartisan effort to phase out the incandescent bulbs, which commenced many years ago and have come to fruition today.


Here is how some mainstream media and niche media are reporting the news of today’s incandescent ban:














The Hill



Fox News



News Nation







13WMAZ News in Macon, Georgia



The Post Millennial



Gateway Pundit