Most Americans support the U.S. law that begins phasing out
traditional light bulbs next year and, despite some consumer grumbling,
say they're satisfied with more efficient alternatives, according to a
USA TODAY/Gallup poll.
Nearly three of four U.S. adults, or 71%,
say they have replaced standard light bulbs in their home over the past
few years with compact fluorescent lamps or LEDs (light emitting diodes)
and 84% say they are "very satisfied" or "satisfied" with the
alternatives, according to the survey of 1,016 U.S. adults taken Feb.
The results come as GOP efforts intensify in Congress to repeal the bi-partisan 2007 law, which begins phasing out the traditional incandescent bulb in Jan. 2012. Two dozen House Republicans, led by Rep. Joe Barton, R-Texas, proposed a bill last month to repeal the phaseout, saying most Americans oppose it.
market should determine the future of the incandescent light bulb, not
Congress," says Steve Taylor,? spokesman for Rep. Todd Akin,? R-Mo., a
cosponsor of the repeal effort.
In the USA TODAY survey, 61% of
Americans call the 2007 legislation a "good" law while 31% say it's
"bad." Support was particularly high among Democrats and self-described
liberals, of whom 70% and 83% respectively called it a "good" law.
Republicans and self-described conservatives were evenly split in their
"The results are overwhelmingly positive," says Noah
Horowitz,? a senior scientist at the Natural Resources Defense Council,
an environmental group that supports the phaseout of inefficient light
He expects all Americans would back the law if they knew it
does not ban incandescents but simply requires them to be more
efficient. So the old-fashioned 100-watt bulb, which U.S. companies
cannot make after Jan. 2012, will be replaced by a halogen version that
produces the same light, as measured in lumens, but uses only 72 watts
Horowitz says this lighting change benefits
consumers, because even though halogen incandescents, CFLs and LEDs,
have higher upfront costs than traditional bulbs, they save money
long-term in lower utility bills.
"It is encouraging to see in the
poll that Americans are becoming more comfortable with the transition
to more efficient lighting for their homes," says Larry Lauck,?
spokesman for the American Lighting Association, a trade group.
survey found that of the 16%, or 154 adults, who disliked the newer
light bulbs, the most common reasons had to do with cost and light
About one-fourth, or 26%, say the light is not bright
enough and 16% say the bulbs are too expensive. The survey has a margin
of error of plus or minor 4 percentage points.