We have a fish tank with three fish named Nemo, Flash and Goldie. One morning we awoke to half the tank in darkness: one of the lights had burnt out, and all the little fish were huddled under the remaining light. Replacing the bulb, I discovered it was a traditional incandescent and this begged the question: how many other appliances were still being sold with traditional incandescents?
I started looking around. The majority of our household appliances still held working incandescents: the refrigerator, the stove and the microwave. And then I queried: with the national shift towards energy-smart light sources, (LED, CFL, Halogen technology) were new appliances being sold in collaboration with this energy-saving atmosphere?
I decided to ask the experts, and used refrigerators as my litmus-test.
GE deemed this a “great question”, however are only able to offer LED bulbs in their top three high-end refrigerator series. Maytag only offers LED’s in most of their newer models, as does Kitchenaid. (Both Maytag and Kitchenaid are parented by Whirlpool.)
So it turns out the appliance manufacturers are not totally in line with the after-market ‘market’. Energy-smart LED bulbs are only offered in the high-end models for most major brands. (Think $1500+ for a refrigerator) Standard or basic models still come market-ready with incandescent bulbs. That being said, they are still federally compliant.
Federal legislation has ruled that “bulbs with a higher wattage, such as the 75 and 100 watt, will be subject to the regulation on January 1, 2014. For the lower wattage bulbs such as the 40 and 60 watts, the regulation takes effect on December 31, 2014. These effective dates apply to date of manufacture.” Digging a little deeper, it turns out one of the bulbs exempt from the power-smart legislation is appliance bulbs. So in actual fact, the manufacturers don’t technically have to switch to LED at all, ever. Any appliance bulbs being replaced by LED’s through the manufacturer is completely voluntary on their part.
Still sounds energy-star to you? Not to me.
Once again, the power then lies with you, the consumer. Even when purchasing a newer, energy-star appliance without an LED bulb, think of all that money and energy you will save between now and December 2014 if you did switch !