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lighting incentives

A Bright Idea: Lighting Incentives 

To encourage consumers to choose energy-efficient lighting products, several states have instituted energy-efficient lighting programs, including rebate, loan and tax-incentive programs. These lighting incentives offer everything from tax breaks and rebates for installing energy-efficient lighting to exchange programs to properly dispose of incandescent lightbulbs and encourage the purchase of energy-efficient LED lightbulbs. 

Examples of these state-sponsored programs include Hawaii’s Residential Energy Efficiency Rebate Program, which offers instant in-store rebates for purchases of CFL lightbulbs. Residents of Maine receive a rebate of $1.25 for each energy-efficient bulb they purchase, and in Texas, consumers don’t pay any state sales or use tax on energy-efficient appliances, including lighting upgrades, during Memorial Day weekend. 

This map from the National Conference of State Legislators shows what states offer energy-efficient incentive programs.

To encourage lightbulb sales in your operation, educate your customers on lightbulb basics. See how one retailer found a successful niche selling lighting fixtures and lightbulbs here.

Lightbulbs 101

Below you’ll find a glossary of common terms associated with lightbulbs. Use this information to educate your employees and customers on what each unit measures in relation to lightbulbs.

Lumens—measure of brightness

Watts—measure of energy use

Volts—measure of output of electrical current

Kelvin—measure of color temperature

Color Rendering Index (CRI)—measure of how light affects how you see color

Source: Niche Modern

Types of lightbulbs

Light-Emitting Diode (LED)

Pros: Energy-efficient, made from recycled materials, long-lasting (up to 50,000 hours), gives off little to no heat

Cons: Gives off blue light, rather than soft yellow light

Incandescent 

Pros: Almost always dimmable, gives off a warm light, low cost, comes in a variety of sizes, voltages and wattages

Cons: Only lasts one year, gets hot quickly, energy inefficient

Halogen

Pros: Almost always dimmable, gives off white light color

Cons: Gets hot quickly, somewhat energy inefficient

Compact Fluorescent (CFL)

Pros: Less expensive than LEDs and lasts longer than incandescent or halogen light bulbs, recyclable, comes in different sizes and temperatures

Cons: Takes time to get bright, doesn’t work with dimmer switches, contains mercury vapor

About Lindsey Thompson

Lindsey joined the NHPA staff in 2021 as an associate editor for Hardware Retailing magazine. A native of Ohio, Lindsey earned a B.S. in journalism and minors in business and sociology from Ohio University. She loves spending time with her husband, two kids, two cats and one dog, as well as doing DIY projects around the house, going to concerts, boating and cheering on the Cleveland Indians.

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