IKEA announced that starting in August it will begin phasing out incandescent light bulb offerings at its North American stores with the hopes that it will only sell energy-efficient bulbs by January 2011.
This is a full year ahead of the federally mandated phase out, and would make IKEA the first U.S. retailer to stop selling incandescent bulbs. IKEA was already the first U.S. retailer to offer free in-store recycling of compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs), which are the most common form of energy-efficient lighting but pose disposal issues because they contain mercury.
IKEA will offer a range of bulbs in its upcoming product line that use less energy, including light emitting diode (LED) and halogen lamps. Many of these are compatible in standard light sockets, and the company also offers solar powered lamps to save even more energy.
Two years ago, IKEA announced that it would no longer supply disposable bags to customers, relying solely on reusable carriers. For several years before the bag ban, stores were only offering them at a cost of 5 cents per bag.
“IKEA is committed to integrating sustainability into all IKEA strategies and practices in the entire product life cycle,” said Mike Ward, U.S. IKEA President. “Eliminating incandescents is a simple way to lead the charge for IKEA customers to use energy saving light bulbs, thus reducing energy consumption and reducing the amount of greenhouses gases. It’s a little step with a big impact on our planet.”
For those looking to make the switch to CFLs or other energy-efficient lighting, it’s important to note that these bulbs can be up to three times more expensive than incandescent bulbs. These costs are typically balanced by lower energy bills and the lifespan of the bulbs.