Ikea will lead US retailers in phasing out incandescent lighting

Beginning August 1, 2010, Ikea will begin a transition away from incandescent lighting to CFL, LED, and Halogen bulbs and plans to stop selling the older bulbs by the end of the year.

The Ikea retail chain will move in advance of federal and state legislation targeting inefficient incandescent lighting, and stop selling the legacy bulbs in US stores this year. Starting August 1, Ikea will emphasize CFL, LED, and Halogen alternatives and incandescent bulbs will begin to disappear from shelves.

US legislation mandates a phase-out program starting in 2012. Ikea states that its early move "exemplifies IKEA’s strong commitment to helping their customers live an everyday sustainable life."

US Ikea President Mike Ward said, “Ikea is committed to integrating sustainability into all Ikea strategies and practices in the entire product life cycle. We also believe our customers are looking for every day environmentally responsible solutions for themselves. 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.”

Ikea will be stepping up its offering of alternative bulbs. According to the retailer, LED retrofit bulbs now on its shelves use 70% less energy than incandescents and last 20 times longer.

The retailer will also feature CFL and Halogen bulbs. The retailer plans to introduce a Halogen retrofit bulb this fall that will operate in a standard Edison socket. Today most Halogen bulbs require ballasts and special sockets.

Ikea is receiving praise for its move from a variety of environmental organizations. “The Alliance to Save Energy is very pleased to recognize Ikea for its steps in phasing out sales of inefficient incandescent light bulbs well ahead of the 2012 implementation date of new federal standards,” commented Jeffrey Harris, Vice President for Programs, Alliance to Save Energy. “As a leading retailer, Ikea will also be educating its customers to choose more energy-efficient lighting technologies, and thus helping to speed the coming market transition."

The World Wildlife Fund also weighed in. Senior Vice President of Markets Jason Clay said, "By only putting good options on the shelf, retailers can make it easy for customers to do the right thing--in this case, reduce their energy use and impact on the environment. As the first major retailer to completely phase out incandescent bulbs, we hope Ikea's leadership will be contagious."

Ikea has previously taken a leadership position in terms of environmentally conscious lighting. Ikea was the only retailer to offer a CFL recycling program when it began in 2001 and others didn't follow suit until 2007.

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