Mark Lennihan / AP
If it has been a few years since you traded for a light bulb, you may find yourself confused. The controversial curly-cue ones that were the edge not so long ago? Gone. (Or harder to find.) Thanks to a 2007 law enacted by President George W. Bush, shelves these days are largely stored with LED bulbs that look more like the traditional pear-shaped incandescent air version, but use only a fifth of energy.
Another wave of light bulb changes was set to happen. But now, the Trump administration will regret an Obama era regulation designed to make a vast array of specialty bulbs more energy efficient.
Here are bulbs as decorative globes used on baths, reflector in recessed lighting, light-shaped light and three-way bulbs. The Defense Council for Natural Resources says that, overall, they account for about 2.7 billion light sockets, almost half of the conventional sockets in use in the United States
A meaningless withdrawal or an illegal rule?
At the very end of the Obama administration, the Ministry of Energy decided that these specialty bulbs should also be subject to efficiency requirements in the 2007 Law. The lighting industry protested and sued to counter the decision.
"DvE, in our opinion, surpassed its authority," said Clark Silcox, general adviser to the National Electrical Manufacturers Association.
NEMA claimed that Congress never intended to apply to all these other light bulbs. After President Trump took office, the Energy Department came to an agreement and proposed to reverse the Agency's previous decision.
"I just don't understand the reasoning behind trying to turn the clock," says Jason Hartke, president of the Alliance to save energy. "There aren't many people out there running for outdated light bulbs that use four or five times as much energy."
Critics say if the reversal is complete, it will mean higher energy bills for consumers and more pollution.
"Now we have to generate about 25 large coal burning power plants are worth extra power if this rollback goes through," says Noah Horowitz, senior researcher at NRDC. He calls it a bad idea and says it's illegal.
NEMA disagrees and is also subject to the term "rollback." Backspeed on energy efficiency requirements is not permitted under federal law.
"The Department of Energy cannot illegally roll back from a place where it could not legally stand in the first place," claims Silcox
Finally, a court is likely to decide who is right. Environmental groups promise to sue if the changes in the Obama era are reversed.
The lighting industry rejects claims that it will only continue to sell existing bulbs, even if they use more energy Silcox says the companies are switching to more efficient lighting and are focused on, "What does their consumer want and ensure that there is a high level of consumption."
A Hard lesson from the curly lamps
The industry learned a difficult lesson after the first generation of the curly, compact fluorescent light bulbs were released.
"Consumers didn't really like them. They didn't buy them. They complained about them. We heard it loud and clear," says Jennifer Dolin, head of government affairs and sustainability at LEDVANCE, which manufactures Sylvania bulbs.
Dolin says that the industry will make sure that it gets the LED versions of all these other types of bulbs perfected before they drop them on the market. She says more efficient bulbs come.
"The future of light is LED, there is no doubt about it, and we see it on the market, "she says." We see that consumers are switching to LEDs at a much faster rate than we have ever expected. "
But considering the climate change that affects climate change, environmental groups claim that this regulation is necessary Now, to make the transition happen faster.  As the expected legal team plays out, the environmental defense hopes that dealers will take the lead and choose, for themselves, to store shelves only with energy-efficient speeds. But so far, no dealers have publicly promised to do so.