Wait – are incandescent light bulbs banned in Sonoma County now? The short answer is – Yes. Traditional incandescent light bulbs are no longer available for sale or installation in Sonoma County, or anywhere in California for that matter. However, there are some exemptions to this rule. 

Read on to learn more about California’s energy efficiency standards for lighting and how they affect Sonoma County residents and businesses. 

What Light Bulbs Are Banned in California?

One hand holds an LED light bulb and the other holds an incandescent light bulb, comparing the two.

As of January 2020, the Title 20 energy code mandates that all lighting products sold or installed in California must meet certain energy-efficiency standards. This is part of the state’s efforts to conserve energy and lower electricity costs.  

Now, all lighting products sold or installed in California are required to meet a minimum efficiency rate of 45 lumens per watt. California officials have also passed additional clean lighting legislation, such as bill AB-2208 banning compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs) and linear fluorescent lamps (LFLs) beginning in 2024.  

This means the list of light bulbs banned in California includes:  

  • Incandescent Light Bulbs 
  • Halogen light bulbs 
  • General service lamps (GSLs) 
  • Fluorescent bulbs 


A yellow traffic light hangs from a pole in front of a brick building

Some specialty lights are an exception to these new energy-efficient lighting regulations in California, including:

  • Appliance bulbs 
  • Infared heat lamps 
  • Colored lights 
  • Black lights 
  • Bug lamps 
  • Plant lights 
  • Floodlights 
  • Traffic lights 

What Light Bulbs Are Allowed in California?

Starting in 2025 you will only be able to buy and install LED light bulbs in the state of California. However, it is also important to point out that not all LED bulbs meet the requirements to be considered Title 20 compliant, which means a select few LEDs cannot be sold in California.  

All light bulbs and other electronics that are legal to sell in California, are listed in the Modernized Appliance Efficiency Database System (MAEDBS).  

Do LED Light Bulbs Really Save Energy or Money?

Two hands change out an incandescent light bulb to replace it with an LED light bulb.

LED lights are the most energy-efficient kind of bulb currently available. According to the United States Department of Energy, these new regulations in California will save billions of dollars in utilities. Clean lighting legislation will also help reduce harmful carbon emissions by millions of metric tons over the next few decades. 

Energy Savings with LEDs 

LED lightbulbs save you energy by converting a higher percentage of electricity into light. Incandescent lightbulbs emit that energy as heat instead. A typical LED bulb uses about 10 watts of energy, while most incandescent bulbs use 60 watts of energy. That means, on average, LEDs use roughly 75% less energy than incandescent bulbs. Making the switch is not just a bright idea—it’s a smart move for the planet! 

Money Savings with LEDs

An LED light bulb on a white table, next to a calculator and a savings jar of money

The average household saves about $225 a year by using LED lightbulbs. This is because LEDs consume less energy than incandescent bulbs, resulting in lower electricity bills for your home or business. LED light bulbs also have a significantly longer lifespan, lasting anywhere from 50,000 to 100,000 hours. That means, even if you left an LED lightbulb on for 10 hours a day, it would work for almost 14 years without burning out. This incredibly long lifespan also contributes to your cost savings, since you don’t need to replace them as often. 

Our Sonoma County Electricians are Here for All Your LED Lighting Needs  

Now that incandescent lightbulbs are banned, with additional lighting bans in California on the way, it’s more important now than ever to make the switch to LED. LED lighting is a great energy-efficient alternative to incandescent and halogen lightbulbs. Using the tips mentioned above will ensure all the lights in your Sonoma County home or business are Title 20 compliant and conserve your daily energy usage, lowering your electricity costs.  

If you need residential or commercial electrical services, look no further than Schafer Electric. Our electrician team has experience helping residents and business owners throughout the North Bay with all their electrical and lighting needs. Give us a call at (707-545-3300) or fill out our online form to request an electrician today.

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