A new national survey revealed that 78 percent of Americans are unaware of the federal legislation intended to phase out the incandescent lamp, starting in 2012. The inaugural Sylvania Socket Survey, commissioned by Osram Sylvania, Danvers, Mass., a division of Siemens AG, is the first national survey to evaluate general awareness of the changing lighting landscape and analyze attitudes about the rise of energy-efficient lighting technologies, such as compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs) and light-emitting diodes (LEDs).

The 2007 Clean Energy Act, passed by the U.S. Congress in December 2007, established efficiency standards for lighting, phasing out the majority of inefficient lamps by 2014. It will essentially render the incandescent lamp obsolete.

“The survey results are a call-to-action for a comprehensive awareness campaign to help consumers make the transition from traditional lamps to newer technologies, such as LEDs and CFLs,” said Charlie Jerabek, president and chief executive officer, Osram Sylvania. “In the current global, ecological and economic climate, next-generation lighting can play a key role in cutting electricity costs and reducing power-plant emissions.”

According to the survey, despite a lack of knowledge regarding the incandescent phase out, most Americans are adopting a green mindset and, at the same time, realizing cost-savings. The following are key findings from the study:

• Energy efficiency ranks as a key factor, with 88 percent considering how much energy the lamp uses before purchasing.

• Most consumers (85 percent) are aware that CFLs use less energy than incandescent lamps. Seventy-seven percent also know CFLs last 10 times longer than traditional lamps.

• Over the lifetime of the bulb, 78 percent believe CFLs are less expensive than traditional lamps.

• Sixty-eight percent are early adopters of CFLs, with 76 percent willing to switch to CFLs in the future.

• Only 21 percent of Americans have LEDs, which are widely touted as the ultimate successor to traditional lamps, in their homes.

The survey was conducted over a three-day period in November 2008. More than 300 interviews were conducted with homeowners and renters nationwide.