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Corporate News

(Conshohocken, PA – June 15, 2010) Switch On. Switch Off. Switch Over. IKEA makes the change for a brighter future. Starting August 1, 2010, IKEA will begin to phase out all incandescent light bulbs in their US stores. This recent IKEA environmental initiative has a target date of incandescent bulb elimination by January 1, 2011. The aggressive IKEA US store phase out program exemplifies IKEA’s strong commitment to helping their customers live an everyday sustainable life. IKEA will be the first US retailer to completely phase out incandescent light bulbs.

“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,” commented Mike Ward, US IKEA President.

The IKEA phase out will come in advance of the federal legislation that will begin to phase out incandescent light bulbs in 2012. IKEA is taking the lead before this new legislation takes effect.

“It’s important for major retailers to take a step, because what they do will have a major impact,” commented an IKEA Stoughton, MA store customer.

IKEA customers will have a good choice of other effective energy saving bulbs. While the compact fluorescent bulb (CFL) is the most popular bulb, IKEA also offers a range of LED lamps which are 70% more efficient than using incandescent bulbs. IKEA Halogen lamps which consume 30% less energy are also a great ‘white light’ alternative. And beginning fall, 2010, IKEA will offer a halogen bulb which can be used in a standard light socket. This is called a retro-fit halogen bulb. IKEA also offers solar powered lamps including their SUNNAN desk lamp and their ‘SOLIG’ range of outdoor lights.

"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," said Jason Clay, Senior Vice President of Markets at World Wildlife Fund (WWF). "As the first major retailer to completely phase out incandescent bulbs, we hope IKEA's leadership will be contagious."

“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.Did You Know?
IKEA offers lighting solutions that are more efficient and have less negative impact on the environment.

• CFLs last from 6-10 times longer than incandescent light bulbs (6000 - 10,000 vs. 1,000 hours) and use 80% less energy. Due to this lower energy use, they can save $30 or more in energy costs over each bulb’s lifetime. (

• If every American household replaced 1 incandescent bulb with a CFL bulb we would save enough energy to light 3 million homes for 1 year.(

• According to, if every American home replaced just one light bulb with a CFL, we would prevent greenhouse gases equivalent to the emissions of more than two million cars and families would save more than $600 million in annual energy costs. The average American family spends $1,900 on energy bills each year. (

• Lighting expenses account for almost 25% of electricity costs of customer’s homes. (

• Halogen bulbs use 30% less energy and last 2-4 times longer than conventional bulbs.(IKEA Group)

• IKEA LED lights use 70% less energy and burn at least 20 times longer than a standard incandescent bulb. (IKEA Group)

CFLs contain a very small, controlled amount of mercury sealed within the glass tubing – less than 1% of the mercury that is contained in older thermometers. CFLs like paint, batteries and thermostats – must be disposed of properly and according to local regulations.

From 2001- 2007, IKEA was the first and only retailer offering its customers an environmentally safe recycling program for CFLs. In their fiscal 2006 year, IKEA recycled 126,722 CFLs. Customers can take any used, carefully wrapped CFL bulbs to a local IKEA store and dispense in the CFL recycle bin positioned near the exits.*

The IKEA phase out of incandescent light bulbs is just one of many sustainable initiatives that IKEA has taken. The recent IKEA Sustainability Report clearly outlines many other programs and actions that IKEA has and will take to lessen the company’s impact on the environment and be a responsible global citizen.

Clearly, Thomas Edison’s incandescent light bulb discovery was a landmark 19th century invention. But times have changed. New discoveries prevail. And everyday sustainability practices are important to IKEA customers. People are questioning old habits and creating new lifestyles with a charge to be environmentally responsible - everyday in some simple way. Notably, it’s a never ending job!

About IKEA:
IKEA, the world’s leading home furnishings company, was founded in 1943 in Sweden. Since then, IKEA has offered home furnishings and accessories of great design and quality with functional living solutions at everyday low prices. Currently there are more than 300 IKEA stores in 37 countries, including 49 in North America (11 in Canada; 37 in the US; 1 in the Dominican Republic). IKEA has six distribution centers in North America, with a manufacturing facility in Danville, VA. IKEA has been named to Business Week’s List of The Best Global Brands (August 7, 2006) for four consecutive years and Business Week’s List of the Top 2009 Twenty Best Companies for Leadership (February 2010). Additionally, IKEA has been listed on Working Mother magazine’s annual list of the “100 Best Companies for Working Mothers” for four consecutive years. IKEA was also listed in March 2007, on Fast Company’s Fast 50, for its environmentally responsible products, as well as for five consecutive years in Training magazine’s annual list of top companies that excel at human capital development. TIME Magazine (May 2009) listed IKEA as one of the top 8 most global eco conscious companies. IKEA incorporates environmentally friendly efforts into day-to-day business and continuously supports initiatives that benefit causes such as children and the environment including UNICEF, Save the Children and American Forests. To visit the IKEA Web site, please go to and also learn more about IKEA environmental and social responsibility actions and programs. Also visit

*IKEA follows all safety standards for disposing of CFL bulb materials. CFLs disposed at IKEA recycle bins are taken by approved CFL recyclers, who are experts in recycling CFLs and other processes as well. When a recycler picks up the recycled materials at IKEA, they separate the glass and plastic (ballast part) of the CFL.

Energy Saving Bulbs Questions and Answers

1. Q: Why should I use energy-savings bulbs (CFLs)?

A: Energy saving bulbs lower the use of energy and greenhouse gas emissions. This contributes to reducing the overall negative impact on the environment and will save you money.

2. Q: What are different types of energy-saving bulbs?

A: CFLs (compact fluorescent lights). CFL bulbs produce more light per watt than a standard incandescent lamp, saving energy. Using a CFL decreases energy consumption up to 80% compared to incandescent bulbs and helps reduce the amount of harmful greenhouse gases.They save $30 or more in costs over each bulbs lifetime. CFLs also last up to 6-10 times longer (6,000 – 10,000 hours) providing even greater cost savings to consumers, since they do not need to be replaced as often.

CFLs also generate 70 percent less heat, so they are safer to operate and can cut energy costs associated with home cooling. CFLs produce no sound and fall within a warm color range. They are available in different sizes and shapes to fit almost any fixture, either indoors or outdoors.

Halogen Bulbs produce more light per watt than incandescent bulbs, decreasingthe energy consumption up to 30%. They will last 2 to 4 times longer (2,000 or more hours) than incandescent bulbs. They emit a bright white light and are dimmable which can save even more energy.

LED Lights (light emitting diodes) also produce more light per watt compared to anincandescent bulb, decreasing energy consumption up to 70%. They will last 20-50 timeslonger (20,000 – 50,000 hours) than incandescent bulbs. They do not get hot as compared to incandescent or halogen bulbs and they do not contain heavy metal.

3. Q: What should I know about CFL bulbs in comparison to incandescent bulbs?

A: CFLs use at least two-thirds less energy than standard incandescent bulbs to providethe same amount of light, and last up to ten times longer: 10,000 vs. 1,000 hours. They save $30 or more in energy costs over each bulbs lifetime. CFLs also generate 70 percent less heat, so they are safer to operate and can cut energy costs associated with home cooling. CFLs produce no sound and fall within a warm color range. They are available in different sizes and shapes to fit almost any fixture, either indoors or outdoors.

4. Q: Why is the CFL bulb somewhat more expensive than an incandescent bulb?

A: The CFL production process is more complex. CFLs are more expensive as compared to the incandescent since:
CFLs require electronic components as incandescent bulbs do not.
CFLs need two filaments, while incandescents need only one.
CFLs require a special coating while incandescent bulbs do not need a coating.

5. Q: How much money can I save if I start to use CFL bulbs only?

A: The main savings come from reduced energy use. The energy may account for a big part of the running expenses for a household. A CFL bulb costs three to five times more than an incandescent bulb, but it lasts 6-10 times longer, reducing the cost of buying new bulbs.

In a nutshell, if you use a CFL instead of an incandescent bulb with similar light output for the same time, you spend only one-fifth on the electricity bill. The more CFLs you use, the more you save.

For example: A 60w incandescent bulb used for 5 hours/day for 365 days will consume 0.3 kwh per day. Over the course of a year, this translates to 110 kwh. At a rate of $.106 kwh,the annual cost would be $12.00. If one were to use a CFL (with equivalent output) at the same rate of hours and days, the cost would be less than $3.00.

6. Q: What is the cost of the IKEA CFL bulbs?

A: IKEA offers 11-watt 3-pack linear CFL bulbs for $3.99 and an 11-watt 2-pack globe for $9.99.
v7. Q: Is it true that CFL bulbs contain mercury? Why and how much?

A: CFL bulbs contain a very small amount of mercury sealed within the glass tubing—an average of 5 milligrams. IKEA CFLs contain less than the average amount of mercury, they carry 3 milligrams. Mercury is an essential, irreplaceable element in CFL bubs and allows the bulb to be an efficient light source.

The mercury content is only of concern should the bulb break. Even still, the amount of mercury you are exposed to is no more than you can get eating a bit of tuna fish.

8. Q: Is it safe to use mercury in CFL bulbs?

A: In the production process of CFLs, the amounts of mercury added are strictly controlled. IKEA and researchers are working hard to find techniques that will reduce the amount of mercury even more. IKEA has voluntarily imposed tougher limit levels of mercury in CFL (three milligrams) than demanded in the Restrictions of Hazardous Substances directive (five milligrams).

9. Q: How should I dispose of my CFL?

A: Like paint, batteries, thermostats, and other hazardous household items, CFLs should be disposed of properly. Do not throw CFLs away in your household garbage. If broken, sweep up the contents and fragment, don’t vacuum. Place broken pieces in a sealed plastic bag and wipe the area with a damp paper towel to pick up any stray shards. Place the towel in the bag as well. Open the window for ventilation as well. Bring in the sealed bag to your local IKEA for recycling.

10. Q: What happens to the used bulbs someone brings back to IKEA for recycling?

A: The waste of light bulbs are taken care of by approved recyclers, experts in recycling processes. The bulb goes through a separation process into glass, powder and mercury. Separated mercury goes through a process of triple distillation which takes away all contamination (mercury has a tendency to attract other materials). After the triple distillation is finished the mercury is reused.

11. Q: Are there any disadvantages with CFL bulbs?

A: It is not possible to dim a CFL bulb. But Halogen bulbs can be dimmed. Also, CFLs must be recycled due to mercury content. IKEA is also working on reducing mercury content to even less than 3 milligrams. The goal is to produce a CFL with a lower level of 2mg.

12. Q: How can I use energy saving lighting to enhance my home?

A: CFL bulbs are ideal wherever possible to be used in lamps that provide diffused light and are not dimmable. They are well suited for working with glass fixtures, textile sculpture lamps, table lamps and pendant lamps for dining tables.

Halogen lamps are ideal when you need a concentrated beam of light over a limited area providing good light for a specific activity like work lights or counter kitchen lights. Halogen track lights are also used for highlighting art and several spots can accent a large living area.

LED lights are used close to the area you wish to illuminate.

13. Q: Will IKEA continue to sell incandescent bulbs?

A: Except for 2 small chandelier incandescent bulbs, IKEA will not carry any incandescent bulbs in their stores as of January 1, 2011.