By the year 2014, almost all incandescent light bulbs in the United States will be phased out. While consumers have been slow to accept these changes, toymaker Hasbro has redesigned the iconic Easy-Bake oven to work without an incandescent bulb.
Easy-Bake turned into a real oven
The Easy-Bake Oven was first introduced in 1963. The original Easy-Bake Oven used an incandescent light bulb in the original design and through ten re-designs. The 100-watt light bulb provided enough heat to cook a variety of baked goods in shallow pans. With the phasing out of the incandescent light bulb, however, the Easy-Bake Oven would not be able to operate using bulbs as a heating source. Instead, the oven has been re-designed with a heating element that will warm the twice-as-large internal chamber up to 375 degrees. Parental supervision is recommended for any kids using the Easy-Bake Oven.
2007 Easy-Bake recall
In 2007, millions of Easy-Bake Ovens were recalled for burns and design problems that caused children to get their hands stuck in the ovens. This comes one year after the toy was inducted into the Toy Hall of Fame. The ovens we re-designed to prevent these problems and re-released with a much more prominent warning about the dangers of children using the ovens without supervision.
Consumers slow to accept new bulbs
Despite the new regulations, consumers have not yet embraced CFLs and LED lights as alternatives. LEDs are not widely available yet in the United States. CFL light bulbs tend to be much more expensive than incandescent bulbs. CFL lights also must be disposed of very carefully, as toxic materials rather than thrown in a traditional trash bin. CFLs and LEDs are not yet widely available as dimmer bulbs either. All of this considered, however, a switch away from incandescent bulbs is expected to save the traditional household between $10 and $50 per month. The E.U., Canada, and Australia are all adopting similar strategies to reduce electricity use and the carbon footprint of lighting.
Chicago Tribune: http://www.chicagotribune.com/business/sns-ap-us-easy-bake-oven,0,6219265.story
USA Today: http://yourlife.usatoday.com/fitness-food/story/2011-09-14/Easy-Bake-loses-its-bulb-gets-a-makeover/50398642/1
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