A familiar household staple — the 60-watt incandescent bulb, along with the 40-watt — is being phased out, and will soon be as obsolete as the rotary dial telephone.
Jan. 1, 2014, marks the final stage of the federal government’s mandatory phaseout of the energy-guzzling incandescent bulb. There are a few types of incandescents that are exempt and will still be available, such as the three-way bulb, appliance bulbs, grow lights, black lights, yellow bug lights and infrared lamps.
But in just a couple of weeks it will become illegal for the typical 40- and 60-watt bulbs to be imported or manufactured. The 100-watt pear-shaped bulb was phased out 2012, and this year the 75-watt bulb followed suit.
If you’ve hoarded the old-style bulbs, and plan to rush out and buy more before the stores run out, that might work as a temporary measure. But the day will probably come when you have to learn about the newer bulbs and actually purchase some. The good news is you’ll save energy.
Lighting accounts for close to 20 percent of the average home’s electric bill, according to the U.S. Department of Energy.
While the “twisty” CFLs are cheaper than LEDs, they have not been well-received by consumers due to the cool blue light they emit. The CFLs contain mercury and are not supposed to just be thrown in the trash, but should be recycled.
“The LEDs will last. A lot of them last up to 25 years. They are costing more initially, but you are going to get an immediate savings,” said Rita Haynes, electrical department supervisor at the Home Depot in Royal Palm Beach.