Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Incandescent Bulbs

Last light: Final phaseout of incandescent bulbs coming Jan. 1

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    General Electric light bulbs on display at a supermarket in Denver. (AP Photo/Ed Andrieski)
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    A clerk holds a package of General Electric light bulbs at a supermarket in Denver. (AP Photo/Ed Andrieski)
It’s lights out for the light bulb.
On Jan. 1 it will become illegal to manufacture or import traditional 60-watt and 40-watt incandescent bulbs, thanks to a 2007 bill that set strict minimum efficiency standards – and effectively outlawed the ordinary bulb.
And like a politician on Election Day, Home Depot is urging consumers to buy early and often.
“Get them while you still can,” the nation’s largest bulb retailer urges on its website. “Stock up on incandescent light bulbs before they are completely discontinued.”
That’s not quite correct. The 2007 law doesn’t mandate that manufacturers discontinue their bulbs, just that they improve them: 40W bulbs must draw just 10.5W, and 60W bulbs 11W. But the result is the same: Incandescents simply can’t keep up with those twisty compact fluorescent (CFL) and newer LED bulbs, and even retailers are buying in bulk as the calendar winds down.
Home Depot has a six-month stockpile, according to Mark Voykovic, the store’s national light bulb merchant.

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