Don't Waste Your Money: Incandescent light bulbs to disappear - Toledo News Now, Breaking News, Weather, Sports, Toledo

Don't Waste Your Money: Incandescent light bulbs to disappear in 2014

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(Toledo News Now) -

If you're a big fan of incandescent light bulbs and hate those squiggly CFLs, you might want to grab some the next time you're at the hardware store. As of last week, most older style bulbs can no longer be manufactured.

Say goodbye to the light bulbs that date back to Thomas Edison.

One of the biggest changes shoppers will see with 2014 is the disappearance of a light bulb Americans have used for more than a century: the incandescent bulb.

As of Jan. 1, stores can only sell their remaining stock of the traditional bulbs. When retailers run out, the bulbs will be gone forever.

The ban affects 40 and 60-watt incandescent bulbs. This restriction follows last year's phaseout of 75 and 100-watt bulbs.

Home Depot worker Roger Gabel said consumers who don't like "blue-looking" compact fluorescent lamp (CFL) bulbs have become angry over the ban.

"A lot of people don't like the color. They don't like the light it gives off. They don't like the shape," Gabel said. "People like the familiar shape of the light bulb. They've known it for years. They are comfortable with it."

Compared to standard incandescent lamps giving the same amount of visible light, CFLs use one-fifth to one-third the electric power, and last eight to 15 times longer, experts say.

But there's good news if you're not fans of these power-saving bulbs. Stores are rapidly switching to light-emitting diode (LED) bulbs. LED lamps have a life span and electrical efficiency several times greater than incandescent lamps. They look like old-fashioned incandescent bulbs, but will save energy and last for years. They also give off a warm light as opposed to the cold, blue light emitted from a CFL.

"It's built to look like a regular bulb," Gabel explained. "It's a shape people are comfortable with. Everybody likes this bulb. It's what people grew up with."

Until this year, LED bulbs cost about $20 each. But a new LED bulb from a company called Cree currently sells at Home Depot for $9 and prices are expected to fall even more in the months ahead.

Gabel said shoppers who love the old incandescent bulbs should buy as many as they can now before they are gone.

"75 [watts] are going. 60s and 40s still exist, but are on their way out, as well," Gabel said.

Not all incandescent bulbs are disappearing, however. Skinny candelabra bulbs, some three-way bulbs and specialty appliance bulbs will continue to be manufactured.

But if you just like those basic 40-watt bulbs, grab them before they're gone, so you don't waste your money.

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