If you want a 40 or 60-watt incandescent light bulb, you’d better get one by Christmas, because they will not be manufactured after January 1, 2014 and will be increasingly scarce. The 40 and 60-watt light bulbs sell more than any other light bulbs, but they are being phased out as their incandescent 75 and 100-watt brethren were phased out at the beginning of 2013.
The alternatives will be halogen bulbs, compact fluorescent bulbs, LED bulbs and high efficiency incandescents. The high efficiency incandescents are incandescents that wrap their filaments in gas. Although the new alternatives cost more, they are more efficient. The high efficiency incandescents last twice as long, and use 28% less power; the LEDs use 85% less energy. The LEDs will use roughly $2 in power over the course of a year as opposed to $7 for an incandescent, and will last 20 years. LEDs have an edge over compact fluorescent bulbs because they turn on immediately, have no mercury and emit light that is not as cold.
With incandescent light bulbs, only 10% of the energy they use is converted into light. Yet some critics resent the ban on the old incandescent light bulbs, saying if the new bulbs are so much better, consumers would choose them without being forced to.
Home Depot released a map delineating where the new bulbs are the most popular, and the results showed it was not just the “green” areas of the country that were prominent on the list; Atlanta, Orlando and Miami were among the top areas, and Fayetteville, Ark. and Waco, Texas also liked the new bulbs.
Mark Voykovik, national light bulb merchant for Home Depot, said that LED sales doubled in each of the last two years at Home Depot, but added that incandescent light bulbs are still the most popular bulbs. This was corroborated by figures at Lowe’s; a spokeswoman said over 50% of sales were incandescent bulbs.