Reporting Rick Dayton
PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – In January, a law went into effect that was designed to save a tremendous amount of electricity.
It revolved around the elimination of the 100-watt incandescent light bulb.
The next phase-out of the old-style light bulbs is just around the corner and that means some are scrambling to find a new source of light.
“Once the warehouse runs out, that’s it. The warehouse is out, and we can’t get them anymore,” Bob Schroeder from Evey True Value said.
Say so long to the tried and true 100-watt incandescent light bulb.
“We are in the middle of a transition right now. There [are] no 100-watt bulbs on the new transition. None. They don’t even have a spot for them,” Schroeder said.
In 2007, Congress made it illegal to manufacture 100-watt bulbs after Jan. 1, 2012. In a month-and-a-half, add the 75-watt incandescent to the soon-to-be extinct list.
“They are angry that they are being told what light bulbs to buy,” Schroeder said. “The senior citizens want brighter lights and they are the ones that are concerned with the bulbs because a lot of times these newer lights aren’t putting enough light output out than the old 100-watt ones would.”
You still can find 100-watt bulbs on the shelves but soon it soon will be lights out for them, leaving the lower wattage curly CFL bulbs as your most affordable choice.
“That’s [going to] be the new norm. When you look at the bulbs now, you are [going to] see, 9-watts, 13-watt, 18-watt, 23-watt,” Schroeder said.
CFLs use a fraction of the energy, but only some of them are dimmable. Granted, they last much longer, but at $4 to $6 apiece, people don’t like the price or their tell-tale bright white glow.
“By a wide margin. People just aren’t ready to switch over. As long as they can get the 100-watt bulbs they are [going to] get the 100-watt bulb. I think a lot of it just comes down to price. You can get a four-pack of 100-watt bulbs for $2.99. A CFL by itself is $5.99,” Schroeder said.
That’s a bargain compared to the LED bulbs.
“You are going to be seeing the same one like this down the line for consumers. This bulb runs about $30 dollars right now, but you can see how far they have come. They look more like a soft white bulb,” Schroeder said.
LED bulbs come in many different styles. They seemingly last forever – as in decades – and there’s another big advantage.
“But now the casing has gotten a lot better. It’s a frosted glass around it. It is not hot at all. There is no heat coming off this bulb at all, so right there you are going to save a lot of energy,” Schroeder said.
With the expense and downsides of the alternatives, don’t be surprised to see people buying 100-watt bulbs in bulk. Schroeder has customers ordering them by the case these days.
“You buy 48 100-watt light bulbs. You don’t have 48 lamps in your house, so the average person buys two four-packs of 100-watt bulbs and now they are buying 12 four-packs so yeah, they are keeping them in a cupboard somewhere,” Schroeder said.