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Incandescent Light Bulbs To Be Phased Out

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Incandescent light bulbs will gradually be phased out due to energy inefficiency. (CBS)

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CHICAGO (CBS) – Thomas Edison would never approve, but beginning next year the incandescent light bulb will start being phased out. As CBS 2’s Roseanne Tellez reports it’s part of something called the Energy Independence and Security Act.

John Codman isn’t happy about it. He promises: “I will have a stock of incandescent light bulbs.”

Codman’s stocking up because a federal law that most people don’t know about raises efficiency standards for light bulbs. And the old energy-inefficient incandescents won’t pass.

So, how many light bulbs has he collected?

“Probably 400,” said Codman.

Here’s how it’ll go. At the beginning of 2012, 100-watt incandescent bulbs will phase out. The next year, it’s 75-watt bulbs. And in 2014, say good-bye to the 40-watt bulb.

Codman’s not crazy about having to switch bulbs. But he really hates the government telling him how to light up his life.

“I’ve looked at the constitution and I can’t see that they have any authority to tell us what kind of light bulbs we’re using,” he said.

A lot of people aren’t happy with compact fluorescent lamps, or CFLs. They don’t light up instantly, and if you break them, you have mercury to clean up.

So what’s next?

At Sylvania, light-emitting diodes, or LEDs, are being researched. LEDs are just now coming on the market for home use.

Dr. Makarand Chipalkatti from Sylvania said, “The LED equivalent is 80 percent more efficient and will last 25 times longer.”

And there’s no mercury. They’re instant on, dimmable, but expensive at about $20. But prices are dropping.

“The same 40-watt bulb was once $40. Over the life of the lamp, you would probably save something like $130,” Dr. Chipalkatti said.

As for John Codman, he’s no light bulb snob. He has a couple of CFLs and is even trying out an LED. But the incandescent is still number one and he figures his stock will last a while.

“I think they’ll last longer than I will,” he joked.

Halogen bulbs are another alternative already on the market, but they’re not as efficient as CFLs. They’re also more expensive.

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