New Light Bulb Rules: What to Know Now

by Gerri Willis

This Sunday is January first - New Year’s day... A day to both look back at the year that was... And plan for the future...

But that future may not be as bright as you once thought - thanks to a new law that goes into effect that day.

The Energy Independence and Security Act - signed into law under president George W. Bush in 2007 - requires light bulbs to use at least 25 percent less energy and that friend endangers the good old-fashioned incandescent bulb.

Here’s the good news: those bulbs don't disappear immediately because the law unfolds in phases.

But starting Sunday - the traditional 100-watt bulb will no longer be manufactured in this country..

The next to go is the 75 watt bulb next January... And in 2014 we'll be saying goodbye to the 40 and 60 watt versions.

I’m letting you know the schedule so you know what to stockpile when.

Also - not all incandescent bulbs will fall victim to this crazy law.

The halogen incandescent will be allowed to stay - joining the ranks of the compact florescent and the LED.

And again - the law states these bulbs may no longer be made - but stores will be allowed to sell them until their stock runs out.

Many - including Home Depot - predict that will take months.

According to a recent survey - a third of Americans say they actually prefer the incandescent light bulbs...

And more than ten percent admit to actually stockpiling the bulb Thomas Edison created!

Count me among them...

One of the reasons - I just like the light from the older bulbs better... To me, it's a warmer light and less harsh...

And what woman doesn't appreciate good lighting?!?

Also some CFLs have mercury in them... If the bulb breaks, you practically need a hazmat team to clean up the mess...

Directions can actually be found on the Environmental Protection Agency's website: www.epa.gov.

And as you probably already know- they cost more!

We decided to do some comparison shopping... At home depot.

A traditional GE 100 watt bulb costs less than two dollars.

A halogen light bulb - also by GE - costs around eight dollars!

That’s a difference of more than six dollars!

Supporters say the newer bulbs last longer.

During the fight in Congress this month over the funding of the government - lawmakers did add an addendum stopping the Department of Energy from enforcing these rules until September, but the law still goes into effect this weekend.

Once again, government telling me what to do, even in the privacy of my own home!

What’s next?... Telling me which health insurance I can get? Oh wait...