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Incandescent light bulbs phasing out

By Megan Brantley, mbrantley@wcyb.com
Published On: Sep 24 2012 08:19:04 PM CDT
Updated On: Sep 24 2012 11:50:29 AM CDT
Light bulbs
JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. -

The light may be dimming for incandescent bulbs starting October 1. Legislation that has been in the works for years is finally surfacing and you will begin to see the changes while shopping.

The same light bulb that has been lighting many homes since the late 1800s will soon find itself in a museum, no longer being used.

News 5 learned the bulbs they are being replaced with might cost you a little more money. "They are expensive up front, but after that you're basically going to save in energy," said Lowes electric associate Rick Johnson.

We researched and found out exactly how much energy they would save the average household. We learned from energy.gov that incandescent lights can cost you an estimated $4.80 a year in electricity, while LEDs and CFLs average only a $1, saving you 75 percent in energy.

Johnson says that it is worth it. "You're looking at a 20 to 22-year burn on an LED."

The lifespan is up to 10 years with a CFL.

We learned that they will be starting the phase-out with 100-watt bulbs and progressing down to 40-watt bulbs with the hopes to have the plan completed by 2014.

News 5 learned not all light bulbs will be made energy-efficient. "There are some that are going to be grandfathered in that don't have replacements," said Johnson. These are appliance lamps, rough service bulbs, colored lamps, stage lighting and plant lights.

With all of the changes, there are some concerns. Many may worry that the halogen light bulbs will not actually fit inside of their light fixtures, but they have now fixed the problem. Manufacturers now make miniature halogen bulbs that are actually smaller than regular incandescent bulbs.

We learned that there are also dangers that come with the new bulbs. CFL light bulbs are filled with mercury and can be dangerous if not disposed of in the proper way.

Johnson tells us that Lowes already has a plan to fix this problem. "We actually have a disposal center here where you can bring them to the store," he said.