Incandescent light bulbs being phased off store shelves

By Nana Ohkawa
Published On: Dec 29 2012 05:50:00 PM HST

Stocking up on incandescent light-bulbs? Well get with the program as the second phase of the federally mandated three- year phase out of the lightbulbs starts on January 1st.

HONOLULU -

Incandescent light bulbs are slowly making their way off of store shelves.   

The second phase of the federally mandated three-year phase-out of the incandescent light bulbs starts on Jan. 1. 

The mandate requires that all bulbs manufactured and sold in the U.S. Use 25 to 30 percent less energy than incandescent bulbs.

Customers are getting used to the incandescent light bulb section shrinking at stores.

"I think as the energy cost keeps going up anything to keep your electric bill down is a good thing," said James Keller.

"It's more energy efficient than incandescent, I think flourescents and LEDs are the way to go," said Sey Ito.

Thomas Edison's 131-year-old invention has to meet federal efficiency standards. Incandescent light bulbs are close to their final lights out.

The traditional 100-watt incandescent light bulbs have already been phased out. Next to go in January are the 75 watts and then the 40 and 60 watt incandescent bulbs will be gone next year.

Some customers rely on the lower price tag of these bulbs.

"The normal housewife is not going to want to spend excess money on buying a light bulb that's more expensive even though it's energy efficient. Especially because of the economy these days," said Amber Manini.

But associates at stores like Home Depot say energy efficient bulbs are worth the price.

"A lot of people at first are shocked because of price, but then you have to consider the bulbs life is 20 years or more," said sales associate at Home Depot Lawrence Kotrys.

The newer bulbs have more lighting options than just the soft white and are better for the environment.

"A 60 watt bulb will use 60 watts of electricity for incandescent, but if you use a LED the LED could use only 8 watts of electricity to give you the same amount of light," said Kotrys.

But those who don't see the light at the end of this phase out may want to stock up on the bulbs before they are gone.

The incandescent bulbs won't be completely off of store shelves right away.

The bulbs won't be manufactured or imported after January 1st, but stores will still sell them until they run out of stock.

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