Energy Act means lights out for incandescent bulbs starting January 1

Light bulb changes effective January 1st

ABILENE, Texas - Say goodbye to the light bulbs you're most likely used to buying. Starting January 1, 2014, 60 watt and 40 watt incandescent bulbs will be no more.

Back in 2007, George W. Bush signed the Energy Independence and Security Act, mandating that low efficiecency light bulbs have to be gradually phased out.

"The incandescent bulb uses a lot of energy whereas the new efficient ones do not," said Randy Wuest, Electrical Pro at Lowe's on Musgrave Blvd. in Abilene.

Starting next week, it's in with the new standard: Halogen bulbs, for now, and CFL and LED bulbs. Halogen bulbs will soon be phased out as well, as they produce heat similar to an incandescent bulb, but use 25 percent less energy.

CFL bulbs use 75 percent less energy, last ten times longer and are much less expensive to run. LED bulbs use 85 percent less energy, and don't have to be changed for an average of 20 years. They are the least expensive to run.

"It's gonna save a lot on your electricity bill you're gonna notice a big difference within the first month you start using them," said Wuest.

Those energy efficient bulbs will cost you more up front though. A CFL will run you about $12 or $13 and the price of an LED is about double that, or more.

Incandescent bulbs can still be used until they burn out and stores sell out of them. After that, only the energy efficient bulbs will be available for purchase.

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