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2014 means lights out for incandescent bulbs

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — Come tomorrow, the federal government is flipping the switch on the incandescent light bulb.

By law, the production of the bulbs must stop across the country, so it’s lights out for 60- and 40-watt incandescent bulbs.

“I do plan on switching to LEDs very soon,” said Brian Callahan, General Manager at Batteries Plus Bulbs in Wilmington.

Over the last two years US companies starting phasing out incandescents starting with the 100-watt bulb followed by the 75-watt bulb. The government wants consumers to choose energy-efficient ways to light their homes, like fluorescents or halogens.

“This pulls 60 watts, which is half of an amp,” licensed electric contractor Marty Kalnen said of an old-school incandescent bulb. “This (fluorescent bulb) only pulls a quarter of an amp, so it gives you real good light.”

A fluorescent light bulb will cost you a bit more cash than an incandescent, but experts say your electric bill will go down.

“It’s that low-energy consumption of wattage that is saving you that electric cost per kilowatt,” Callahan said.

Consumers will still be able to buy incandescents until stores’ inventories run out.

“We have about 7,000 available in our warehouse, so if you are stockpiling them, we can get you as many as you need,” said Christina Child of Hudson’s Hardware in Wilmington.

That means Thomas Edison’s spark of genius will continue to burn even after the ban.

Experts say incandescent lights only give off the standard soft white color while alternative lighting allows for different color temperatures.

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