Lighting up our life

Published 12:19 pm Wednesday, January 8, 2014

I meant to get over to the hardware store this weekend and stock up on a pile of incandescent light bulbs. Apparently, I’m not too late. A phone call to King Lumber, Prentiss Electric and Speights, let me know that depending on wattage needed, there are a few left in stock within the county.

The final phase of a ban on incandescent light bulbs went into effect on New Year’s Day, leaving us with more the energy-efficient option of a CFL (compact fluorescent lamp) that despite being pricier up front, is supposed to save us money in the long run.

Beginning January 1, 2014 the production of 40- and 60-watt incandescent light bulbs is banned in the United States as part of energy efficiency standards signed into law by President George W. Bush in 2007. Higher wattage 75- and 100-watt bulbs were phased out over the last few years.

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I’m all for conserving energy and not wasting, which is why five years ago when I renovated my house, I replaced almost all incandescent light bulbs with CFL’s. They have lasted, and I have not replaced a light bulb since. Most importantly, I am pretty sure my light bill is less because of the new bulbs.

Good lighting affects mood and atmosphere and helps aging eyes focus on a desk full of work or sets the tone for a relaxing evening. Lighting makes the space, which is why I favor the warm glow of the incandescent.

Just the word fluorescent sets my teeth on edge. Not to mention, what happens when the bulb goes out? The tubes contain mercury which, when discarded, will pollute our landfills. Apparently, one can returned the used bulb for recycling at home-supply chain stores. A slight hassle, but better than mercury in the water table. Surely there is a better way.

If this is the end of an era in the world of traditional light bulbs, I feel the need to stock up – not hoard mind you, just stock up for the sake of my two favorite lamps that shall always remain incandescent.