Changes coming to light bulb aisle

December 30, 2011 3:37:40 PM PST
The New Year is bringing new rules for light bulbs. The 100 watt incandescent light bulb is being phased out, and some folks are not too happy about it.

Blame the government for this one. The standard 100 watt light bulb can't be made or imported into the US. Stores still have the bulbs, but they will not be replaced once stocks run out.

Shopper Diane Walker is stocking up on 100 watt incandescent light bulbs because in the near future she will not be able to buy them, and she is not happy about it.

"I think it is ridiculous," Walker said.

The new rules allow retailers to sell their remaining supply of 100 watt light bulbs, but no more will be made or imported into the US. Congress mandated the changes back in 2007 and while it recently took away the funding for enforcement of the 2012 bulb switch, bulb makers are still following the energy efficiency guidelines.

Walker said, "I think it is offensive to the American public that they be told they have to use fluorescent light bulbs."

Walker is not alone in her loathing of replacement light bulb, the compact fluorescent bulb called the CFL.

Frank Cruz with Rubi Repair said, "None of our clients like them. They don't like those kind of light bulbs at all."

Cruz is in the chandelier business and says consumers are not happy with CFLs, which typically last about 10,000 hours, much longer than regular bulbs.

"The lady I am working on her chandelier, she is actually a little upset about it," Cruz said. "She said, 'I do not want those light bulbs because they are too bright.'"

Consumers say they do not like the brightness of CFLs or the fact they contain mercury, and if broken require special clean up and disposal procedures.

There are alternatives. Halogen lights from Phillips cost around $1.60 each but do not last much longer than regular bulbs. Then there are LED lights that last for years but cost $20 to $30 each.

We found some consumers who say they don't have negative reactions to the light bulb changes.

"In my opinion, it is just like anything else, things evolve, things change," said shopper Ben Garibay.

CFL lights come in different styles, not just the familiar cork screw that you may be used to, but again they contain mercury and for that reason some consumers say they will not buy them.


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