Effective Wednesday, it became illegal to manufacture 40 and 60-watt incandescent light bulbs. Word is spreading that the old bulbs are now out of production. An Ace Hardware store in Omaha says it's seen a number of customers coming in to stock up. One man bought 150 from the store at 84th and Center. Is it worth it?
They cost roughly a dollar each and have a projected life of less than a year. The most energy efficient and the most expensive alternative, LEDs, can cost up to $20, but they're supposed to last an average of 22.8 years, so year to year, the LED is cheaper. And that's before we consider the energy savings.
Lowe's says for the nearly 23 years the bulb lasts, it will cost about $30 to light. You'd pay about $165 to light incandescents for that length of time. Cost isn't the only reason why people are dragging their feet on embracing the new bulbs.
Reasons for hoarding the old bulbs may be misguided. While the old bulbs are cheaper up front, they're more expensive in the long run due to energy costs and their short life span, but consumers consider more than just cost.
Ace employees say customers are hesitant to change their bulb buying habits partly because one of the biggest energy efficient bulbs, the CFL, is a funny shape. They also emitted a harsh light when they first hit the shelves, but now it's much easier to find energy efficient bulbs that emit a wide range of color tones and many that come in the standard, traditional shape.
Get used to talking in lumens instead of wattage. That's the amount of light you'll get from a bulb and some packages have a scale printed on the side to show you what you're getting into.