Say goodbye to traditional incandescent 40 watt and 60 watt light bulbs

2:54 PM, Dec 31, 2013   |    comments
  • Share
  • Print
  • - A A A +



(CBS NEWS) -- At stores across the country, traditional light bulbs are slowly fading out.

Starting Wednesday, the U.S. will stop producing standard 40- and 60-watt incandescent bulbs, as the country works to shrink its carbon footprint.

The cutback is part of a 2007 energy efficiency law signed by former President George W. Bush which requires new bulbs to meet tighter standards.

See Also: The changing shape of light

Seventy-five- and 100-watt bulbs are already being phased out, which is a step forward, according to Kit Kennedy of the National Resources Defense Council.

"The old fashioned incandescent bulb actually wastes 90 percent of the energy it uses," Kennedy said. "Instead of going to light, it goes to waste heat and that means there's a lot more power plant pollution, and it also means that we pay more on our utility bills."

According to the federal government, energy efficient bulbs like LEDs, halogens and compact fluorescents use about 25 to 80 percent less energy, and last up to 25 times longer.

While the new bulbs cost more at the register, the department of energy estimates American homeowners will save billions in the long run.

"I think it's the cheapest thing you can implement as a homeowner that would drop your energy bill," said Dan Hersch of the Department of Energy. "If they're using one-fourth the energy to produce the same amount of light, that's significant savings."

Still, not everyone is ready to make the switch.

According to a recent survey, 30 percent of consumers plan to load up on incandescent bulbs while they are still available.

As the countdown began, Americans were tweeting pictures of their stockpile.

One user wrote, "stocking up on 60 watt lightbulbs before prohibition. Where is the closest bulb speakeasy?"

For now, stores will be allowed to continue selling traditional bulbs, at least while supplies last. 

Check out some of our most read stories from 2013:

#shortyellows: Florida quietly shortened yellow lights

Terrorism Warning: Memo says terrorists practicing dry-runs on Florida flights

Kittens shot: Officer shoots kittens in front of children

Courtroom apology: Woman apologizes for flipping off judge

Weird ice: Strange, giant circles appear on frozen pond

Controversial Club: College student organizes "White Student Union"

CFO Trouble: School administrative chief in trouble over her porn sex blog

Warning Shot Wife: Mother gets 20 years for firing warning shots at abusive husband

Science Arrest: Teen girl arrested over science project explosion

Wait, WHAT?? Dog shoots man in the leg with a handgun

Popular photo galleries:

Faces of Meth: Devastating before and after photos of meth abusers

Travon Martin Shooting: Trayvon Martin crime scene photos and George Zimmerman injury photos 

Hooters Winners: Winners of the 2013 Hooters swimsuit pageant

Rejected: Funny Florida license plates rejected by the DMV ***warning graphic***

Deadly sinkhole: Home collapses, man dies in giant sinkhole

Popular Databases:

Florida Sex Offenders: Look up sex offenders in any Florida neighborhood here

Restaurant Inspections: Look up inspection reports for any Florida restaurant here

Most Watched Videos