UNDATED (WXPR) - 2014 begins the next phase of slowly eliminating incandescent light bulbs. That’s right, the familiar old bulb will soon be hard to get, and perhaps even considered a collectible antique.
A new federal law ends the production of 60 and 40 watt bulbs. A prior law already has banned the production of 100 and 75 watt bulbs. The federal government wants consumers to move to the more energy efficient halogen or compact fluorescent bulbs.
Focus on Energy is Wisconsin utilities’ statewide energy efficiency and renewable resource program. Since 2001, the program has worked with eligible Wisconsin residents and businesses to install cost effective energy efficiency and renewable energy projects. Spokesperson Sarah Platt says they have a program in place to encourage people to buy energy efficient products. "In Wisconsin, at the point of purchase at over a thousand retailers...they get an automatic discount if they purchase high efficiency light bulbs. So you can go anywhere from your small, main street hardware store to the larger big box retailers, we have those offerings. All you have to do is look for the Focus on Energy sticker when you are purchasing those light bulbs."
Longer term, the bulbs will cut down on electrical costs. Platt says with more lights on during the winter months, it's a good time to change out bulbs. "We want to encourage businesses and residents to purchase the most efficient light bulbs out there."
You will need to learn a slightly different rating system on how much light the bulb puts out. The new bulbs are measured in lumens for how much light they put out instead of by watts, for how much energy they use. Most packages give you the lumens vs watts comparison on the package to help you choose the right bulb.