For those of you in the dark (yes, pun intended), the incandescent light bulb will be phased out completely by 2014 in favor of more energy efficient options such as CFLs or LEDs. According to 18seconds.org, if every American home replaced just one light bulb with a CFL, we would prevent greenhouse gases equivalent to the emissions of more than two million cars and families would save more than $600 million in annual energy costs. The average American family spends $1,900 on energy bills each year. Previous stories on this blog have touted both the CFL and the LED. CFLs are more widely available and favorable to consumers in both style and price. LEDs are more energy efficient, last longer, and are still quite expensive so it is a harder sell on the American consumer although businesses may switch over to LEDs for the long-term savings.
Swedish retailer IKEA has decided to get a jump on the crowd and start phasing out the incandescent bulbs this summer. They will carry CFL and LED bulbs along with a halogen bulb which can be used in a standard light socket and offer a 30% energy reduction compared to incandescent bulbs. IKEA also offers an environmentally safe recycling program for CFLs since the mercury in them should not be disposed of in a landfill. LEDs, by the way, are mercury free. Should you run out and stock up on incandescents? Well, other retailers might follow IKEA’s lead and the old incandescent might be hard to find before the phase out begins in 2012. Or, maybe they won’t. Only time will tell but change is just a light bulb away.