DAYTON, Ohio — The final phaseout of traditional incandescent light bulbs starts Wednesday, forcing consumers to abandon old-fashioned glass bulbs in favor of more expensive and efficient models that will save them money in the long run, experts said.
On Jan. 1 it will become illegal to manufacture or import 40- and 60-watt incandescent bulbs because of federally mandated efficiency standards signed into law in 2007 by President George W. Bush.
Traditional 75- and 100-watt incandescent bulbs were phased out at the beginning of 2013, but the coming ban on the other bulbs will have a greater impact on consumers because of their popularity for residential lighting, experts said.
LED (light-emitting diode) and CFL (compact fluorescent) bulbs will reduce the environmental impact of commercial and residential lighting and save consumers money, said Kevin Hallinan, a University of Dayton engineering professor and cofounder of the school's master's degree program in renewable and clean energy.
"The reason why the federal government legislated the change is because these incandescent bulbs use four times or more energy than other technologies,'' Hallinan said.
The average annual operating cost of a 60-watt incandescent bulb is $8.74, said Kara McMillen, Dayton Power & Light's residential program manager. In comparison, the operating cost of an equivalent 13-watt CFL is $1.89. That's about a $30 energy cost savings over the life of the CFL bulb, she said.