Bye-bye, standard light bulbs

Last chance for 100 watts

Congress gave California the go-ahead to start phasing out standard, 100-watt incandescent light bulbs this year—one year before the rest of the nation—but many residents started making the switch years ago, according to media reports.

As of this year, California stores can sell only 100-watt bulbs that were manufactured before Jan. 1. Once those bulbs are sold, however, stores may sell only energy-efficient bulbs equivalent to 100 watts. Next year, California will phase out the 75-watt bulb, and 60-watt and 40-watt bulbs will be phased out in 2013 and 2014, respectively.

Collier Hardware’s Mark Lucena said he’s noticed customers switching to energy-saving bulbs in the past three years or so, and that he is seeing “more and more” customers make the switch all the time.

“It won’t cost us anything; it just changes what we’re selling,” he said.

The switch is expected to save Californians more than $35 million in electric bills this year.