Say Goodbye to Old-Fashioned Light Bulbs

Law phases out incandescent bulbs, encourages energy efficient options.


Old-fashioned incandescent light bulbs are on their way to becoming obsolete. The first to go is the 100-watt, which is no longer being produced as of January. The next to go will be the 75-watt bulb in January 2013, followed by 60- and 40-watt bulbs in 2014.

The phase-out is a result of the Energy Independence and Security Act (EISA) of 2007, which was intended to make better use of resources and to help the U.S. become energy independent.  Part of the law sets energy efficiency standards for lightbulbs. The law requires that by 2020 most light bulbs be 60 to 70 percent more efficient than standard incandescent bulbs, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

ComEd encourages consumers to illuminate their homes with energy-efficient light bulbs, such as compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs). These lights consume about 75 percent less energy and last about 10 times longer than traditional incandescent bulbs, lower electricity costs and decrease the amount of greenhouse gas emissions in the environment, according to a ComEd press release.

ComEd customers can learn more about energy-efficient lighting options, such as CFLs and LED bulbs, by visiting the “home savings” section of the ComEd.com home page,  which also includes information on how to obtain discounts for select ENERGY STAR®-qualified lighting products. ComEd lighting experts also offer customers tips during visits to home improvement stores across northern Illinois. 

ComEd lighting experts will be at the following retail stores this month:

  •  April 14, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Ace Hardware, 642 Northwest Hwy, Cary
  • April 15, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Home Depot, 100 Barrington Rd., Schaumburg
  • April 21, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Lowe’s. 7735 W. Grand Ave., Gurnee


Consumers should also know that the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) now requires new fact labels on light bulb packaging to educate them about lighting products and help them choose the best energy-efficient light bulb for their needs. The labels include energy costs per year, indicate the bulb’s life expectancy, and provide information on wattage and “lumens,” the unit measurement of a light bulb’s brightness.  

Those planning to discard of their old incandescent bulbs should be aware that they are not allowed in the recycling bin. 

Old incandescent bulbs should be disposed of in the garbage, said Cameron Ruen, marketing coordinator for the Solid Waste Agency of Northern Cook County. 

“You won’t find a recycling option for incandescent bulbs. Incandescent bulbs are safe to go in the garbage,” Ruen said.

Pat Dieckhoff, McHenry County College waste reduction assistant, advises that incandescent light bulbs be properly wrapped for disposal. “Bundle it up well so it’s not an issue with the person putting it into the truck,” she said.

While incandescent light bulbs can’t be recycled, they can be reused by the crafty. Green Eco Services shows some ways to reuse bulbs including turning them into little, hanging flower vases.


Sully April 17, 2012 at 02:35 AM
Yes Mary. All you can do is sigh. The ignorant shall ever remain so. I'm really not up to wasting any more time on the misinformed.
Kirk J April 17, 2012 at 11:21 AM
What you may not realize is that the right wing and left wing are attached to the same carrion crow that is pecking all of our eyes out and feeding on our substance! Bush did sign it in to law on his way out the door. They simply paste the label on every piece of legislative horror with the phrase "common sense legislation" or they give it a strong sounding name like EISA or NDAA, (National Defence Authorization Act). The biggest problem is that hardly anyone reads these liberty destroying acts! Did you know the NDAA that Obama signed under the cover of darkness allows American citizens to be arrested without just cause or a warrant and can be detained indefinitely or killed without a trial or a judge. You now can simply disappear just like in Nazi Germany. I personally choose to never to use CFL's (aka."Death Spirals") in my house. The Govt is not our friend. They are not here to help us. This is incremental tyranny plain and simple.
McCloud April 17, 2012 at 01:17 PM
Thats the fun part about tyranny, if I don't think it's a big deal then nobody else should either. As long as we are all in for tyranny, why not ban use of cars just for those who favor the elimination of the tax credits for the petroleum industry. Not a big deal for me.
Nellie H April 17, 2012 at 04:15 PM
Mary, I think I know what you mean...we should just ignore the light bulbs and focus on the gargantuan issues...like giving free health care to anyone who shows up at the hospital, lifetime welfare for all, EBT cards for everyone, failed alternative energy factories that received billions and billions, and let's just open the borders wide and let everyone in. Honestly I can't figure out why it is that people like you think that those temporary politicians know more than you or me? What is corporate welfare anyway? Are you speaking of tax credits? Thank goodness the corporations get some tax relief. This is what allows them to do research and development, hire new people (JOBS!!!), do philanthropic activities, etc. Are you so addled that you cannot make decisions for yourself about anything from a light bulb to land use? Do you think elected officials know what's best for you and me? Look at these life time politicians that have held their offices for many years. Do you think that makes them experts at anything other than running for office? Do you trust and hold them in such high regard that you would willingly allow mercury bombs all over your house? Pick a politician, almost any of them, research what their financial situation was when they were elected versus now. Think about why they legislate the way they do and how the small salary they receive become millions. They are not thinking of your best interest EVER.


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