The 100-watt question - KTTC Rochester, Austin, Mason City News, Weather and Sports

The 100-watt question

ROCHESTER, Minn. (KTTC)-- Time is dimming for the traditional 100 watts of power that many use to light their homes.

That's because of a new Federal Energy Act mandating all light bulbs to be 25 to 30 percent more efficient.

The government is phasing out certain incandescent bulbs in favor of more energy efficient alternatives. As of January 1, the traditional 100 watt light bulb has been discontinued.

Dave Leis is a master electrician at Home Depot and he explains, "In the long run it will be better off. I think LED is going to be the new wave of the future. The LED's are very efficient and they are good bulbs. They last a lot longer."

But some still prefer the ambiance of their traditional 100 watt bulbs, and are stocking up while they still have the chance.

Rochester Ace Hardware Manager, Kim Hesser says, "We certainly have seen an increase in sales on the 100 watt incandescent, which is what is currently effected."

Following in suit, 75-watt bulbs will discontinue in 2013 and 60 and 40 watt will be eliminated by 2014.

Hesser says, "We can sell them as long as they're available, but you know that could be a year, that could be three months, we just don't know. The more energy efficient options certainly are double to triple the cost but they certainly have been coming down. I see them getting much more price sensitive as time goes on."

Initial price may be much more, but long term the energy efficient bulbs can save people around $300.00 in electrical costs.

Leis explains, "Your regular incandescent lasts like 1,000 to 2,000 a year or a little over. Your CFL's, they last from seven to nine years and your LED's are going to last anywhere from 15 to 20 or 25 years."

Regardless of preference, the incandescent bulbs will be phased out.

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