How to make the switch to CFL and LED bulbs and save money
News from Charlotte Observer:

Buying a light bulb used to be easy. And it used to be something you did several times a year.

But now, “a lot of people are starting to look at light bulbs as an investment,” says Jaclyn Pardini, a spokeswoman for Mooresville-based Lowe’s Home Improvement stores.

The incandescent bulbs in wide use ever since Thomas Edison received a patent for his version in 1880 are being phased out. A federal law passed in 2007 ends incandescent manufacturing and importing in the U.S. by the end of 2014, though stores will be allowed to keep them on shelves until they’re sold out.

In their place are more energy efficient replacements that come in a dizzying array of hues and shapes.

But you’ll want to choose carefully. Those CFLs might be with you for the next nine years or so. And if you spring for an LED bulb, you’re really in it for the long haul.

“From the time a child enters kindergarten to the time that they graduate from college, that bulb will still work,” says Pardini of LEDs.

So as those last incandescents flicker out in your lamps and light fixtures, how do you decide what will replace them? Read on:

Incandescent

Cost: (one bulb): Less than $ 1; (to run for one year): $ 7.32

Life: 1,000 hours

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