Light years ahead
News from The Augusta Chronicle:

Jay Brown is squirreling away light bulbs.

He has stashed about 200 100- and 60-watt standard incandescent bulbs in his basement and a storage facility he uses for work.

It won’t be long before he’ll no longer be able to buy them in any store.

A law passed by Congress in 2007 – the Energy Independence and Security Act – requires bulb manufacturers to stop producing or importing standard incandescent light bulbs in their current state. Most household bulbs must use 27 percent less energy to create the same amount of light.

On Jan. 1, 2012, 100-watt incandescent light bulbs were no longer legally manufactured or imported. On Jan. 1, 2013, the 75-watt light bulb will stop being manufactured, and in 2014 the 60- and 40-watt bulbs will be phased out.

Consumers can still purchase these bulbs until supplies run out.

“(The law) didn’t outlaw the incandescent bulbs. It set efficiency standards the current incandescent doesn’t meet,” said Brent Smith, the owner of Southern Lighting Gallery on Bobby Jones Expressway.

The technology that powers incandescent bulbs is more than 100 years old and produces 45 percent heat and 5 percent light, Smith said.

Compact fluorescent light bulbs are the most popular replacement option and now the standard in the building industry, but many people don’t like them as much, he said.

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