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Incandescent Light Bulb Ban Starts January 1

It's lights out for incandescent light bulbs. The federal ban on 60-watt and 40-watt incandescent bulbs takes effect January 1. The government is encouraging more people to use energy saving CFLs and LED bulbs, but not everyone is ready to make the switch.

Incandescent light bulbs line the shelves at Ace Hardware, but not for much longer.

The phase-out of the incandescent bulbs started in 2012. Although manufacturers will no longer be producing the bulbs, stores can still sell them until they run out. That has many stores stockpiling on incandescent bulbs. But Shelly West, Merchandise Manager at Ace Hardware in Springfield, says her store is choosing not to.

"No, we didn't hoard the bulbs. We'd rather try to go forward in the CFL and LED categories," said West.

That's not the news Irene and Norman Willis were hoping to hear. We caught up with the Springfield couple as they were stocking up on incandescent bulbs.

"It seems like they last longer and they're brighter. So that's the reason why I'd like to get a supply of them," said Irene Willis.

West says making the switch from incandescent light bulbs to CFLs or LEDs will save people money.

"If everyone would change to the CFL and LED bulbs, we could feed every person in this world one meal. That's how much money we would save," said West.

The 2007 law will allow incandescent bulbs to be manufactured if they are energy-efficient, but that will cost you. That's why West says CFLs are the best choice.

"You can find them on sale for as little as two for a dollar for CFL bulbs. Right now Ameren has a program going on and they're fifty cents a bulb," West said.

That didn't stop Willis from adding several boxes of incandescent bulbs to her shopping cart.

"I'm going to buy enough to last me for a long time," Willis said.

CFLs contain a small amount of mercury, so if you break one, you should air out the room for up to ten minutes. The Environmental Protection Agency recommends recycling CFLs when they burn out.

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