The Norman Transcript

December 29, 2013

Production of 60- and 40-watt incandescent light bulbs will cease in January

By Jessica Bruha
The Norman Transcript

NORMAN — Beginning in January, the production of traditional 60- and 40-watt incandescent light bulbs will cease, but consumers shouldn’t fret, said Brandon Boozer, chief problem solver for Batteries Plus Bulbs.

While many consumers believe that they will have to pay $20 for an LED bulb instead of the less expensive, traditional bulb, there are cheaper replacement options out there, Boozer said.

People also should not be worried about hoarding the 60- or 40-watt bulbs because there has been an inventory of them built up, so they won’t just automatically be unavailable, he said.

One option to look at is 43-watt halogen bulb, which is essentially the same as a traditional 60-watt bulb and can be used to replace a 60-watt bulb, but the halogen bulb is more efficient.

“It may not be 50 cents, but it’s also not $10,” he said. “I tell all my customers, ‘I know it’s hard, but don’t focus on the cost of the bulb.’”

A traditional 60-watt bulb that burns for three hours uses $8 of electricity per day. A halogen bulb can drop that price down to a couple bucks a day, while some LED bulbs can drop that down to maybe a dollar a day, so you can save a considerable amount of money in just the first year, Boozer said.

“The good news is you’re basically paying yourself back by making these changes,” he said.

One of the first things Oklahoma Gas and Electric does whenever they go into houses to make them more energy efficient isn’t caulking, like many people would think, but they change the lighting, he said.

“Changing the lighting has the fastest payback in any house,” Boozer said.

The legislature targeted light bulbs because of that fast payback. Instead of building more power plants, they decided to move toward more modern technology to reduce the amount of electricity being used, he said.

Some people may also be deterred to go to a store that specializes in lighting, such as Batteries Plus Bulbs, because they think it will be more expensive, but that’s not the case, Boozer said.

As specialists, he said they have those details, so when people come to them, they can inform them of their options and the customer can make informed decisions when making purchases.

Lighting can still be customized as well, he said. Also, a lot of the halogen lights are dimmable and still put off the same white color that is more popular. Other colors are available, too.

For example, some may like a bright white in their bathroom. For areas like living rooms and dining rooms, people may prefer a soft white for a relaxing atmosphere, Boozer said.

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