Reports are coming in that folks are snapping up remaining stocks of incandescent bulbs before the end of the year. January 1st marks the start of the Federal phaseout of traditional light bulbs in the United States. While many are unaware of the upcoming ban, 13% of U.S. residents are reportedly stocking up on the 130 year old symbol of American ingenuity and invention.
Home Depot has reported higher than normal sales in these last few weeks as they blow out their back stocks. I'll admit, I picked up a couple dozen bulbs myself. Yes, I too have joined the Incandescent Underground. I have mostly replaced the lights around my apartment with CFL and LED lights, but there are a couple of old lamps that just don't look right with new style bulbs. There's also a fixture in a dark and cold corner of the apartment (where I tend to write Retro Thing posts, coincidentally) where I actually rely on the little bit of extra heat kicked off by the bulb.
There are those who are turning this into a political issue, unhappy that the government is regulating what they can and cannot stick into their sockets. The Republican House has blocked the funds that were originally allotted for enforcing the January 1st ban (make of that what you will), and enterprising bulb sellers have come up with all kinds of strategies to keep you filled with filament fired light. One outfit has gone so far as to relabel their incandescent bulbs as mini-heaters. Yup - that's how we'll save the planet... why address a problem head-on when we can just relabel it?
I'm sure that the news will feature those outliers who will only defy the darkness with old fashioned bulbs, and we will certainly hear many stories of folks who have their garages packed to the ceiling with old fashioned bulbs. Maybe we'll see an inflated future market for light bulbs the same way as we've seen for high flush toilets (Hard to believe, but yes... I recently read about an older high flush toilet changing hands [ewww] for $600 on Ebay).
Here's another question that no one seems to be addressing. A lightbulb floating over someone's head has ong been the symbol of a bright idea. What'll it be now? A CFL? An LED? I'm going to look pretty weird walking around with a diode floating over my head.