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Home Improvement Stores Phasing Out 40 & 60-Watt Incandescent Light Bulbs

PARKVILLE, Md. (WJZ) -- Bulb ban. A nationwide phase-out on 40 and 60-watt bulbs starts this week. But many home improvement stores say many customers are confused about where to find replacements.

As Gigi Barnett explains, the switch does not mean the end of incandescents.

Just before the strike of midnight 2014, the Parkville Home Depot saw a rush on light bulbs.

"I was filling shelves, and they were gone," said Darren Jecelin, Home Depot sales clerk.

The days on incandescent bulbs are dimming. It's been a seven-year phase-out effort by the government. The 100-watt disappeared from store shelves back in 2012.

Now this year, they're pulling the plug on the two most popular incandescent bulbs--the 40 and the 60-watts.

"People have been telling me that they've heard that after the first, it's going to be illegal to buy them and illegal to own them," Jecelin said.

Not true--says Jecelin. In fact, hardware stores will continue to sell the older incandescents until they run out.

Homeowner Toya Satterfield says making the switch will make her house green, and save some green.

"If it's going to be better for the economy and, you know, whatever's best for the Earth. If it's a better thing, then I'm all for it," she said.

More energy-efficient bulbs, like LED and halogen lights, will cost customers more--sometimes twice as much--but they last longer. And, over time, customers will see a dramatic drop in energy bills.

Jecelin believes, for some homeowners, the mental light bulb will have to turn on first.

"A lot of people, I think, they don't understand the energy savings they're going to get. And there are a lot of people who come and they tell me that they don't want to change," he said.

The switchover does not mean the end of incandescents. Some of these bulbs will stay on store shelves, like the 150 and the 25-watt. These bulbs are not as common as the 40 and 60, and so they won't affect your power bill as much.

The phase-out doesn't require bulb manufacturers to stop making incandescent lights--they only have to improve them. But experts say most incandescents can't compete with energy-saving bulbs.

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