It's lights out for incandescent bulbs

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Updated: Mon, 30 Dec 2013 09:29:22 CST

Incandescent light bulbs are officially becoming a thing of the past.

As you unscrew dead 60 watt and 40 watt bulbs, you'll be replacing them with an energy efficient alternative.
And, if you're thinking, what? I didn't know that...
You're not alone.

"No, I had no idea." Said Heidi Anderson, a shopper at Ace Hardware.

"I did not know that, I was surprised to hear you say that." Said Steve Setsodi, a shopper at Ace Hardware.

Consumer lighting manufacturer, Osram Sylvania recently released a survey that only 4 in 10 consumers are aware of the 2014 phase out of 60 and 40 watt light bulbs.

"We use the squirly ones, the new ones, but I guess that's just because it's the new thing." Said Anderson.

The new lighting standards started to kick in back in 2012 as part of President George W. Bush's Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007.

Under the act, light bulbs are required to use 25% less energy.

First it was no more 100 watt in 2012. Then, 2013 saw lights out for 75 watt bulbs. Now, it's no more 40 watt and 60 watt come January 1st, 2014.

Stores can continue to sell the bulbs, and you can continue to use them, manufacturers just can't make these bulbs.

"I just hope they replace it with something that is equivalent." Said Setsodi, concerned about the changes.

Ace Hardware in Grand Island says even though the changes started in 2012, people still have a lot of questions.

"They're seeing all sorts of different light bulbs and they're asking questions, where are your regular light bulbs what's going on?" Explained Dave Jaixen, Assistant Manager of Ace Hardware in Grand Island.

And, some people are noticing it's not just the energy efficiency that's changing with the CFL's, LED's and other energy efficient bulbs.

"But, the other ones are cheaper." Said Anderson.

It can cost you almost two times as much for a 4 pack of energy saving lights.

"You're going to get a longer lasting light bulb, using anywhere from 50 to 75% less energy on the new bulbs." Said Jaixen.

The U.S. Department of Energy estimates you can save $50 a year by replacing 15 incandescent bulbs in your home.

Though, not everyone is ready for change even if it means a healthier environment and alternative cost savings.

"Apartment complexes have been stocking up for quite some time." Said Jaixen of the light bulb phase out.

You're also probably used to tossing your used lights in the trash.

CFL's and LED's contain small amounts of mercury.

So, you're going to want to recycle these with a center that handles hazardous materials.