Shining a light on the light bulb ban - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

Shining a light on the light bulb ban

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The ban of 40 watt and 60 watt incandescent light bulbs went into effect Jan. 1.

It doesn't mean stores can't still sell them and you can't have them.

WTOC was asked and answered the questions some of us have about the light bulb ban. 

Yes, you can still find some of the banned bulbs on store shelves, like at Home Depot, who are getting another shipment in this weekend.

However, 40 watt and 60 watt incandescent bulbs cannot be manufactured anymore but they can still be sold until they are all gone. Just because you have one doesn't mean you are breaking the law, either.  

If  you are using compact fluorescent lights now, there's a lot you need to know.

"They do contain a small amount of mercury which is a neurotoxin," said John Ringle of Home Depot.

The mercury levels are just one of the concerns people have about the light bulb ban as some switch to compact fluorescent lights which also need to be recycled, not thrown away.

"A lot of questions about it. People are still confused about the aspect of incandescent versus compact fluorescent versus LED," Ringle said.

Ringle says the confusion over light bulbs is burning bright with many wanting to know how much you really save.

"A compact fluorescent is about 14 watts of a 60 watt incandescent. An LED is about 9 watts of a 60 watt incandescent. The life expectancy is tremendously increased over an incandescent light bulb," he said. "Compact fluorescent gives off a little heat. LED gives off no heat at all. With LED, it doesn't emit UV rays. That's another bonus."

When the ban was going into effect, Home Depot says all their 40 and 60 watt lights sold out.

"Quite a few people did come in and stock up, if you will," Ringle said.

Ringle also says the compact fluorescent light are just a bridge between the old and the LED, and will soon be phased out, as well.

"There is legislation pending that will get rid of compact fluorescent and it will be all LED," he said.

The ban doesn't sit well with people on Facebook. 

Many said they should have the freedom to choose what kind of light bulb they buy. Others say they already see a difference in their bill.

"Just do a few. You don't see it, but you do your whole house, it does help," one man said.

While some lawmakers are still fighting to repeal the light bulb ban, Ringle believes it's more about the future than government meddling.

"With people using so much more electronic devices and electric cars, we are going to have an increase in demand for power and it's not easy to build power plants again," Ringle told WTOC. "We have to lose it on one end to gain it on the other end."

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