Government to Dim the Lights on 75-Watt Bulbs

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CLEVELAND -- The bright idea for 2013 is that 75 watt light bulbs will no longer be manufactured across the United States.  It is all part of the Energy Efficiency Act signed by President Bush in 2007.

A new year means a new beginning for many people.  However, in Cleveland and around the country, the future is actually getting dimmer.

"We are taking the incandescent light bulb and changing them over to more energy efficient lighting," said Jeff Saghy of Light Bulb Supply in Cleveland.

Last year, 100-watt light bulbs were discontinued, this year it is the 75-watt bulbs and by 2014, production will also be halted on 60 and 40 watt bulbs.  It's an effort by the government to be greener.

"This will reduce our overall consumption of electricity in the United States by up to 4 to 5 percent," said Saghy. "This would reduce over 4 billion light bulbs in the course of about 10 years."

So what is the difference between the light bulb that we've come to known over time and the light bulb of the future? Well, the light bulb of the future will cost you more when you go to buy it but over the course of time it will actually save you some money.

"When you are buying one incandescent light bulb you are going to have to replace it five times to one compact fluorescent light bulb," Saghy said.

All of this sounds like a bright idea, right?  But with all the positives, come some negatives.

"They start up slow, it takes a while for them to brighten up and they dim after a while, after so many hours they actually start to dim out," said Jeff Toth of J & L Lighting in Vermilion.

And that's not all, compact fluorescent lights can't necessarily be thrown directly into the trash because they contain small amounts of mercury.

"The big question is what do we do if the bulb breaks with the mercury in it, because it is considered hazardous, so the disposal is a big challenge."

This doesn't mean you have to run to the store and grab every single 75 watt light bulb you see on the shelf, all this means is that the 75 watt light bulbs are no longer being manufactured as of December 31, 2012.  When they're gone, they're gone.

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