Friday August 01, 2014





Stores in the dark about light-bulb changes

Incandescent bulbs restricted to encourage efficient alternatives
Murray Mitchell

Tara Chicoine of Light Your World shows some of the modern light choices, including (from left) the newest LED 3 watt (halogen replacement), a CFL spiral and LED 10 watt.

A nationwide restriction on 75- and 100-watt incandescent bulbs hasn’t made its way into Kamloops lighting stores yet.

Suppliers haven’t provided much information at this point, said staff at The Lampost and Light Your World.

A few customers have gone into Light Your World trying to stockpile the bulbs, but supply so far hasn’t been an issue, said Tara Chicoine, lighting assistant.

“So far, we can still get the ones we’ve been selling,” she said. “We still have 100 watts and 60 watts. They’ve changed the lifespan so they can be deemed energy efficient if they have the right lifespan to them.”

The idea behind the light-bulb change is to get consumers to switch to more energy efficient lighting, such as compact fluorescent or LED bulbs. The federal government is phasing out 75- and 100-watt bulbs now, and 40- and 60-watt bulbs as of Dec. 31, 2014.

But the restriction doesn’t necessarily mean incandescents will be disappearing altogether.

The government standards allow bulbs that use at least 28 per cent less electricity to be brought into the country. Halogen lights, which use filaments, are technically intense incandescents, Chicoine said.

A 50-watt halogen can give off as much light as a 75- or 100-watt regular bulb, but uses less energy, although she wasn’t sure if it would meet the federal standard.

Compact fluorescents have come down in price from when they first hit the market, but some people are concerned because they contain tiny amounts of mercury, while others don’t like the light they give off.

LEDs don’t have mercury and emit a brighter light, but are expensive.

“Most people do prefer the LEDs. It’s what we’re used to, it’s closer to the 60-watt bulb,” said Chicoine.

All bulbs should be recycled at the store where they were bought or at a designated recycling depots, she said.

There is also an exemption for some small bulbs, such as oven lights, decorative lamps, appliance bulbs, three-way fixtures, chandeliers and utility bulbs.





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