In just a few months, incandescent light bulbs will be illegal to purchase in the United States. Many people have no idea that most traditional light bulbs are about to disappear. For those in the know, it’s time to start hoarding:
O’Neill keeps her stash under her basement stairs and figures she’s got a three-year supply. When that runs out? “Hopefully they’ll come up with a better technology that is more appealing.’’ The industry insists it already has, but traditionalists aren’t impressed.
There are signs that hoarders have been busy. Sales of standard incandescent bulbs are up by 10 to 20 percent over a year ago at The Home Depot, according to the chain’s chief bulb buyer. A 2010 survey by Osram Sylvania, the Danvers-based light bulb maker, found that 13 percent of consumers plan to stockpile. At Lucia Lighting & Design in Lynn, some customers are trying to figure out how many incandescents constitute a lifetime supply.
“People are used to that nice, warm, happy hug of an incandescent,’’ said store owner Lucy Dearborn.
The new law won’t ban all bulbs. Specialty products, including three-way bulbs, appliance bulbs, and those under 40 watts or over 150, are still OK. But not the bulbs that are most common in everyday use.
Photo by James Bowe.