Consumers in the United States have been witnessing the gradual disappearance of old general-purpose incandescent light bulbs from store shelves since 2012. This is happening because of the adoption of the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007, which bans the manufacture and sale of certain bulbs. The 100-watt bulb was the first to go, phased out in 2012. It was followed by the 75-watt bulb this year. Now, as 2014 begins, 40- and 60-watt bulbs will begin to disappear as well. Retailers will be able to sell existing inventory, but no new bulbs with these wattages will be made.
The other day I found myself at a loss in the light bulb aisle of my hardware store. I might as well have been shopping for a carburetor. There were too many options with too many symbols and verbiage that I couldn’t decipher (LED, CFL, halogen, lumens, Kelvin, CRI), not to mention all of the various brands (GE, Philips, Cree, EcoSmart — each with its own packaging lingo). Since when do you need an electrical engineering degree to buy a light bulb?