TODAY   |  January 02, 2014

Lights out! Goodbye incandescents, hello LEDs

Washington Post columnist and TODAY contributor Elizabeth Mayhew analyzes the federal law ending production of 40- and 60- watt incandescent light bulbs and provides some details on the LED light bulbs recommended as replacements.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>> you know the joke of how many people imt it takes to change a light bulb ? the answer to that may just be federal law . as bright lights and big celebrations usher in 2014 , it was lights out on the bulb most familiar to americans for more than a century. that's right t. crown jewel at edison lab is one step closer to extension. the u.s. stopped manufacturing 157 watt incandescents a year ago due to the government efficiency law. joining us on the second phase, bank production of 60 and 40 watt bulbs. the biggest complaint against incandescents, they're not energy efficient , giving off more heat than light and running up electricity bills and greenhouse gas emission .

>> if you use les electricity, there will be fewer emissions from the power plants burning in order to fuel all those electric light bulbs.

>> consumers now have three basic choices, fluorescents, halogens and leds. the new bulbs are more expensive, leaving some stockpiling consumers already nostalgic for that soft glow of incandescents. retailers say they're already seeing change.

>> as price come down, sales go up. customers adapt more.

>> reporter: industry experkt perts say they are improving.

>> i think they a pining as much as we are pineing for gas light and candlelight right now.

>> reporter: lights on all of this to said more light is washington post columnist.

>> good morning.

>> they have stopped production, there are still some out there.

>> 40 and 60 watts. as long as the suppliened demand, there is stuff on the shelves. can you go out, run and stockpile, the truth is, the new technologies really are better. there is no question they're more energy efficient .

>> we will have as to make the switch. rip off the band aid , walk us through what our options are.

>> i want to say, it is a switch. industry equivalent is going from fahrenheit to celsius. you need to re-educate yourself. it's not so simple you walk in and buy a light bulb . let's start off with the different bulbs. so this is the incandescent. 134-year-old invention is being replaced. yfl is a bridge technology. i say ignore it. jump right to the leds. this is the led at the end, they are more expensive. but they're going to do a number of different things.

>> some of these are more than $55.

>> yeah, this is a switch light bulb , a very highly recommended bulb. it is about $65. it is so worth it. it might outlive you.

>> okay.

>> also before this, one of the issue foss ar lot of people, this one that's blinding me is that the light is not the same. what do you look for on the bulb so you get that warmer light?

>> the most important thing is forget about wattage. wattage doesn't matter. it's how much energy it makes to get these light bulbs . you want to bright ness. brightness is determined by something called lumen. the higher the lumen, the brighter the light. the other thing is color. color is very important. so the higher the calvin football, the whiter, bright ter light or clean ter light, it's bluer. few want something like more classic, the lower the calven.

>> last thing, you have to no read on the package.

>> i have to cut you off tlor the computer will at some point. nice to see you, thanks again, matt.