The 75 Watt Incandescent Light Bulb is Dead
Just as what happened in 2012 to the 100 W bulb, production stopped for the 75 W bulb in January. Then next year, the 40 Watt and 60 W incandescent bulbs will also be out. Once those supplies are gone, the light bulbs we all knew as children will be gone forever.
The death of the incandescent bulb is part of the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 signed by President George W. Bush. The law requires most types of screw-in light bulbs to use at least 27% less energy by 2014 and incandescent bulbs simply don't measure up.
While new bulbs are more expensive to replace, the energy savings is substantial from switching to the new types of bulbs from older incandescent bulbs. In fact, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency estimates that changing just one bulb to an energy Star efficient bulb will save a household $40 or more over the life of the bulb. If every American replaced just one bulb, it would save more than $600 million in annual energy costs and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by about 800,000 cars.
The cheapest replacement bulbs are halogen bulbs, which sell for about $2.50. They will save you about 25% on energy costs compared to the old-style bulbs and last about as long. But their short lifespan is one reason they don't meet Energy Star standards.
Compact fluorescent light bulbs are more expensive, averaging about $4.50, but save about 75% energy on energy costs and last about last 10 times longer than standard bulbs.
Finally, LED bulbs or Light Emitting Diodes average about $20 per bulb but can last twenty years or more. Most of these bulbs pay for themselves in energy savings within two years, so they are definitely a worthwhile investment.
Whatever bulb you end up using in the next few years will end up saving you money. So we suppose that the death of the incandescent light bulb is actually a good thing.