Starting January 1, the most popular light bulbs sold in the United States — 60W and 40W incandescent bulbs — will no longer be manufactured in or imported into the country.
If you hadn't heard, don't worry, you're not alone. Just four in ten Americans have, according to the results of lighting company Osram Sylvania's 2013, nationwide "Socket Survey."
The phase-out of energy inefficient bulbs, following 2007 legislation, began with 100 and 75 watt incandescent bulbs. Though more than half of the survey's 300 respondents didn't now about the Jan. 1 change, 64 percent knew "generally" about the switch from incandescent bulbs. As Mother Nature Network points out, these questionably low numbers do in fact represent an improvement. Last year, only 52 percent of Americans were aware of the overall transition, and in 2008, right after the federal legislation passed, just 21 percent knew.
Though the phase-out has negligible real-world effect for most consumers (yeah, they're more expensive, but you'll save money on electricity, too), a surprising number see the looming Jan. 1 change as a reason to panic. Three in 10 consumers said they actually planned to stockpile the old bulbs, known for their warm and flattering glow.
And in case you were feeling proud about the fact that 30 percent of Americans have already brought energy-efficient LEDs into their homes? Don't get too excited, since an awful lot are about to go back into the closet until next Thanksgiving. Fifty-five percent of those who said they owned LED lights reported that they were just strings of holiday lights.