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Some incandescent light bulbs still available

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By Calen McKinney

Out with the old and in with the new. And while some aren't happy about it, others have accepted the change.

The federal government banned production of incandescent light bulbs as of Jan. 1. And while local stores might have some left, once they are gone, the ban means you won't be able to get any more.

Incandescent bulbs have been used in the United States for more than a century. The first bans covered 75- and 100-watt bulbs. The most recent ban covers 40- and 60-watt bulbs.

Ryan Mattingly, assistant manager at Caulk Hardware, said the ban means customers will have to purchase higher efficiency halogen bulbs, compact fluorescent lamps and LED bulbs instead.

"They're basically trying to do away with anything that wasn't energy efficient."

Mattingly said some customers stocked up on the incandescent bulbs when the federal government announced the ban.

Some customers have been upset with the change, Mattingly said, because higher energy efficient bulbs cost more.

A representative at Walmart said the store still had some incandescent bulbs as of last Thursday.

"Once we sell out of the product, we just won't sell it anymore," he said.

Gray Hash, manager at Lake Village Hardware, said about half of the light bulbs sold at his store are incandescent. He said he hasn't seen customers stock up on the older bulbs.

Shelbie Jean Bryant, co-owner of PC Clark Supply, also still has some older bulbs available, but she said some customers have come in to stock up.

She said customers seem to be content to switch to the newer bulbs. She said the CFL and LED bulbs have grown in popularity in the last few years.

A representative at Lowe's referred comment for this story to the company's home office.

According to a news release on the Lowe's website, even though they are now banned, residents can keep using the incandescent bulbs they have. The ban only states that companies can no longer make the old bulbs.

The release states that residents likely won't notice a difference between the old and new bulbs. Halogen light bulbs have a crisp, white light, the release states, and there are halogen bulbs that offer the characteristics of traditional bulbs.

Energy efficient bulbs last much longer, the release states, at an average of more than 22 years, and will cost about $30 to operate. Incandescent bulbs, the release states, would cost $165 over the same period.