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New Congressional Act to phase out incandescent bulbs in favor of more energy -efficient LED lights

Old-fashioned incandescent bulb types began to be phased out as new congressionally mandated efficiency standards went into effect on January 1 2013, according to USA Today. The act first began in 2012 with the phasing out of the traditional 100-watt bulb type, followed up this past new year with the 75-watt version. In January 2014, 60-watt and 40-watt bulbs will no longer be produced. Stores can still sell them until their stock runs out, however. In their place, the Department of Energy is hoping that consumers will turn to more energy-efficient LED lights.

The bipartisan Energy Independence and Security Act was first passed in 2007 by Congress and stipulated that light bulbs must use at least 25 percent less electricity for the amount of lumens, or light, produced. According to the news source, this means that a bulb that yields 1,600 lumens, as typical in a 100-watt bulb, can now use only 72 watts or less of power. The act is already causing a seismic shift in the lighting industry, with more consumers turning to LED lighting and retailers responding in kind.

"The LED you buy, even though you pay even $25 or $30, it'll last like nine or 10 years," Tariq Syed, a machinist at an electrical utility, told The New York Times. "And environmentally, it's safe too."

As stores run out of stock of less efficient incandescent bulb types, consumers will increasingly turn to LED bulbs for their numerous benefits. The news source reports that LEDs will outsell incandescents in North America as soon as next  year, with projected shipments reaching nearly 370 million by 2016. That would represent a more than tenfold increase over the 33 million shipped last year.