Robin O’Neill wants to leave the earth a healthy place for her three children. But what good is a thriving planet, the North Andover mother asks, if her kids are forced to live in a home lighted by bulbs that are energy efficient but ruin the look of the dining room chandelier, or take forever to get bright?
After years of looming as a distant threat, the federally mandated phaseout of some incandescent bulbs is about to become very real.
Many Americans have no idea that most traditional light bulbs are about to disappear, to be replaced by energy-efficient compact fluorescent lights, light-emitting diodes, and halogen incandescents.
For some of those in the know, the change means just one thing: It is time to start hoarding old-fashioned bulbs.
O’Neill keeps her stash under her basement stairs and figures she’s got a three-year supply. When that runs out? “Hopefully they’ll come up with a better technology that is more appealing.’’ The industry insists it already has, but traditionalists aren’t impressed.
There are signs that hoarders have been busy. Sales of standard incandescent bulbs are up by 10 to 20 percent over a year ago at The Home Depot, according to the chain’s chief bulb buyer. A 2010 survey by Osram Sylvania, the Danvers-based light bulb maker, found that 13 percent of consumers plan to stockpile. At Lucia Lighting & Design in Lynn, some customers are trying to figure out how many incandescents constitute a lifetime supply. ...