Light bulb supplier collecting incandescent bulbs before they ru - WFXG FOX54 Augusta - Your News One Hour Earlier

Light bulb supplier collecting incandescent bulbs before they run out

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AUGUSTA, GA (WFXG) -

The switch has been flipped on 100 and 75-watt incandescent light bulbs.

The federal government is now encouraging people to switch to more energy efficient halogen incandescent bulbs, compact fluorescent lamps and LEDs.

"I'd be very concerned about it," said David Drawdy.

Drawdy isn't happy he's being forced to make the switch; but he won't have any other options because the 60-watt and 40-watt incandescent bulbs will be discontinued next year.

The alternatives are more expensive than incandescent bulbs. But advocates say they produce less heat, they cost less to run and they last longer.

But Drawdy said he isn't on board yet, "We were under the impression that the fluorescents would save us a lot on our light bill, so we went in and changed out all the bulbs in our house and we waited a couple months and come to find out it didn't do anything at all."

The efficient bulbs are also raising health concerns. LED bulbs contain nickel and lead and health experts say long term exposure can lead to health risks. Fluorescents have enough mercury that the EPA recommends a ten step cleanup process when one is broken. They also say people need to dispose of the bulbs at special waste facilities.

"Most people are going to do what they do today. They're just going to throw it in the trash," said Ben Watts.

Watts doesn't want to make the switch to the greener bulbs; and it looks like he won't have to yet because Brent Smith, the owner of Southern Lighting, is stocking up.

"We have about 10,000 100-watt A lamps," said Smith.

He said he started collecting the bulbs about a year ago when he learned about the federal government light bulb regulation.

"We saw there was going to be demand for it so we bought and stocked our shelves full of 100-watt and we plan to do that with 60-watt as well."

He says their current supply should last another year and there's a market for it.

"I will definitely continue to buy the incandescent bulbs," Drawdy, said.

"I like the glow, the light, the ambience that it gives versus fluorescents," said Watts.

Some South Carolina lawmakers are trying to pass the Incandescent Light Bulb Freedom Act so the state can continue to produce incandescent bulbs. We'll let you know what they decide.

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