New Brunswick

New Brunswickers stockpile incandescent bulbs ahead of ban

Some people in New Brunswick are buying up incandescent light bulbs before the federal ban on inefficient light bulbs takes effect.

Federal ban on inefficient light bulbs goes into effect Jan. 1, 2014

Some people in New Brunswick are stocking up on incandescent light bulbs before the federal ban on inefficient light bulbs takes effect.

As of Jan. 1, 75- and 100-watt incandescent bulbs will be effectively eliminated from store shelves, with 40- and 60-watt versions to follow Dec. 31, 2014.

However, the industry can continue to ship non-efficient bulbs, such as traditional incandescents, as long as they were manufactured before Jan. 1, 2014.

Martin Allain, of Moncton said he realizes compact fluorescent lights and LEDs are more energy-efficient. However, he chooses to stick with incandescent light bulbs while he still can.

"I find it makes a better light output, yellowish [is] better than white," he said. "I'm an electrician, so I'm going to go to my supplier to buy about 200 of those."

Junior Bertin manages the electronics department at a Moncton Home Hardware. He said about half of the bulbs sold are incandescent, so the initial impact of the ban will be significant.

"There's not much we can do about it and it's going to be a big loss for a lot of companies too. It's going to put a lot of people out of work  the people who are actually manufacturing incandescent bulbs," said Bertin.

"The sales, people are going to need light bulbs one way or another. Unfortunately at one point they're going to have no choice to go with a compact fluorescent or LEDs, they are more expensive but the price is going down."

Bertin said CFLs can cost from $1 to $10 more than incandescents for each bulb​, and LEDs are even more expensive.

But Gary Beers, a customer at Home Hardware, said his annual electric bill has dropped by $84 since switching over to the energy-efficient bulbs.

"And they last longer, so instead of getting six months to a year, I'm getting three, four, five years out of the same bulb," he said.

Traditional incandescents lose about 90 per cent of their energy as heat, making them the most inefficient method of lighting on the market. CFLs bulbs are vastly more efficient. They use up to 75 per cent less energy than incandescent bulbs, which means reduced greenhouse gas emissions from energy plants. Fluorescent bulbs also last up to 10 times longer.

The ban is expected to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by more than six million tonnes a year and save homeowners about $60 annually in electricity costs.


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