6 Strategies To Avoid Using Cfls For Lighting After The Incandescent Phase-Out

You just found out about Canada's phase-out on incandescent light bulbs. You'd been wondering why some stores have so few of them available anymore. Stores can continue to sell them as long as supplies last, but the law no longer allows the manufacture or import of most traditional incandescent bulbs. Like other countries, Canada wants residents to use energy-efficient bulbs. However, you dislike the compact fluorescent lamps that many people now have in their homes. What can you do to avoid using CFLs?

Stock Up

It may not be as easy to find 100-watt or 75-watt bulbs now, since the phase-out started January 1, 2014. The ban on the 40-watt and 60-watt bulbs doesn't go into effect until the end of 2014, so you shouldn't have much trouble stocking up on those throughout 2015. Store owners and managers that know their customers want those bulbs will have a good inventory of them and continue having them on the shelves.

Use Low-Watt Bulbs

You'll still be able to buy incandescent bulbs that are less than 40 watts. These bulbs are often used for chandelier-style lighting, pendant lights and decorative lamps designed to look like antique fixtures. 

Buy 3-Way Bulbs

You'll still be able to get the normal range of incandescent bulbs in the 3-way style. Those are not included in the phase-out -- at least not as of late 2014. 

Use Rough-Service Bulbs

Rough-service incandescent bulbs are sturdier than others. They are intended for places where bulbs are more likely to shatter because of vibration, such as in a workshop with heavy-duty power tools. That sturdy construction does make them cost a bit more than you're used to spending. 

Buy Halogen Bulbs

Halogen light bulbs actually are incandescent bulbs, only they are more energy-efficient because of the halogen gas inside. A 72-watt halogen bulb should give you comparable light to the traditional 100-watt incandescent bulb, and a 43-watt bulb replaces the 60-watt traditional incandescent. 

Halogen bulbs cost more than incandescent bulbs, but they last much longer. They also burn hotter than incandescent bulbs even though they use less energy, so they aren't suitable for fragile light fixtures that could break due to the high heat. 

Use Light-Emitting Diode Bulbs

Light-emitting diodes, or LEDs, are common now in flashlights and headlights, so you've probably seen this type of light. If you've noticed that some Christmas lights are much brighter and sharper than was true in years past, those are probably LED lights.

Manufacturers have worked to make LEDs that mimic the golden light of incandescent bulbs. Whether they have succeeded will depend on your evaluation. 

Unfortunately, the bulbs cost substantially more than incandescent ones and are even more expensive than CFLs. They also are more useful for directional light than for lighting up a room. You may want to give this version a try in a strategic place where you don't require ambient light, such as in a desk lamp or over the kitchen stove. 

Make Your Decision

Your best bet probably is to combine several of these strategies. As long as you can still buy the old-fashioned incandescent bulbs at a low price and have room to store some, stock up. Try a halogen bulb or two and see how you like this type of light. Buy one LED product and add it to a lamp that you use for directional light.

You'll have time to adjust to the newer options and can look forward to LED prices eventually coming down. In addition, manufacturers understand the problems with using LEDs for general room lighting and may have something better to offer in the future.