Some four-staters are stocking up on 40 and 60-watt light bulbs

Some residents in the Four States are stocking up on 40 and 60-watt incandescent light bulbs, which as of this year are no longer being made.

This is the result of government-mandated efficiency standards signed into law in 2007.

The 100-watt bulbs were phased out in 2012, followed by the 75-watt bulbs in 2013. This year, the original incandescent bulbs of 40 and 60 watts will fade away from store shelves. Some people are stocking up while they have the chance.

“I’ve had people who come in and order 3-4 cases,” said John Henkle, owner of Henkle’s Ace Hardware in Webb City.

“There are some people that will come in and buy whole cases,” said Michael Allmendinger, an employee at Pearl Brothers True Value in Joplin. “They just don’t want to make the transition yet.”

Others have not been afraid to try out the newer options.

“We went with the LED lights because quite truthfully, they use very little energy,” said Larry Eller, Joplin resident. “A 60-watt light bulb in an LED uses only about 9 watts, so it’s a matter of energy savings. The light is brighter and we’re very happy with it.”

Local hardware store owners say customers are often most surprised by the price increase.

“The price is the issue because they’re used to paying $3, but now they cost $12 or $15,” Henkle said.

Henkle says the prices are up because the bulbs can last longer.

“Instead of lasting .09 years and changing bulbs all the time, now you can buy a bulb that will last for 25,000 hours,” he said.

The life span of the original incandescent bulbs is increasingly shorter.

“It’s quite possible that by the end of the year, the 60 and 40 watts will be gone,” Allmendinger said.

“When the supply is gone, they’re gone,” Henkle said.

The Environmental Protection Agency estimates that most of the energy used by the older incandescent light bulbs is wasted, with just 10% used to actually create light.