Mardi Gras krewes getting ready for 2014 lightbulb ban

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wwltv.com

Posted on December 18, 2013 at 11:19 PM

Updated Thursday, Dec 19 at 1:18 AM

Tania Dall / Eyewitness News
Email: tdall@wwltv.com | Twitter: @taniadall

NEW ORLEANS -- Starting in the new year, manufacturers across the country will be banned from selling or importing 60-watt and 40-watt incandescent light bulbs.

The government-mandated change is a push to get more people to use energy efficient lights.

"Some of these krewes have literally thousands and in some cases tens of thousands of light bulbs," said Barry Kern with Kern Studios.

The Krewe of Endymion is one of many that has ditched the old incandescent bulbs and replaced them with LED lights.

"These bulbs, even though they're a lot more expensive, they last a lot longer. They don't break if a pair of beads or something hits them," Kern said.

It's a growing trend that Kern said is picking up steam in Mardi Gras float design.

"Each generator has a capacity. We can put a lot more of the LED bulbs then we can of the incandescent bulbs because of the lower wattage," said Kern.

Starting next year it will be lights out for all 40-and 60-watt incandescent light bulbs. They won't be manufactured in the U.S. or sold in aisles like the Home Depot in Gretna.

"That doesn't mean that we're going to take everything off the shelf. We're going to receive trucks until then, once the product is there. It's there until we sell through," said Sean Griffin, manager at the Home Depot in Gretna.

The change is part of the Energy Independence and Security Act signed into law by President George W. Bush.

The Environmental Protection Agency says older incandescent light bulbs are highly inefficient with only 10 percent of the energy used converted into light.

Once the 40-and 60-watt bulbs sell out, consumers can switch to alternatives like halogen, compact fluorescent or LED lights. They start at about $10 a box.

Shoppers Eyewitness News spoke with had mixed feelings about their shrinking light bulb market.

"In this economy you have to say what's in my pocket, as to compared to $12-box compared to a $1-box. You're going to get a dollar box," said Algiers resident Keith Campbell.

"I think its great. Anything to save a buck," said Bellechase resident, Trisha Cavalier.

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