While the light at the end of the tunnel will continue to glow and flicker in 2018, incandescent light bulbs will cease to be the source of that brightness.

As of Jan. 1, light bulbs — the screw-based bulbs — must meet a new minimum, energy-efficient standard.

The California standards, which apply to the common light bulbs used in homes (including the traditional pear-shaped lamp bulb), require bulbs manufactured on or after Jan. 1, 2018, and offered for sale in the state, to achieve a minimum-efficiency level of 45 lumens per watt, which is three times more efficient than the old incandescent.

The new bulbs are just as bright, use less energy, last up to 25 times longer, and will save California consumers and businesses more than $1 billion every year on their electric bills.

However, for those residents who find change difficult, if not the source of much frustration, retailers can sell through their inventories of bulbs manufactured prior to Jan. 1.

And as with most government programs or rules, there are exemptions for some types of bulbs, such as those used in ovens, most reflector/flood bulbs, bug lights and three-way bulbs.

The source of this energy-efficient concept is the Energy Independence and Security Act, passed in 2007. President George W. Bush signed it into law and its intent was to improve energy efficiency for many products, including light bulbs.

The replacement of incandescent energy inefficient bulbs begins Jan. 1 in California and in 2020 for the rest of the nation.

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