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An Unloved Light Bulb Shows Signs of Burning Out

February 16, 2016

An Unloved Light Bulb Shows Signs of Burning Out

By Christina Nunez
PUBLISHED FEBRUARY 16, 2016

Many consumers spent the last two decades swapping out their old incandescent light bulbs for CFLs in the name of greater efficiency. The spiral tubes used less energy, saved money, lasted longer—and people hated them.

Now CFLs, or compact fluorescent lamps, are slowly disappearing from stores. Home retailer IKEA stopped selling them in all its locations last year, and now manufacturer GE has penned a cheeky Dear John letter to the technology, saying it will stop making the bulbs in the United States.

“I can see clearly now that LED is my future,” the letter says, referring to the light-emitting diodes that have gained sales as their prices drop. The latest U.S. numbers show CFL shipments down 28 percent from last year, while LEDs are up a whopping 237 percent, according to the National Electrical Manufacturers Association. And under new U.S. standards proposed Friday, current CFLs won't even be efficient enough to make the cut.

While the prognosis isn’t good, the obituary for CFLs can’t be written just yet.

Read more at National Geographic.

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