Stock up on light bulbs now before they’re all gone


400-INCANDESCENT-BULBHistoric City News readers probably take electric lighting for granted — after all, Henry Morrison Flagler is credited with employing his friend and associate, Thomas Alva Edison, to install four direct-current dynamos to power 4,000 electric lights that made the Hotel Ponce de Leon one of the nation’s first electrified buildings.

However, this year marks the end of further manufacturing of the first practical, carbon filament incandescent lamp, designed and patented by Edison in November 1879. The final fading of the incandescent light bulb began yesterday.

The manufacture of 75-watt and 100-watt light bulbs was already banned; and, effective this week, the ban on manufacture of 40-watt and 60-watt incandescent light bulbs became law.

Incandescent bulbs are manufactured in a wide range of sizes, light output, and voltage ratings, from 1.5 volts to about 300 volts. They require no external regulating equipment, have low manufacturing costs, and work equally well on either alternating current or direct current. As a result, the incandescent lamp is widely used in household and commercial lighting, for portable lighting such as table lamps, car headlamps, and flashlights, and for decorative and advertising lighting.

The ban forces a switch to fluorescent and LED lights, which are more energy-efficient.

Many new laws took effect in 2014 at the local, state and national levels — in addition to the law ending the manufacture of incandescent lights, a 14¢ increase in the minimum wage to $7.93 an hour, and a new state law that allows early voting for 14 days; putting to rest the former and controversial 8-day limitation.

Other new Florida laws include ones that crack down on human sex trafficking, allow foster care children to remain in the program until they are 21-years-old, and provide an incentive for companies to expand their fleet of natural gas vehicles. Nationally, about 40,000 new measures by the federal, state and local governments are now in effect. Some state laws will surely be scrutinized; like Colorado, who has legalized recreational marijuana use.