Since January 1st, 2015, 60-watt and 40-watt incandescent bulbs can no longer be manufactured or imported into Canada, an extension of the ban on 75-watt and 100-watt bulbs that came into effect a year earlier. These were moves made by the federal government to cut energy consumption. While existing inventories of the bulbs will continue to be sold over the next few months, and a few specialty incandescents will still be available.
In 2014, many buyers stockpiled the 100-watt bulbs as they faded out of existence, but the transition has been more low key in 2015. Most consumers have come to terms with the change, and the continuing drop in price of LED replacements has made the switch to that technology far more palatable. Consequently, the rush to stock up on 40-watt and 60-watt bulbs has been much more muted.
One factor is the wide availability of halogen light bulbs, a transitional technology that is similar to the old incandescents, but more energy-efficient. Halogen light bulbs use 28% less power than the incandescent light bulbs, not nearly as much of a power saving as with LEDs or CFLs, but just enough of a reduction to meet federal standards. They are more expensive than the old-style incandescent bulbs, although not as costly as CFLs or LEDs.
But it is the lower price and wider acceptance of LED bulbs that is really making a difference. These bulbs use 90% less power and last 25 times as long. Over the past 12 months Canadian consumers have shown they are absolutely comfortable in changing to LED bulbs. Canadians spend about $300 million a year on light bulbs.