We knew it was coming, but now it’s official: As of Jan. 1, 2014 it became illegal to manufacture or import 60- and 40-watt incandescent bulbs because of federally mandated efficiency standards signed into law in 2007. Traditional 75- and 100-watt incandescent bulbs were phased out in earlier stages. In terms of going green and saving money on energy bills, this is all a good thing. But I have to say that I am still personally struggling to find a comfortable alternative to the old-style light bulb. As I mentioned in a past blog article, the most common energy efficient alternative, compact fluorescent bulbs, or CFL’s, still seem unable to match the warm, natural light that we are used to with incandescent bulbs. They also take a while to come up to full strength and are known to contain small amounts of mercury. As I also discussed in my past article, after doing some research, it seems apparent that CFLs are a temporary solution to energy-efficient lighting and that LED bulbs will eventually be what we use to replace incandescent bulbs. However, they are still a great deal more expensive and don’t yet seem suited for general residential use. The one type of bulb I didn’t mention in the past article is halogen bulbs. Halogen bulbs are the most like the old familiar incandescent bulbs. They don’t save nearly as much electricity or last as long as the others, but they may be a transitioning source until technology moves forward or we just plain get used to some of the differences in the new bulbs. Whichever alternative you choose, 2014 is going to be a year of experimentation and change when it comes to lighting your home.