Incandescent light bulbs are still available in many local stores, but not for long.
A long discussed federal ban on inefficient light bulbs went into effect across the country Jan. 1, favouring more efficient and expensive alternatives like light emitting diodes (LED) or compact fluorescent (CFL).
The ban on incandescent, or standard indoor bulbs, had been proposed by the federal government in 2007 and was set to start in 2012 but was postponed due to consumer concerns about cost and disposal.
Partly due to those concerns halogen bulbs will be exempt from the ban for now, but rules or systems to recycle the toxic mercury in CFL bulbs is still in the works.
While fluorescent bulbs contain about five milligrams of mercury — less than in a watch battery, according to Natural Resources Canada — Health Canada recommends that items containing mercury be treated as hazardous waste.
The phase out of incandescent bulbs starts now with 75 and 100-watt bulbs, with 40- and 60-watt versions to follow at the end of the year. The bulbs can still be shipped and sold, as long as they were produced before the phase-out date.