It’s lights out for the light bulb.

On Jan. 1 it will become illegal to manufacture or import traditional 60-watt and 40-watt incandescent bulbs, thanks to a 2007 bill that set strict minimum efficiency standards – and effectively outlawed the ordinary bulb.

And like a politician on Election Day, Home Depot is urging consumers to buy early and often.

“Get them while you still can,” the nation’s largest bulb retailer urges on its website. “Stock up on incandescent light bulbs before they are completely discontinued.”

That’s not quite correct. The 2007 law doesn’t mandate that manufacturers discontinue their bulbs, just that they improve them: 40W bulbs must draw just 10.5W, and 60W bulbs 11W. But the result is the same: Incandescents simply can’t keep up with those twisty compact fluorescent (CFL) and newer LED bulbs, and even retailers are buying in bulk as the calendar winds down.

Home Depot has a six-month stockpile, according to Mark Voykovic, the store’s national light bulb merchant.

“Home Depot anticipates running out of their stock of 40W to 60W bulbs six months into 2014,” he told FoxNews.com. And come June, it’s the end of the road. The retail giant said it has made “a concerted effort” to educate employees and customers about the phaseout before then.

It’s working … sort of.

While you may have seen people at your local Walmart or Target stockpiling bulbs, cramming their carts with the filament-filled, silver-bottomed beauties, that might not actually reflect a rush on the dying species. Vokovic said October and November traditionally are peak bulb-buying months.

“[There has been an] increase in purchases of incandescent bulbs in the past few months, but there’s always a bump in light bulb purchases over October and November,” he said.

Read more at Fox News

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