lightbulbs
Photo: Ted Morrison
New Green Lighting
The Incandescent Lightbulb has enjoyed a pretty good run. Introduced to the world on December 31, 1879, by Thomas Alva Edison, this miracle of Victorian ingenuity faced few competitors and has remained a cheap, reliable source of artificial light for well over a century.

But its long tenure as our default lighting choice may soon be coming to an end. As an increasingly worried nation starts to think seriously about how to slow the emission of greenhouse gases, lighting is emerging as one of the chief targets. California and New Jersey are considering banning the sale of incandescent bulbs altogether. Megaretailer Wal-Mart wants to tip the mainstream consumer scales toward compact fluorescents (CFLs), vowing to sell 100 million of them this year.

Other new lighting options are starting to turn up on store shelves, including high-efficiency halogen bulbs and the Holy Grail of green lighting, the LED. Here's a look at what's available now, and how these new products will affect the quality—and the cost—of lighting your home.

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