The ban on traditional incandescent light bulbs is officially in effect preventing 75-watt and 100-watt bulbs being made or shipped into Canada. The new federal energy efficiency standard for light bulbs will ban 40-watt to 60-watt bulbs by the end of the year.

Of course, this new rule will allow retailers to sell the rest of their incandescent bulbs in stock as the first phase of banning the energy-sucking lighting source begins. This will push folks to switch over to more energy-efficient lighting such as light-emitting diodes (LED) and compact fluorescents (CFLs).

What happens to energy-efficient bulbs when they die?

While there is no federal plan yet for recycling the mercury-containing light bulbs, there are industry-led product recycling programs available in several Canadian provinces, according to the Vancouver Sun.

British Columbia, Manitoba and Quebec are three provinces that have regulations around light recycling worked out.

“Of these three provinces with established regulations, B.C. boasts Canada’s most comprehensive industry-led light recycling program, LightRecycle, which in 2011 alone was responsible for diverting 400,000 residential use fluorescent lights and tubes from our landfills and waterways,” reports Vancouver Sun, “In 2013, the program diverted more than 3.5 million lights, hailing from both residential and industrial sectors.”

Folks who are in Ontario have the option to get rid of their CFLs and lighting waste through either Ontario Lamp Recyclers or Home Depot.

For those who don’t want to give up the traditional incandescent light

To be clear, traditional incandescent lights waste up to 90 per cent of their energy just heating up the bulb. While the retail prices are a little lower than energy-efficient lighting options, the old bulbs risk getting too hot, die faster and waste unnecessary electricity.

This energy-efficient decision will actually benefit everyone in the long run. Though the modern bulbs initially cost more, the government is saying this will actually result in energy savings — and by 2025, Canadian consumers will be saving more than $750 million.

“Canadians spend about $300-million a year on light bulbs,” reports the Globe and Mail.

Of course, if there are people who are still trying to resist the phase into energy efficiency, Ontario Conservative MP Cheryl Gallant is all about fighting for the traditional incandescent light. In attempts to cancel the ban, she has a petition set up at

Though change can be hard — change is a good thing. Especially when it comes to energy efficiency.

For businesses, we have rebates and incentives available.


Image credit: Fentino