“We’ve gone all-in with LED lighting,” Ikea says, making it (in September) the first major U.S. retailer to eliminate legacy lighting technology from its shelves. The move comes as the price for 13-watt white LED bulbs, the brightest you would likely ever use in a house, falls below $11, making it hard to justify the higher costs of legacy bulbs. For comparison, a 19-watt CFL bulb may use $9 in electricity per year, lasts only 7 years, and produces inferior light at that, not exactly living up to Ikea’s reputation for practicality.
A few other retailers will follow Ikea’s lead by next year, but legacy lighting won’t disappear quickly. Hardware stores and supermarkets will be reserving shelf space for incandescent and CFL bulbs for at least another ten years.