Retailers will be banned from selling inefficient incandescent bulbs in 2012, but manufacturers say their bright idea about compact fluorescents came years ago and the industry was heading in that direction anyway. In fact, the coming years will see a wave of more efficient light sources—not only flourescents, but LEDs and even high-efficient versions of old-fashioned incandescents, the New York Times reports.
One industry executive called flourescents only a "temporary fix." They contain mercury, making them hard to dispose of and just as environmentally hazardous as conventional bulbs, the Times notes. Manufacturers have begun developing LEDs—white-light versions of the ones that light up Christmas trees—that use non-toxic materials and last more than eight times longer than fluorescents.