This week, in a budgetary move, Congress voted against the Department of Energy's proposed phase-out of traditional incandescent light bulbs. However, while this plan toward energy efficiency is put on hold, it looks like the switch from incandescent to compact florescent lamp (CFL) bulbs is inevitable.

Light Bulb Lady on the throne

To get the insider's scoop, I called up the infamous "Light Bulb Lady" Kay Newell at Mississippi Ave's Sunlan Lighting.

How will this phase-out affect your line of work?

Light Bulb Lady: Everything will change! First of all, it takes a long time to shut down a plant, leaving these companies sitting on a lot of stuff they can't sell. Second of all, I think Congress underestimates the intelligence of the American people. We don't need them to phase out these bulbs, really. When people understand the options, they will make the best choice.

So you don't think these CFL and LED lights are all that great?

LBL: No, not really. I think all light bulbs serve important purposes. I've got customers who cannot see under the new light bulbs. Just the other day, an 80-year-old couple came in wondering what to do because the woman could no longer see in her kitchen with the new bulbs. When I told her that the bulbs she needed were discontinued, she turned to her husband and said, "Honey I can't cook for us anymore." Also! Chickens who use incandescent red lights as a heat source will be threatened by this change. The new laws disregard these peoples' needs.

How does this affect your business directly?

LBL: Well, I'm a small business, we'll simply adjust to what people need. We'll probably get more customers asking about different fixtures and watts and bulbs — they're lucky we're here. People who don't have someone like me around face a big problem.

What's the future of light bulbs?

LBL: I think that in ten years, bad things about CFLs are going to come out regarding the mercury in them. But I'm just going to sit back and do my job until then.