Once 2012 rolls around, old incandescent light bulbs will start disappearing from stores here in the United States (the whole process is scheduled to take about two years). So will there be riots in the streets? Filament tea parties? Calls to repeal? Nah, presumably the transition will just look similar to what's going on in Europe right now, where a ban on incandescent bulbs took effect this week. Some Europeans are stocking up on their beloved old bulbs. Some are grumbling about the flat light from CFLs. There's sporadic confusion over how to clean up broken fluorescent bulbs. But it's mostly going… well. E.U. officials are predicting that the new, efficient bulbs will save households about $70 per year, although the CFLs cost a fair bit more upfront.
Meanwhile, the looming efficiency standards here in the United States have spurred researchers to try and develop new, high-performing incandescent bulbs. They're still well behind CFLs, but by the time 2012 hits, who knows?