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—Luddite: If you hate the newer alternatives, you can hoard the old bulbs and resign to pay more for electricity than you would otherwise. Or you can buy halogen incandescent bulbs, which act like the old bulbs and are energy-efficient enough to meet the new standards — but not nearly as efficient as CFLs and LEDs. They cost more than incandescents and last about the same as a traditional bulb, but not nearly as long as CFLs and LEDs. So, they are expensive in that way.

—Future: The next generation of LEDs are more revolutionary, like the Phillips Hue Connected Bulb, which can be controlled from your smartphone and change to whatever color you want, among other tricks. But now, three bulbs and the gadgetry to make it work will set you back about $200.

“For most people, it’s going to be a combination of different technologies, with people making decisions at the time they actually have to replace it,” Price says.

Gregory Karp, the author of “Living Rich by Spending Smart,” writes for the Chicago Tribune.

©2014 Chicago Tribune
Distributed by MCT Information Services

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