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Through countless innovations in all areas of technology, the classic light bulb formula has remained surprisingly unchanged since Thomas Edison first flipped the switch on one of the most used inventions of the modern era. All that is about to change.

While there will be no explicit ban on incandescents as such, the bar is being raised for energy efficiency with 100-watts disappearing this year, then 75 and 60 until even 40-watt bulbs ceasing to be restocked in 2014.

Still, if this sounds like the end of the world as you know it, not to worry: the stereotypes of other bulbs casting poorer-quality or oddly-hued light are overstated, at best – and the options will only grow as the traditional type is phased out.

LEDs are the higher-quality replacement option, being far longer-lasting than CFLs and having additional features (like the ability to be dimmed on demand) as well as having fewer hazards for disposal (like mercury). For more on these options and other details, check out this how-to article on Inhabitat.