SC claiming state's rights in light bulb fight

ROCK HILL, SC (WBTV) - No matter how you click it, light bulbs have been illuminating homes since Thomas Edison invented the first one more than 130 years ago.

Crawford Garris has always used incandescent bulbs.

"I buy them because they're cheaper," said Garris.  "I have one big florescent in the kitchen, and I have the 60, 100 watt incandescent in the rest of the house."

However, once the federal government phases out those old filament bulbs in 2014 he'll have to switch to Florescent.

Law makers in Columbia debated the Incandescent Light bulb Freedom Act this week.  It basically wants to give South Carolinians a choice as to which bulb they can buy.

If the light bulb freedom act is passed incandescent bulbs may get a new light -- but only in South Carolina.

State representative Gary Simrill says the debate is over states rights, that the federal government shouldn't tell citizens which bulbs they should buy.

The bill would opt South Carolina out of the federal government's regulations and allow companies to manufacture and sell incandescent, only in South Carolina.  An idea Garris is OK with.

"You should have choices in everything; they shouldn't tell you that you have to have this," said Garris

However if Garris had to do away with the incandescent bulbs he's used his whole life and go florescent.

"I'd go with the flow, it doesn't' bother me too much at my age nothing bothers me too much," said Garris.

According to, Florescent bulbs can save more than $40 in electricity costs over its lifetime lasts up to 10 times longer than incandescent.

Copyright 2011 WBTV. All rights reserved.