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In the light bulb aisle, bright ideas and plenty of confusion

While shopping at Ikea recently, Liz Halsall confronted a dilemma that's confused many shoppers the past few years: what light bulb to buy. The incandescent bulb of Thomas Edison is phasing out of production, thanks to a 2007 federal energy efficiency law. When consumers now enter the lighting aisle, they find bulbs of various shapes, technologies and price points that make comparison shopping more difficult. On top of all that, one new type of light -- a light-emitting diode, or LED -- is undergoing the rapid transformation of price and capability that shoppers more often see in computers and smartphones.

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