Reinventing the wheel: Everyone's teaming up against the incandescent bulb these days, whether its power-saving LEDs, or compact fluorescents, or a $10 million contest sponsored by the Energy Department to build a better bulb. The two main strikes against it: its not energy efficient and has a relatively short lifespan. Many countries around the world, including Cuba, Venezuela, Switzerland, and Ireland, have already banned the use of incandescent lights. At the same time, a number of scientists around the world are working on new, more energy efficient incandescent bulbs that retain the warmth and color of their older, less efficient cousins, so we could see a next-generation incandescent on the market in coming years. The day of reckoning for the incandescent light may be rapidly approaching, but you have to hand it to the thing for sticking around so long.