WASHINGTON – Republicans in Congress are flipping the dimmer switch on a law that sets new energy-savings standards for lightbulbs.

They’ve reached a deal to delay until October enforcement of standards that some fear will bring about the end of old-style 100-watt bulbs. GOP lawmakers say they’re trying to head off more government interference in people’s lives.

But environmentalists and the lightbulb industry say the delay is not too bright.

Language postponing enforcement of the lightbulb law — it was set to take effect Jan. 1 — was included in a spending bill that funds the government through September. The House passed the measure Friday, with approval expected today in the Senate.

Rep. Fred Upton, chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, said the lightbulb delay shows Congress is listening to the American people.

“We heard the message loud and clear,” said Upton, R-Mich. “Americans don’t want government standards determining how they light their homes.”

Upton said government should not penalize those who prefer traditional incandescent bulbs.