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Activists Seek Repeal of Ban On Incandescent Bulbs 1049

Hugh Pickens writes writes "Daniel Sayani reports in New American that Senator Mike Enzi plans to introduce legislation to reverse the ban on incandescent light bulbs which is scheduled to go into effect January 1, 2014. 'CFLs are more expensive, many contain mercury which can be harmful even in the smallest amounts, and most are manufactured overseas in places like China,' says Enzi. 'If left alone, the best bulb will win its rightful standing in the marketplace. Government doesn't need to be in the business of telling people what light bulb they have to use.' Faced with a phaseout, some consumers are stockpiling incandescent bulbs, although a poll by USA Today indicates most Americans support the US law that begins phasing out traditional light bulbs next year. Despite some consumer grumbling, they're satisfied with more efficient alternatives. 71% of US adults say they have replaced standard light bulbs in their home over the past few years with compact fluorescent lamps or LEDs and 84% say they are 'very satisfied' or 'satisfied' with CFLs and LEDs."
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Activists Seek Repeal of Ban On Incandescent Bulbs

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  • Good! (Score:0, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 25, 2011 @06:25PM (#35317412)

    Good, those CFLS suck in cold weather (10+minute warmup) and at drying out slightly moistened electronic bits without damaging them as a heat gun/oven would.

  • Pointless fight (Score:4, Interesting)

    by mozumder ( 178398 ) on Friday February 25, 2011 @06:25PM (#35317432)

    Because LED lighting will own the market in a few years.

  • by ranulf ( 182665 ) on Friday February 25, 2011 @06:35PM (#35317584)
    Well, they've already banned them here in the UK, starting with the 150W, 100W and now 60W are gone too. I think you can still buy 40W until next year, but I haven't seen them in the shops any more.

    I stockpiled a load of 100W ones. The new bulbs have lots of advantages - cheaper to run, so ideal to leave on as a security light, last longer, etc, but although I've replaced about 75% of the lights in my house with CFLs, I absolutely had to stockpile the old ones. The reason? It's simple. CFLs give me a headache. I can't sit underneath one for more than about 10 minutes without getting a headache, so it's fine to have one in the bedroom or bathroom, and it's not too bad in the kitchen, but I'm in the lounge or my office I need a regular incandescent light. It's not a problem for everybody, but sufficient numbers of people are similarly affected that I think it's outrageous the government can legislate such stupid big brother dictats.

    Then there's the fact that they're sold massively below cost to get them adopted. Here, you can often find them for less than 10p per bulb at retail, and nobody is yet really worrying about the environmental costs of disposal because people aren't really throwing them away in any numbers yet. This will be a major problem in a few years though.

    Finally, the usual arguments that the old bulbs are less energy efficient is pretty much redundant. As I mostly use light bulbs during the winter evenings and for a short period on winter mornings, I'll have my heating on anyway. Who cares if 90W of the 100W bulb is emitted as heat - it's making my house warmer. There's even a company in Germany trying to get round the ban by selling "heating globes" that happen to emit light and happen to look exactly like an old lightbulb.

  • by Wansu ( 846 ) on Friday February 25, 2011 @06:51PM (#35317826)

    Besides the higher cost, the mercury content and being made in China (which is probably true of most incandescent bulbs today too), there are other drawbacks.

    At least one poster has cited reliability. There's fine print on most CFLs warning of reduced life if placed in an enclosed fixture. There are no such limitations on incandescent bulbs.

    I've had a half dozen go bad during the past few years. None were in an enclosed fixture. I don't recall ever going through that many incandescent bulbs. One made a snap-crackle-pop noise when it went out and it's base was too hot to touch, raising concerns of the fire safety of these products.

    The power factor of CFLs is about 0.44 leading. The power company must supply the vars for this free. They can only charge us for watts and can't charge for reactive power. Incandescent bulbs have a power factor of nearly unity.

  • by cvtan ( 752695 ) on Friday February 25, 2011 @07:04PM (#35318012)
    I have had many CFL lamps fail in a matter of weeks or DAYS in some cases. I think many are just cheaply made; they go out, you hit them, they come on for a while. Color temperature is not always appropriate. Also you are not supposed to use them in an application where you flick them on, leave them on for a few seconds and then turn them off. Many applications are like this: closet light, basement light, fridge light. Some take a few minutes to reach full brightness although this improves with age. Also, use outdoors in frigid weather is a problem. I have changed most of my house lights to CFLs, but there are some decorative candelabra-base fixtures where you can't use them. Be aware that any electricity savings will necessarily be countered by rate increases so we're not doing this to save money, just electrons.
  • Re:Good! (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Coryoth ( 254751 ) on Friday February 25, 2011 @08:17PM (#35318994) Homepage Journal

    Every other power that isn't listed is supposed to be handled by the States.

    As we can see, that idea didn't last very long. I think it hardly made it to 100 years.

    Barely made it 100 years? If you want to go with your somewhat narrow interpretation it didnt even make it 17 years*! Jefferson was well aware that there was no provision in the constitution allowing the federal government to acquire territory, but he went right ahead with the Louisiana purchase anyway. So it seems even the founding fathers couldn't hew to the constitution to the degree you desire even a mere couple of decades after they wrote it. Oops.

    * There are probably even earlier examples, but the Lousiana purchase is very blatant and should suffice to make the point.

  • by the_rajah ( 749499 ) * on Friday February 25, 2011 @10:44PM (#35320286) Homepage
    What about the lamps in my ovens? Are there little CFLs or LEDs that work at 500 F?

    I live in the Midwest so outdoor lights in the Winter present a problem. My work-around for the outdoor light by our back door is to just turn it on in the Fall and leave it on. So far so good. My front outdoor lights are the candelabra base bulbs shaped like a flame. I haven't seen anything suitable as a replacement for those so I bought a case of them and hope the supply outlasts me or that the technology improves.

    We have a number of recessed lights in our home office, kitchen, hallways and bathroom. I've tried a number of different flood lamp shaped CFLs and have had uniformly bad luck with very slow start-up times. Particularly in hallways and the bathroom it's unacceptable. I've experimented with some LED flood lamps in the back hallway leading to the garage and they start OK with about a second of delay versus a minute or two for the CFLs, but they produce harsh bluish light that is not acceptable in an actual living area. Sooo... I've stocked up on incandescent flood lamps, too.

    I definitely like the idea of more efficient lighting, especially in the Summer when the extra heat is even less desirable, but it's got to be affordable and look good. We seem to have a way to go on both counts. I would prefer to let the market decide rather than have non-technical legislators shove this down our throats, but why should this be different than other legislation?

Our business in life is not to succeed but to continue to fail in high spirits. -- Robert Louis Stevenson