Sunday, April 11, 2010

Are you ready for a $50 light bulb?

I am amazed at the number of Americans I know who remain totally unaware that the inexpensive, incandescent light bulbs that we have known for generations are about to disappear. The only currently available alternatives are compact florescent light bulbs (which can't even be manufactured in the United States because of their mercury content). Now comes news of this little LED jobber which currently runs $50 for a 40-watt equivalent. The critical sentence in the article is this one:
GE's product launch actually arrives in the shadow of U.S. Federal lighting efficiency standards, due to come into effect in 2012, which mandate a gradual phasing out of incandescent bulbs over a two-year span. Kiss 100-watt incandescent bulbs goodbye first, with 75-watt bulbs scheduled for a 2013 phase-out. The 60- and 40-watt bulbs leave last in 2014.

Read it all.

Enjoy that warm, flicker-free light from a 100-watt incandescent bulb while you are working or reading? Stock up while you still can! Or better yet, write your Representatives and Senators and tell them to stop this nonsense until we develop a safe (mercury free), inexpensive, functional (easy on the eyes) replacement. Is that too much to ask?


Tregonsee said...

In my barn are plastic boxes containing about a 10 year supply of incandescent bulbs. Especially the 3-way versions. I do use the new CFLs in places where they make sense, such as lights which are on all night. However, the existing CFLs work poorly in extreme cold, have much shorter lifetimes than claimed, and generate significant amounts of radio "hash" in nearby AM and short wave radios. Either sanity will prevail and the law will be modified, or they will eventually be able to match incandescents in performance. I am prepared to wait out either scenario.

DavidH said...

This is an example of a rare circumstance in which taxing is the right answer. Instead of a ban, impose a tax of $1 or $2 per incandescent bulb, with the proceeds designated for something specific and useful. (Perhaps renewable energy development projects -- not just research, but actual development, and not just in subsidies to large energy companies.)