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Dim bulbs

Dan Farber, professor of law | November 22, 2010

Incandescent bulbs may be a waste of energy and money — but as Politico reports, if you’re against them, you’re a socialist:

Hoping to counter attacks from his right, Rep. Fred Upton is promising to reexamine a controversial ban on incandescent light bulbs if he becomes chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee.

The Michigan Republican told POLITICO on Thursday that he’s not afraid to go back after an issue he once supported but that has come under withering assault on the conservative airwaves, including on Rush Limbaugh and Glenn Beck’s talk shows. . .

Upton’s bid to be the next Energy and Commerce Committee leader has been rocked by allegations that he’s too moderate for the post.

Beck called him “all socialist” for cosponsoring legislation phasing out incandescent light bulbs that made it into a 2007 energy law signed by President George W. Bush.

Where would we be without Glenn Beck? Who could disagree with his measured, thoughtful assessment: “I hate fluorescent light bulbs, hate them with everything in me. Hate them, hate them, hate them.”  It’s hard to imagine that some people actually take courses on energy and economics and environmental science, when it’s really all so simple.

Still, it’s good to know that there’s still someone who isn’t afraid to stand up for the use of obsolete technologies and the right of every citizen to overpay for electricity. And even more comforting to know that so many of those people have now joined the House of Representatives.

Next Glenn Beck target: socialist neo-Nazi George-Soros-inspired laws that keep horses and buggies off interstate highways.

Cross-posted from Legal Planet.

Comments to “Dim bulbs

  1. It’s important that we move past fluorescent and on to more efficient technologies such as LED. LED fixtures are used now for a variety of lighting purposes. Being a lighting designer, I cannot stand the color temperature and light patterns of CFLs. This ban on bulbs doesn’t go far enough in pushing better efficiency of lighting systems throughout the country. What’s kind of funny, is that LEDs are actually in most buildings today….in the exit signs. It’s like the one light I always use in my designs that is always going to be LED. What I just found out is that there are exit signs that don’t use any electricity, they just glow. Weird, but interesting.

  2. Another big problem is the size of the CFLs, most of them are quite a bit longer than the older incandescent light bulbs, particular if they’re dimmable. This means they often stick out from the lampshades and look rather hokey.

    It’s good to see the new halogen supersaver Osram Sylvania CFLs, I’m going to try some of them.

  3. In the end, I think it is less a matter of how toxic the bulbs are. It is more (to me anyway) a matter of the government once again requiring something not necessary to be required. It is a matter of gov’t wanting to control every facet of my life, and I am going to push back. I don’t need the gov’t dictating to me on all things. I know they don’t get it, but I can think for myself. And concerning the comment by Mr Spellman above, I have already stocked up on more regular light bulbs of 40, 60 and 100 watts than I will use for the rest of my life. Every time I went to the grocery store I would just throw a few in the cart. Did that for six months. 🙂

  4. CFL’s are a huge pain to dispose of and they are terrible for the environment if not disposed of correctly. 5 Ways to dispose of old CFL shows just how to get rid of them when they do stop working.

    Also, who really believes that everyone is going through the proper disposal methods when getting rid of them. I don’t. Sure, in a perfect world, everyone would properly dispose of CFL’s and paint cans, and aerosols, but we all know that we definitely don’t live in a perfect world.

    So, why endanger the environment for a bit of savings of energy? In my opinion, LED’s would be much safer, much longer lasting, and much more energy efficient. My guess is that the makers of CFL’s (and Incandescents) don’t want LEDs. Why? Because they would sell less light bulbs.

    Interestingly, GE’s CEO is in Obama’s cabinet. Why would he not push for energy savings without the mercury? Money?

  5. I have been using CFL’s (compact fluorescent lights) since they first came out but am about to change my ways. It takes energy to produce the CFL’s, energy to get them to the shelf and more to move them to my home where they quickly burn out. They cost more than the standard incandescent but don’t last half as long and many provide less than adequate lighting. I’m ready to try the LED’s which should drop in price as volume increases.

    • Hmmmm…my CFL’s last 5-10 times longer and if I purchase the right wattage, give at least the same lumens as incandescent (or feel as though they do.) I’m wondering if there’s a short in your lamp or fixture that is burning them out quicker? Also some new micro-minis are guaranteed to last longer.

  6. A dimmer switch can give a more relaxed feel to a room than the white glare of full-strength lighting. Turning down the lights also saves electricity. At the same time, compact fluorescent lights are very energy efficient. Can you get the best savings by using a dimmer switch with compact fluorescents? Or will the lights explode on you and destroy that mellow mood lighting?

  7. If florescent bulbs are better, the market place will reflect that. We don’t need laws to force us to use something that is great. I personally hate them too. The light from them is just awful. They are also dangerous to dispose of. The only reason for the law is that so many of us don’t want to switch. Leave the market place to decide, and maybe a better innovation will develope. That’s how America has always worked.

  8. Actually, I hate fluorescent lighting myself. It is a shame to box up kids in schoolrooms cut off from natural light in the name of energy efficiency. Likewise, workplaces with intense fluorescent lighting are unpleasant environments to cooped up with 8 hours a day.

  9. I use compact florescent bulbs because they actually reduce my utility bill by 30%, not because I’m forced. But in environments that need to be low RFI, where the bulbs can actually screw up the operation of sensors of machinery, incandescent lights might be preferable. What is the point of banning all incandescent lights? I guess our green overlords in Sacramento figure we are all too stupid to figure out the difference between cheaper to buy and cheaper to operate. What better case for going to a part time state legislature than stupid green laws?

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