28 thoughts on “Saving The Incandescent Bulb

  1. Godzilla

    The ban on incandescent is really stupid. There are many applications where incandescents are more practical including places where the light needs to be turned on and off very frequently which will just kill a fluorescent. I use fluorescents in the workplace, but for something like bathroom mirror lights they make no sense. Since I can’t use incadescents anymore I bought some halogen lamps which are the next best thing. Hopefully they won’t be banning those any time soon.

  2. Paul Milenkovic

    Yeah, I have some motion detector lights that turn on automatically and only for short periods of time, and you are not supposed to be putting fluorescents in those fixtures.

  3. Daver

    CFs aren’t supposed to be used in outside lights, inside some enclosures, in high vibration areas (garage door openers), or when turned on too quickly after being turned off. The dimmable ones I bought failed after a couple of hours. One of the failure modes is the tubes cracking in use, which sure seems like it would release mercury vapor (I’ve had at least three break that way). They’re pricey and they don’t have anywhere near the life that was claimed for them. It’s not really surprising that they’re a product of the Carter administration.

    I haven’t tried LEDs yet–I have a few, but I’m waiting for the incandescents in those fixtures to burn out before I try them.

  4. Chris Gerrib

    There is no “ban” in incandescent bulbs. As I discussed here, you can buy all the incandescent bulbs you want. (See here for a few samples.)

    All the law did was fix an obvious problem, namely we’ve gotten used to buying bulbs based on energy consumed instead of light output. If you go to your local store and look at the lumens on incandescent bulbs, you’ll see 30%+ differences in light output between bulbs using the same amount of energy.

      1. Chris Gerrib

        It didn’t require a Federal law. However, since light bulbs are a part of “commerce among the several States” and Congress has a right to regulate such commerce, they felt the need to address the problem.

        You don’t like the law, try winning an election.

        1. Rand Simberg Post author

          I don’t have to win an election to call a law (and its supporters) stupid. Sorry, but it’s that pesky First Amendment (at least for now, though I know that you folks would like us to shut up).

          1. Chris Gerrib

            I never told you to shut up, nor did I personally insult you (a courtesy you seem unable to extend to me). I said you were factually wrong. I then suggested action you could take to fix the perceived problem.

        2. Rand Simberg Post author

          nor did I personally insult you

          You don’t think it’s an insult to my intelligence to tell me that if I want to change the law I have to win an election? Just how stupid do you think I am?

          1. Chris Gerrib

            No, it’s not an insult to say “win an election.” It’s a statement of fact. It’s also relevant in that this argument started during the 2010 election. Apparently it wasn’t particularly effective at moving this year’s electorate.

      1. Chris Gerrib

        Rand asked me to try and buy a 100-watt bulb. I showed him that they are in fact currently available.

        Since, per the link above, the regulation was supported by the light bulb manufacturers, perhaps they know something about light bulb technology that we don’t?

        1. Rand Simberg Post author

          Industry often likes regulation if it proves a barrier to entry for their competitors. Industry has no intrinsic interest in free markets. It has nothing to do with their level of knowledge about light-bulb technology, and to imagine that it does is, well, stupid.

          1. Daveon

            You honestly think there was a problem with people really wanting to get into the incandescent light bulb industry? Really?

            Or have rhetorically painted yourself into a corner and now, facts be damned, you will be right!

            But carry on. Apparently the entire country is taking the rest of the week off so I’m dodging getting my books inshape for my accountant and watching this is fun.

          2. Rand Simberg Post author

            You honestly think there was a problem with people really wanting to get into the incandescent light bulb industry?

            There wasn’t before, no. There obviously is now. It’s been made illegal, at least for hundred watters.

          1. Daveon

            I might be missing something but is there something magical about the desire for a 100W light bulb that outputs 17-18ish lumens versus a 25W CFL one that outputs pretty much the same?

            Or is this just a principle thing? You want your god given right to buy a 100+ year old technology regardless of how pointless it is in 2012?

          2. Daveon

            Actually, he said brightly, I quite light them.

            Or rather, I’d concur that a decade ago they did suck, but I’ll be honest, I’ve pretty much finished replacing them around the house and I’ll be buggered if I actually have noticed any difference in the modern ones… they even ‘look’ like my brain thinks light bulbs should look.

            That said, what my brain tells me a light bulb ought to look like is purely 45 years of conditioning and is no more relevant than my mother thinking there’s a difference between buying a Pound of Apples or half a Kilo. Or my grandmother being convinced she lost 140 pence in every pound when Britain went decimal in 1971.

      2. Daveon

        You reckon an incandescent light bulb you buy and use now will be working in 8 years time? As they say, ‘good luck.’

        I’m hoping that we’ll have affordable mass market LED home lighting by then myself.

        1. Thales

          So the goalposts have been moved from “there is no ban!” to “the ban is good!”

          Hillarious but typical.

  5. ken anthony

    So much for getting the point…

    Industry often likes regulation if it proves a barrier to entry for their competitors. Industry has no intrinsic interest in free markets.

    This is the central issue and no one has refuted it at all or even addressed it. The idea that the rule makers should make rules just because they can is the height of idiocy. The type of idiocy that is destroying this country. When the day comes that we are so weak that the final invasion comes… the idiots will still be here to tell us how it’s just the way it should be… So bend over.

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