Energy Efficient Light Bulbs - New Laws to FORCE You to Buy Expensive Specialty Light Bulbs
Updated: Since I first wrote this Article LED has come down in Price... Get these instead of CFL and then you won't have to worry about Mercury!
Halogen, LED, or ? To Replace Incandescent Bulbs
The average person is probably not aware of new laws that will require the incandescent light bulb to be replaced. You are soon to be welcomed willing or not to the world of very expensive specialty light bulbs. That’s right the 60 cent light bulbs are going to be made illegal! This is not a joke, it’s a fact. It has already started in Europe.
Beginning August 31, 2009 stores in the European Union will no longer be allowed to purchase incandescent light bulbs. This law is now in effect. The new law is supposed to cut back on energy usage by 10% over the next decade. So people who know about this law have been stockpiling bulbs.
The United States is Banning Incandescent Blubs starting in 2012 – more on this later.
After 2012, consumers in Europe will have two choices: high-efficiency halogen lamps, which can yield energy savings of up to 50 percent compared to conventional incandescent; or compact fluorescent lamps, or Compact Fluorescent Lamps, which can provide up to 75 percent savings over conventional light bulbs.
European Commission officials acknowledged that C.F.L. bulbs contain mercury, but noted that typical coal-fired power plants release mercury into the environment too. Gee isn't that comforting. My friend Billy Smokes crack, so it's okay if I smoke crack too? That is some kind of forward thinking logic!
This law is idiotic and is nothing more than a trade
from one energy consuming policy to another which pollutes the environment. Just plain stupid!!! Mercury is a highly toxic substance. If you drop one of these bulbs and break it you do not want
to vacuum the glass shards as it will disperse mercury through all but the best
heap filtered vacuum systems. I can understand the "intent" of the law, but intentions in this case do not equate to the reality that the technology is simply not ready to replace the incandescent bulb!
It makes sense to save energy, but it does not make sense to mandate the use of a product that is clearly not the “right” solution to the problem.
I have purchased Compact Fluorescent bulbs and they are expensive, do not produce as much light as a conventional bulb at the same wattage, are slow to light up, and can be noisy. What is worse is they do not last nearly as long as the manufacturers claim. I had one bulb blow out in only a couple of months, no longer than a regular bulb would have lasted.
Incandescent Light Bulbs in the United States to be Phased Out in 2012
An energy bill passed by Congress in 2007 and signed by then President Bush sets energy-efficiency standards for light bulbs and traditional incandescent bulbs are not energy efficient enough to meet the new standards. The new rules are to begin phasing in the year 2012.
So what is the problem? Sounds like a good idea doesn’t it? The problem is the technology to meet these requirements is simply not ready. Will it be by 2012? Maybe, but at what cost. And we are not just talking money, we are talking impact on the environment, and other issues which the average person would never even think about like this gem:
The commission said it had found no evidence that C.F.L.s could trigger attacks of epilepsy in people already suffering from the condition.
The US Department of Energy is sponsoring what is essentially a technology contest called the “L Prize”. In a nutshell any company who can meet the requirements and produce the best solution for a replacement bulb is to be awarded $10 million dollars. At the time of this writing only 1 Bulb Manufacturer (Phillips) has submitted an entry.
There are rules of course to be awarded the $10
million. For example 75% of the bulb
must be made or assembled in the United States, and the light bulb
must last 25 times longer than an average bulb.
Which only makes sense since Philips is not USA
Again, I believe we all want to “save energy”, but what is the real cost? The Philips solution (An LED Light Bulb) currently costs in the neighborhood of $100 per bulb! So the economies don’t add up. Sure the cost will and should come down as manufacturing ramps up, assuming this is in fact the best solution. But how much does the bulb need to drop in order for the average consumer to not be gouged?
In my view this law may save some energy, but it is not going to save anyone money. All it will do is shift the profits from the energy companies to the light bulb manufacturers.
I’m all for doing the right thing, but you do not mandate policy until new technology is available to replace the existing technologies.
Energy Efficient Light Bulbs are simply not ready for prime time!