Is There a Ban on Incandescent Light Bulbs?
Have They Banned Our Old Standby Lights?
Has a ban on incandescent lights really gone into effect in America? No, the light bulb police will NOT come and haul you away if you illuminate your home with 75 or 100 watters. It's not even illegal to buy or sell them.
But, as of now, it is ILLEGAL to manufacture or import 100 or 75 watt Edison bulbs. And soon, 40 and 60 watt bulbs will be added to that list.
So, the effect will eventually be that of a ban.
While some people have no strong feelings either way, there are also those who are whole-heartedly in favor of this new law, and others who are staunchly opposed. Some have already embraced new oness, and others are quietly putting more than a few extra of the older style ones away while they can.
Presented here are a few of the pros and cons on the new Compact Fluorescent Lamps that many are now using, as well as some places to find both the old and new kind on line . . . for now, anyway.
or Filament Lamps
Soon, the lights we all grew up with will become a thing of the past. All things have their day, I guess.
I can remember when I was a child, I had an elderly great aunt who used "Edison Bulbs." At least that's what she called her electric light bulbs - after Thomas Alva Edison, who invented them over a century ago. (She was quite the stickler for giving credit where credit was due!)
Standard incandescent lights have also been referred to as filament lamps, because of the thin tungsten metal filament inside them that, when heated, incandesces, or glows.
I have to wonder what the famous inventor would think of the twirly looking things that are replacing his handiwork, don't you?
Photo: my own
Energy Independence and Security Act
Is the Name of the Actual Law
As is normally the case with legislation, this law covers a lot of things. But here is the essence of the short term regulations placed on light bulbs by the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007:
Light bulbs from 40 watts through 100 watts must be 25% more efficient, by the following dates:
- October 1, 2012 for 100's **
- The beginning of 2013 for 75's
- The beginning of 2014 for 40 and 60 watt
Since most current incandescents do not meet this standard, and manufacturers are not doing the necessary and expensive retooling to do so, this effectively bans them as of the above dates.
**Originally Jan 1, 2012, but extended
There is more on tap beyond 2014, too!
Are You In Favor of This Law - (a poll)
Is it appropriate for the government to dictate which light bulbs you can use?
If You Prefer - 100 and 75 Watt Bulbs
As the deadline has passed , it's only logical that the price of 75 and 100 watt incandescent light bulbs will increase as the available supply decreases.
If you are among those who might wish to have a choice in the future, that choice will need to be in your pantry, as eventually, it will not be on the shelves of your local store.
How many of each of these wattages do you use in a year? If you want to continue using them, instead of one of the alternatives, you'll probably want to have enough on hand to last for as long as you plan to continue using them.
More Filament Lights - or Edison Bulbs
This old style 3 way is considerable less expensive than a comparable new style one.
These Spiral Lights - are Compact Fluorescents Lamps
These are the new 100 watt equivalents.
CFLs have come down a bit, and are now less than $3 each. Still, they are more expensive than the regular old fashioned incandescents. Prices on the old ones are going up, but you can sill get them for under $1 each if bought in bulk.
But, remember, the CFLs last longer, and are good for the environment, unless they break, in which case they are quite hazardous
The manufacturer's specs on this bulb says it has an 8000 hour life.
Energy Saving CFL Lights
- CFLs use less energy than old fashioned light bulbs.
- We are told they last much, much longer than filament light bulbs. (In my kitchen light, this did NOT prove to be the case, however.)
- They emit less heat than ordinary ones, which will be appreciated by people in warmer climates, where the cost of running air conditioners tends to be a major portion of their yearly utility cost.
- They are much greener than the old ones. (Unless they break, in which case, they are far more environmentally hazardous)
- There are a variety of different types available.
Objections to CFLs
Some of the objections to these new lights include
- They cost much more than incandescent ones. (But have come down in the last year) Special use bulbs are even more. Dimmable CFLs and 3-ways can run $15 - 30 each, or more.
- Used bulbs must be taken to specially designated recyclers. Broken CFLs are hazardous because of the mercury content, and there are special clean up procecures.
- In a minority of indivuduals, they are the suspected cause of headaches, rashes, and other health related problems.
- They are not recommended for use in ceiling fans, lamps that might be knocked over, or outdoor fixtures.
- You should spread down a drop cloth when chanaging them. In case of breakage, the cloth and fragments must be bundled up and taken to a specially designated disposal site.
- If you like to buy "Made in the USA" products, these are NOT.
- An alarmingly high percentage of workers in Chinese plants where they are manuractured have been hospitalized for mercury poisoning.
News You Should Read - Related Links from around the Web
Decide for yourself ...
Here is the text of the legislation, two guest editorials (one pro, and one con), a rather interesting story, and a VERY concerning one about what's happening to Chinese workers at plants tha manufacture CFLs.
- Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007
Text of the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007
- Pro: Should Congress ban old-fashioned light bulbs? | OregonLive.com
Matthew R. Auer: In fact, the 2007 law does not ban incandescent bulbs, but the manufacture of . .
- Con: Should Congress ban old-fashioned light bulbs? | OregonLive.com
Amy Ridenour: Defenders claim people are better off with alternatives to incandescents, but if the public agreed, Congress wouldn't need a law to get us to switch.
- Consumers in dark over risks of new light bulbs
The story (true? I dunno) about a mother who had to seal off her daughter's room until she can aford to pay a haz-mat team $2000 for clean-up, after breaking a CFL. The room tested for high levels of mercury in the air.
- Are Compact Fluorescent Lightbulbs Dangerous?: Scientific American
Compact fluorescents contain a minuscule amount of mercury, and you can't safely ignore potential contact with it
- Mercury poisoning of Chinese factory workers making CFLs a concern
Thousands of Chinese factory workers who manufacture 'environmentally friendly' CFLs for export to have been poisoned and hospitalized because of mercury exposure over the last decade.
You May Find What You Want - on eBay Today
These auctions are going on right now.
Which do You Prefer - Please Cast Your Vote for Your Choice
Which bulbs do you prefer?
Please refrain from 'link dropping' in the comment area. All comments with links will be deleted.