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US To Extinguish (Most) Incandescent Bulb Sales By 2012

timothy posted more than 6 years ago | from the arrogance-of-power-switch dept.

Power 1106

Engadget has noted a report in the New York Times that that the US has "passed a law barring stores from selling incandescent light bulbs after 2012. 'Course, the EU and Australia have already decided to ditch the inefficient devices in the not-too-distant future, but a new energy bill signed into law this week throws the US into the aforementioned group. Better grab a pack of the current bulbs while you still can — soon you'll be holding a sliver of history."

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wow (1)

pizzutz (1175903) | more than 6 years ago | (#21805256)

It's a shame the energy savings will be offset by the increase in energy prices.

Re:wow (5, Insightful)

BVis (267028) | more than 6 years ago | (#21805324)

There's more important things here than money. Less energy used is still less energy used.

Re:wow (0, Redundant)

JustOK (667959) | more than 6 years ago | (#21805364)

Yah, except I'm thinking we'll end up using more energy because, you know, we're saving on the light bulbs, aren't we?

Re:wow (5, Interesting)

BVis (267028) | more than 6 years ago | (#21805444)

This is typical of the 'magic bullet' theory of energy conservation. CFLs are just another small way that we can all use less energy. They are not a cure-all. You still need to get your boiler serviced, seal your windows in the winter, insulate your house, trade in your stupid-ass SUV for something more efficient, turn off lights you're not using, install a programmable thermostat, purchase energy-star rated appliances when it's time to replace them, carpool, set your computers to go to sleep when idle, etc etc etc.

There's no one-step easy solution. CFLs save energy, yes, but they're not perfect. They won't cure the world's ills.

I for one am glad to see legislation forcing energy conservation, because without it, there's a significant portion of the US population that will refuse to conserve energy because it requires effort on their part, and another (overlapping) portion that do the opposite of what people suggest that they do, because they're rebels and good 'merkins who'll do the opposite of what people say "because they can". People need to be protected from their own stupidity sometimes.

Re:wow (2, Insightful)

jcr (53032) | more than 6 years ago | (#21805552)

I for one am glad to see legislation forcing energy conservation,

You believe this is a legitimate prerogative of the federal government?

That's really tragic.

-jcr

mod parent up. (3, Insightful)

msauve (701917) | more than 6 years ago | (#21805628)

There is no need for such laws - people can "vote" with their wallets. Purchase alternative lighting if you feel the need, but don't assume you have any right to force others to do so. Ditto with the new mileage standards. Those concerned with fuel economy can, and do, purchase vehicles with 35+ MPG. Having an illegitimate national government (it's supposed to be a federal system!) interfere with free market choices never produces the desired results.

Re:mod parent up. (4, Insightful)

JustOK (667959) | more than 6 years ago | (#21805646)

Yah, people in a free market VOTED for the ARM mortgages. That sure has worked out well, didn't it?

Re:wow (2, Insightful)

Tony Hoyle (11698) | more than 6 years ago | (#21805638)

The purpose of government is to act for the good of society. Things like this are *precisely* what they should be doing.

Re:wow (4, Funny)

Professor_UNIX (867045) | more than 6 years ago | (#21805454)

There's more important things here than money.
Not in a capitalist society. See, capitalism really is the best system since supply and demand rules. We'll use a lot less gasoline when it costs $25/gallon because we simply won't be able to afford it anymore so we'll have to find alternatives or use public transit.

CF save energy, but lack functionality... (1, Insightful)

Karl Cocknozzle (514413) | more than 6 years ago | (#21805272)

I've been using some compact flourescents for about a year now, and they're nice in some applications but it seems sort of stupid to cast off the old-fashioned light-bulb just yet...

Specifically, I'm talking about lights that dim... CF bulbs do not dim. They are either all the way on or all the way off. Overcoming this would be a huge stride in getting them into every light-fixture everywhere...

Re:CF save energy, but lack functionality... (5, Informative)

lukas84 (912874) | more than 6 years ago | (#21805300)

There CF bulbs that can be dimmed...

e.G.

http://www.vosslighting.com/storefrontB2BWEB/browse.do?action=refresh_browse&ctg_id=547 [vosslighting.com]

Re:CF save energy, but lack functionality... (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21805328)

And they all suck. I've bought at least 6 different dimming CF bulbs, and they all suck at dimming. They can't dim very far at all, tend to flicker and go out, and if you dim them too quickly, most all of them go out.

I have at least 30 or 40 bulbs that I would replace in a heartbeat if they would support dimming in any reasonable fashion whatsoever. They don't, so I can't. ;(

Re:CF save energy, but lack functionality... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21805502)

I had the same experience as you while trying to use a CF on a dimmer. I'll add to your list of annoyances that it made a buzzing sound while on (unlike all of the other CF bulbs throughout my home) and it was extremely expensive to buy.

Re:CF save energy, but lack functionality... (1)

djupedal (584558) | more than 6 years ago | (#21805564)

"if they would support dimming in any reasonable fashion whatsoever."

Haven't tried the two-stage elements, I take it.

Bit of the ol' workman blaming his tools, what?

Dim bulbs (3, Informative)

JonTurner (178845) | more than 6 years ago | (#21805366)

CFs dim nicely. Just drop the temperature to 40 degrees F or less. The ones in my garage are barely visible below freezing. IOW, they are impractical for outdoor applications in most climates.

(Dim bulbs. Oh, the temptation to make a political joke is strong...)

Re:Dim bulbs (4, Informative)

tgd (2822) | more than 6 years ago | (#21805480)

You bought lousy bulbs then. The tubes in my garage will light instantly well below freezing, and I have three R30 CFLs outside my house which will light instantly at zero (F).

With CFL, unlike incandescent, you get what you pay for. If you are going to put a bulb outside, get ones meant for being outside. If you need ones that dim, buy the ones that dim.

The biggest problem I've had in switching my whole house to CFL is the lack of non-cold-cathode candelabra lights. They are all cold cathode and tend to be 4w or so, whereas a lot of light fixtures that need them expect 30w bulbs (so more like 8-9w in CFL terms)... so you just don't get enough light unless you are using full-size bulbs.

Re:Dim bulbs (1)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 6 years ago | (#21805490)

(Dim bulbs. Oh, the temptation to make a political joke is strong...)

Go ahead. Do it. You know you want to!

Seriously, this business of just mandating massive changes like this is becoming all too common. We're not in the Army: I'm tired of the Feds just saying "You will NOT use this product!" without much consideration of the consequences. And you're right: I have a couple of outdoor lamps that my association requires I keep on at night during the winter (there isn't much lighting on my street, and it's a reasonable policy from a safety standpoint.)

Are there any CF bulbs that work well in cold weather? I live near Chicago, so it does get pretty cold (it's about 18F out there right now.)

Dimmable CF bulbs exist (2, Informative)

sjbe (173966) | more than 6 years ago | (#21805406)

Specifically, I'm talking about lights that dim... CF bulbs do not dim.


Actually there are dimmable CF bulbs [wikipedia.org] . At present they don't work quite as well as incandescents for dimming applications but they do exist and work acceptably for many applications. They typically cannot dim all the way to no light, with most stopping at about 20%. Many are reported to buzz when dimmed as well though I've not experienced this myself yet. They also are quite expensive still. A 3W dimmable (equivalent to a 15W incandescent) from Home Depot costs $6.35 last I checked. I use some in my house and they work reasonably well if not quite as well as the non-dimming CF bulbs I use.

Re:CF save energy, but lack functionality... (1)

QuietLagoon (813062) | more than 6 years ago | (#21805420)

CF bulbs do not dim.

There are dimmable [1000bulbs.com] CF bulbs available.

Re:CF save energy, but lack functionality... (4, Funny)

pacc (163090) | more than 6 years ago | (#21805430)

Specifically, I'm talking about lights that dim... CF bulbs do not dim.
Wrong, they do dim. After a few months they don't give that much light any more but
the dimming is so slow so you don't notice (until you bump into walls).

multi-led dimmer light (1)

192939495969798999 (58312) | more than 6 years ago | (#21805434)

The easiest way to get to a non-incandescent dimmer light is to have an LED light that can dim out to using 1-N LED's for however many LED's it has. Sure, 1 LED may not be as fractional as what an "analog" light can do, but it's a heck of a lot dimmer than 10,20, etc. LED's.

Re:multi-led dimmer light (2, Informative)

ceoyoyo (59147) | more than 6 years ago | (#21805474)

LEDs can dim quite a bit. Theoretically they can dim down until they're emitting individual photons.

Re:multi-led dimmer light (2, Informative)

tgd (2822) | more than 6 years ago | (#21805522)

Have you found standard-fitting LED bulbs that can dim?

Its not easy to find (at least locally) dimmable CFLs but I can't remember ever finding a high-lumen (700+) LED bulb that can dim at all.

Re:CF save energy, but lack functionality... (1)

Zerbey (15536) | more than 6 years ago | (#21805472)

Several companies make dimmable CFLs but none of them work particularly well. I use one in my living room that cuts out when the A/C kicks in if it's set to low. I get about a 30%-100% range on it.

Re:CF save energy, but lack functionality... (2, Insightful)

Yusaku Godai (546058) | more than 6 years ago | (#21805478)

If you want dim light just use candles. That's what I do :P

In all seriousness though, you're right that completely banning sale of incandescent bulbs is a bit extreme. Almost all my lights are CFLs or LEDs, but they can't replace everything. Not yet anyways.

Re:CF save energy, but lack functionality... (1)

frdmfghtr (603968) | more than 6 years ago | (#21805536)

In all seriousness though, you're right that completely banning sale of incandescent bulbs is a bit extreme. Almost all my lights are CFLs or LEDs, but they can't replace everything. Not yet anyways.
This bill doesn't ban all incandescent bulbs. FTA:

Congress has not specifically outlawed incandescent bulbs, only inefficient ones.

In February, G.E. said that it was developing a high-efficiency incandescent that will radiate more than twice the light of conventional incandescents. It expects to make that one commercially available by 2010, and one that is twice as efficient a few years later.
I won't hold my breath on GE's prediction. I'm looking forward to LED solutions.

Re:CF save energy, but lack functionality... (1)

jonbryce (703250) | more than 6 years ago | (#21805644)

We already have halogen bulbs which are twice as bright as the equivalent wattage standard incandescent bulbs. Is that what they are talking about?

Re:CF save energy, but lack functionality... (1)

milsoRgen (1016505) | more than 6 years ago | (#21805520)

I realize that a million +1 people have told you that there are CF bulbs that do dim. But I gotta get this out there... I switched my whole house over, even the dimmers... with reg. CF's, turns out that ruins both the switch and bulb... but I've been to Wal-Mart, Lowes, Home Depot, Target, etc etc etc and I have never seen a CF any where other than the internet.... If anyone knows a common retail chain that has them, please let me know!

Re:CF save energy, but lack functionality... (1)

jonbryce (703250) | more than 6 years ago | (#21805624)

I guess you would get LED bulbs for that. The technology is probably just about there now. I've seen some LED christmas lights this year that had a more suitable colour temperature than the ones you usually get.

Dimmable CFLs (1)

tgd (2822) | more than 6 years ago | (#21805278)

Hopefully this will mean stores will start carrying the dimmable CFL bulbs in greater quantities and lower prices. Damn near every light in my house is on dimmers and while 80% of them I have running CFL bulbs, there's not a good reason these are 5-6x more expensive than standard CFL.

Economies of Scale (1)

sjbe (173966) | more than 6 years ago | (#21805510)

there's not a good reason these are 5-6x more expensive than standard CFL.


Sure there is. Economies of scale [wikipedia.org] . Dimmable CF bulbs haven't been in production long enough to amortize [wikipedia.org] the fixed costs [wikipedia.org] of production to a reasonable level. Give it time and the price will come down just like the non-dimming CF bulbs did.

Also there is the fact that dimmable CF bulbs have a few technology hurdles still to overcome compared with their non-dimming brethren. I figure those will be solved within the next year or so but that's just a guess.

Re:Economies of Scale (1)

tgd (2822) | more than 6 years ago | (#21805622)

You are making a few bad assumptions -- 1) that dimmable CFL bumbs are new (they're not) or 2) that they have higher material cost (they don't) or that there is a difference in production cost (there isn't)

The only difference between a dimmable bulb and a non-dimmable is the ballast electronics. While there may be a small difference in cost when you compare a quality dimmable to a cheap made-in-china CFL that'll last a year if you're lucky, the difference disappears when you compare apples-to-apples.

Its a sign of the vendor inflation of the costs of a dimmable bulb when you can find the identical bulb for $8 online, $12 at some stores and $30 at others. (Which are prices I've found the R30 bulbs I have in all my can lights...)

Re:Dimmable CFLs (1)

stratjakt (596332) | more than 6 years ago | (#21805548)

Dimmable CFL's are a myth. They simply just don't work right.

They flicker, they hum, and they dim to about 50%, then shut off. And won't turn back on until you turn the dimmer back up to whatever their "ignition" threshhold is.

CCFLs are absolute garbage for anything but basic utility light.

If you want dimmable lights, in cans, etc, look towards 12V halogens. The initial cost for the transformers, etc, hurts, but they work, are truly long lasting, and efficient.

As LED bulbs come down in price and gain pace in function, they'll be drop-in replacements. These guys are the future, if I were to bet, although there is some good research going on into more efficient incandescents.

CCFLs are a fucking joke which is going to pollute our groundwater to the point that there will be no such thing as a ground well near civilization with potable water. If you think that "theres just a little mercury!", go figure out just how much mercury you need to injest for it to be a significant health risk, or how little has to trickle into the water table to poison an entire community.

Blah.. Combine that with new CAFE standards, which can only be achieved using todays technology, by creating lighter (and less safe) cars, which extrapolate to congress mandating 4000 additional highway deaths per year, and for what? To fight ManBearPig.

But if we all jerk our knees hard enough, maybe all these insignificant changes will have a real effect. (They wont, insignificant means what it means)

Misleading summary (shocking, I know) (5, Informative)

pyric (123877) | more than 6 years ago | (#21805280)

From TFA:

Congress has not specifically outlawed incandescent bulbs, only inefficient ones.

Government Efficiency (4, Interesting)

TheMeuge (645043) | more than 6 years ago | (#21805408)

That's true, although it'll be hard to get incadescents to meet those energy standards.

However, I am again disturbed by the ability of our politicians to play the "ban it" game in order to appear capable of taking action. They are getting exquisitely efficient at banning various things we use in everyday life. Really, if politicians ban something every time they need to raise $100'000, in a couple of decades they probably will have banned procreation.

Seriously though, if they really cared about the efficiency of the bulbs, and wanted to spend more than a passing gaze at dealing with the problem, I think they would've refrained from such massive ridiculousness. Granted, incadescents are not efficient, but CFLs don't yet have as complete and warm a spectrum (I use them everywhere though), and many decorative light fixtures simply require incadescents.

Wouldn't it have made more sense, to pressure the market economically, rather than legally, and simply levy enough of a tax on the incadescent bulbs, to make them more expensive than the fluorescents, while at the same time using the money to subsidize the LED and CFL technologies?

Re:Government Efficiency (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21805554)

pressure the market economically, rather than legally, and simply levy enough of a tax on the incadescent bulbs, to make them more expensive than the fluorescents

Incandescent bulbs ARE much more expensive than fluorescents. If manufacturers had to clearly inform consumers about the cost of buying and then using a certain type and brand of light bulb over a normalized time of 10000 hours, more consumers would realize that the operating costs exceed the price of the bulb by far. Unless you're in very cold climate, the heat from incandescent bulbs is useless, or even increases the cost of air conditioning. On the other hand, if you're using AC, the environmental and economical cost of incandescent lighting is almost negligible...

Re:Government Efficiency (5, Insightful)

BVis (267028) | more than 6 years ago | (#21805610)

You're assuming that Joe Sixpack can understand the concept of "savings over time". All he sees is that he can buy a 4-pack of incandescents for the same price as one CFL. As far as he's concerned that makes the CFL more expensive RIGHT THEN, and that's all he cares about.

Of COURSE CFLs are more efficient over time (both in terms of energy consumption and replacement cost). This isn't controversial at all, it's a plain fact. (Granted, the cost of disposal eats into those savings, but you're still ahead of the game in the long run.) It's also irrelevant to most people when they make a purchase. Without the force of a ban, those people will still continue to buy the cheaper incandescents.

Re:Government Efficiency (4, Interesting)

BVis (267028) | more than 6 years ago | (#21805560)

You've got a couple good ideas, but there's some issues there:

If the bulbs were not made unavailable (banned) then there are those that would continue to use them because of either some perceived benefit of incandescents over CFLs, an irrational aversion to change, or for no other reason than to be contrary.

The additional market for CFLs that this will generate will create consumer demand for CFLs with as identical a color spectrum as physically possible to an incandescent bulb. I've got several of these bulbs in my house and the light is plenty warm enough for me.

Passing a ban on inefficient technology is orders of magnitude easier than passing a 'new tax'. Try that and you'll get the GOP all up your ass about increasing the tax burden on the working class. Besides, CFLs have enough critical mass for the industry to innovate without requiring government subsidy, and the market for LED lighting is potentially so ginormous that industry will take the chance on the investment required.

What? (4, Interesting)

tripwirecc (1045528) | more than 6 years ago | (#21805290)

Until there's full spectrum fluorescent lights, you're not going to pry incandescent bulbs out of my hands!

Re:What? (5, Funny)

phozz bare (720522) | more than 6 years ago | (#21805316)

That's fine, we'll just wait for your hands to melt.

Re:What? (1)

zifferent (656342) | more than 6 years ago | (#21805352)

If it were up to all of you Luddites, we would still be using gas lights in our home. Move into the 21st century!

Re:What? (2, Insightful)

penix1 (722987) | more than 6 years ago | (#21805396)

Sure they will. They will do it the same way they do other products. Ever try to buy a blank reel-to-reel tape? How about a betamax blank tape? Heck, it's even getting hard to find blank cassette tapes these days. In short, they will make supply so low that demand will push them out of the market with way higher prices.

Personally, I hate the CF lights. They ALWAYS give me big pounding headaches. Thank god I have my own office at work where I can turn off the fluorescent lights and turn on my circa 1940 lamp.

Re:What? (4, Interesting)

KillerBob (217953) | more than 6 years ago | (#21805456)

Until there's full spectrum fluorescent lights, you're not going to pry incandescent bulbs out of my hands!


There... are. I have a 32W full spectrum CF light in a lamp by my computer that I affectionately call my "artificial sun". With an effective brightness equivalent to a 120W incandescent, it's quite good at keeping me awake long hours.

the poor reptiles (2, Interesting)

Coraon (1080675) | more than 6 years ago | (#21805292)

All reptile heat lights are incandesiant, there the only bulbs that produce the right kinds of heat and light for alot of exotic pets (like my bearded dragon) I hope your law makers made an exception. "wont someone please think of the lizards!"

Not just reptiles (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21805340)

I've seen a lot of outdoor electronic installations that were protected from condensation and freezing by a 100W bulb.

Mayan Calendar Ends In 2012 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21805298)

So we won't need light bulbs, but SPF 80 Million sunscreen.

NO thanks. (1)

ewoods (108845) | more than 6 years ago | (#21805310)

My last experiment with non-incandescent lighting didn't go so well. I bought a set of compact fluorescent lights. I put them in and a half hour later they started smoking and then quit working. I'd rather waste a little energy than increase the risk of burning my house down with crappy technology. I hope they come up with something better before then.

Re:NO thanks. (1)

BVis (267028) | more than 6 years ago | (#21805362)

Maybe you shouldn't have bought the cheapest ones you could find. Either you got a bad batch, or the wiring in your house is seriously messed up.

Re:NO thanks. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21805504)

I KNOW that the wiring in my house is f'd up.

I own a 100 yr old house, and while some of the circuits are up to date, some are not. It is impractical to tear open 100 year old lath and plaster walls to replace every iffy circuit in the house.

I use some cfl bulbs, but there is at least 1 circuit where they don't work. I have 2 (relatively) new ceiling fans in my living room and office. These are remote fixtures with built-in dimmers. The one in the office works just fine with the cfl's. In the living room though it is quite a different story. After warming up, the bulbs in that fixture would start strobing, and not in sync, but almost randomly. After futzing with it for 30 minutes and a massive headache, I gave up.

Anonymous because I'm lazy

Re:NO thanks. (1)

snilloc (470200) | more than 6 years ago | (#21805512)

This is a more common phenomenon than you might imagine. If you don't think GE and Philips are manufacturing some of these things in shady Chinese factories you'd be mistaken.

And as mentioned in other posts, they don't work well in cold places (outdoors, attics, garages), and dimmer-capable CFLs are much more expensive and may not work as well.

The point is that as soon as CFLs are ACTUALLY cheaper there will be widespread voluntary adoption. No government intervention is necessary.

Re:NO thanks. (3, Insightful)

Alaria Phrozen (975601) | more than 6 years ago | (#21805370)

Just because you get a bad ASUS/ABIT/nVidia/etc. motherboard doesn't mean that all motherboards of that brand are defective. It just means you got a bad motherboard. Sometimes things arrive DOA. Oh, hey, that might apply to light bulbs too!

Re:NO thanks. (1)

dbyte (1207524) | more than 6 years ago | (#21805392)

I have had CF bulbs explode in my hand. They are also toxic to the environment if not properly disposed/recycled. CF in cold weather do not work well at all. I can not see them being able to totally ban incandescent without a suitable cold weather replacement for the Northern States.

Re:NO thanks. (1)

modmans2ndcoming (929661) | more than 6 years ago | (#21805620)

There is no more mercury in a CFL bulb than in the Ahi Tuna served in a seafood resuraunt.

Re:NO thanks. (1)

KillerBob (217953) | more than 6 years ago | (#21805414)

My last experiment with non-incandescent lighting didn't go so well. I bought a set of compact fluorescent lights. I put them in and a half hour later they started smoking and then quit working. I'd rather waste a little energy than increase the risk of burning my house down with crappy technology. I hope they come up with something better before then.


And yet I've been using them exclusively for almost 6 years now, without ever seeing the problems you're complaining about. Perhaps your problem was a defective batch, or there's an underlying problem with the wiring in your house? Maybe you have an overvoltage on your line, which wouldn't kill an incandescent bulb but would make it run hotter and shorten its life.

Re:NO thanks. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21805584)

Of course, Incandescent light bulbs are made to the highest standards and never shatter or break oh wait..

Re:NO thanks. (1)

raddan (519638) | more than 6 years ago | (#21805448)

I suspect that your experience is not typical. I've been using compact fluorescents in all fixtures since 2001. Furthermore, every single bulb I purchased in 2001 is still in operation, except for one, which I dropped when we moved to a new apartment.

Here's an interesting article about the safety features of the CFL bulb [thegreenguide.com] . My brother, who is a graduate student in fire protection engineering assures me that Underwriters Laboratories, though fully private-sector, is the real deal, so their comments in this article have a lot of credibility, particularly with regard to fire safety.

Re:NO thanks. (1)

modmans2ndcoming (929661) | more than 6 years ago | (#21805514)

try buying brand names.

My house is 100% CFL. No problems yet and it is nice that I have only changed 3 bulbs since I went all CFL 5 years ago.

Impressive.... (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21805314)

Consider the amount of materials going into a compact fluorescent light like copper. They weigh approximately half a pound. Now think of the current incandescent package. Now think of how long a compact fluorescent lasts in reality, which in my tests--yes, I have dated the bulbs that I have installed--have lasted more like eighteen to twenty-four months.

LED's aren't produced large-scale, and nothing other than incandescent can provide the transient light response or color. Try creating a fake transient when you turn on the light by pulsing it. You can tell when a light is pulsed, even to hundreds of pps, and it hurts most people's eyes. Think of modern-day tail lights. This just isn't going to be a nice solution!

Re:Impressive.... (2, Informative)

phsdv (596873) | more than 6 years ago | (#21805614)

LED's aren't produced large-scale

I beg to differ. Lumileds, Cree and others are making high-power leds on a large scale

You can tell when a light is pulsed, even to hundreds of pps

The advantage is that LEDs can be turned on in a few nanoseconds, which means that you could us PWM (pulsing) to dim leds at very high frequencies, 100KHz and higher is possible. However I am sure that at 500Hz you will not even notice it.

Poor article (1)

Antony-Kyre (807195) | more than 6 years ago | (#21805322)

Days ago I was reading about this. Is this only 100 watt incandescent bulbs?

If you use the rigth bulb, they're not bad... (3, Interesting)

effigiate (1057610) | more than 6 years ago | (#21805332)

I've been using 240V / 250W bulbs in my house for a while now. The filament life is related to the how hot it gets and for how long it is on. 250W bulbs have a MUCH larger filament than 60W bulbs because they're supposed to get brighter. If you run a 240V bulb at 120V, you get out about 1/4 of the wattage, making that 250W bulb look like 50W and also lasting at least four times as long.

Re:If you use the right bulb, they're not bad... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21805400)

I live in a 240V country, you insensitive clod!

Stupid idea (4, Informative)

Nicolas MONNET (4727) | more than 6 years ago | (#21805418)

They will last longer alright, but they will emit more of their energy in the infrared region, and hence be much less efficient for the purpose of lighting. That's called black body radiation. [wikipedia.org]

Re:If you use the rigth bulb, they're not bad... (5, Funny)

Waffle Iron (339739) | more than 6 years ago | (#21805468)

Using the same principal, I light my kitchen with only the dull red glow of the electric range elements. It's kind of hard to see and I'm sucking down 10 kilowatts, but they sure do last a long time.

Compact fluorescent bulbs contain Mercury (5, Informative)

$exyNerdie (683214) | more than 6 years ago | (#21805338)

Energy saving is fine but the compact fluorescent bulbs contain Mercury and there aren't enough recycling places to make it convenient for Jane Doe to not dump them in trash bags. This means that all this Mercury will end up in landfills and leak and become part of the food chain.

Re:Compact fluorescent bulbs contain Mercury (1)

Jeff DeMaagd (2015) | more than 6 years ago | (#21805500)

As it is, even with the bulbs going into landfills, I think it's a net less mercury in the environment because coal plants emit quite a bit of mercury

Re:Compact fluorescent bulbs contain Mercury (1, Funny)

aurispector (530273) | more than 6 years ago | (#21805508)

Hooray! Someone used common sense!

I've been using CF's for a while and am not convinced they even make a dent in energy usage - most goes to heating, cooling, cooking and cleaning. My gut feeling is that they take more energy to produce and I've had a few blow out on me even though they advertise a much longer lifespan. Then there is the mercury. And occasionally a low, annoying 60hz hum.

It looks like we have to wait for LED tech to mature a bit, but the quality of the light itself from CFs and LEDs leaves something to be desired. Incandescents have a nice, warm orangey glow. The cold blue from the newer bulbs is just terrible.

Re:Compact fluorescent bulbs contain Mercury (1)

Abcd1234 (188840) | more than 6 years ago | (#21805640)

My gut feeling is that they take more energy to produce

Oh, well, if your gut says it's true, it must be! Have you been spending a lot of time with Stephen Colbert, recently?

I've had a few blow out on me even though they advertise a much longer lifespan

Get your electrical checked. That's almost certainly a sign of faulty or poor quality wiring.

And occasionally a low, annoying 60hz hum.

That would be the ballast vibrating. Just get a higher-quality bulb.

Re:Compact fluorescent bulbs contain Mercury (1)

EggyToast (858951) | more than 6 years ago | (#21805556)

Mmm, mercury, sweetest of the transition metals. IKEA recycles the bulbs, and I imagine it won't take long before most any major seller of these bulbs accepts them back for recycling (Lowe's, Home Depot).

Re:Compact fluorescent bulbs contain Mercury (1)

Velcroman98 (542642) | more than 6 years ago | (#21805574)

So we pay additional for CFLs which contain mercury a developmental and neuro-toxin (risking young children and women during child-rearing years). All because a trace element (CO2 is .038% of the atmosphere).

Well crap (4, Funny)

Jupiter Jones (584946) | more than 6 years ago | (#21805346)

Guess I'll have to finally upgrade my EZ-Bake oven.

Re:Well crap (1)

TeleoMan (529859) | more than 6 years ago | (#21805616)

Do they make a do-it-yourself microwave in kit form for the kids these days?

Lead in CFL Bulbs (3, Insightful)

Velcroman98 (542642) | more than 6 years ago | (#21805348)

Anybody study the effect of mercury contained in those CFL bulbs? I know many people that use CFLs, half seem to know about the lead, less than half of those properly pay to dispose of them properly.

Re:Lead in CFL Bulbs (2, Interesting)

afedaken (263115) | more than 6 years ago | (#21805422)

The last time Slashdot featured this topic, IIRC it was started that the amount of mercury contained in a CFL was far less than the equivalent mercury released to the atmosphere by coal-powered energy produced to light an incandescent of equivalent brightness.

Re:Lead in CFL Bulbs (1)

FienX (463880) | more than 6 years ago | (#21805484)

Google around and you will find that while CFLs do contain a small amount of Mercury in them it is far, far less than would be released into the public (water, air) by current power plants if they were running an incandescent bulb(s) for the equivalent life span. Try a few sites like snopes [snopes.com] and wikipedia [wikipedia.org] have good starting info.

Re:Lead in CFL Bulbs (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21805518)

Speaking of lead, what about that big blob of solder at the base of every incandescent bulb?

Re:Lead in CFL Bulbs (1)

JimDaGeek (983925) | more than 6 years ago | (#21805578)

It is not the lead, but the mercury that is more dangerous. A typical CF bulb may have 2-5 mg of mercury and if it breaks you don't want to touch it or vacuum it up. The EPA has a guide on how to clean it up and dispose of it.

A little too dangerous for my house with 3 little ones right now. Maybe in 5 years there will be safer alternatives?

Re:Lead in CFL Bulbs (1)

Trikenstein (571493) | more than 6 years ago | (#21805636)

I read an article somewhere (I think it was a fark link) where someone broke a CFL, called some agency to see how it should be disposed.
A hazmat cleanup team was dispatched, costing the home owner many thousands of dollars.

Obviously this was an overaction, but I bet we'll hear of many more such incidents.

Not entirely accurate (again) (2, Interesting)

MikeB0Lton (962403) | more than 6 years ago | (#21805354)

"Congress has not specifically outlawed incandescent bulbs, only inefficient ones."

Thankfully I'll still be able to get newer more efficient incandescent bulbs, and LED is slowly becoming reasonable. Fluorescent bulbs shining on an active table saw can give the impression that the blade has stopped, which is really not good for my fingers. Incandescent doesn't do that to me.

Thats great... (2, Insightful)

Brian Lewis (1011579) | more than 6 years ago | (#21805356)

But what does it mean for old cartoons?

Will their ideas be extinguished as well?!

Wake up, Timmy (1)

djupedal (584558) | more than 6 years ago | (#21805368)

"Better grab a pack of the current bulbs while you still can..."

Don't light 'em if you get 'em.

By 2012, they will be able to detect those 'current bulbs' if you put just one online. Flipping the switch will get you a nasty note from your insurance/power/water/communications/medical provider.

Re:Wake up, Timmy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21805558)

Also stock up on aluminum while you still can, by 2012 they will be illegal due to their potential in fashioning headgear.

Done right: Efficiency, not specific technology (4, Insightful)

crow (16139) | more than 6 years ago | (#21805372)

This is a case of legislation done right. Instead of banning specific technologies that are inefficient, or mandating specific technologies that are better, the law simply set efficiency standards. While this currently appears to force a shift from incandescents to fluorescents, it leaves the door open for any other technology that comes along, from high-efficiency incandescents to LEDs.

Re:Done right: Efficiency, not specific technology (1)

AusIV (950840) | more than 6 years ago | (#21805542)

But does it accommodate for applications that make use of the inefficiencies of bulbs? My girlfriend's brother has a couple of lizards and keeps a lamp with an incandescent bulb next to them to keep their body temperatures up. My sister is getting an easy bake oven for Christmas: Try baking a cake with an energy efficient bulb.


My other concern is that in some other applications, CFs just aren't up to par yet. A few years ago, my dad replaced all the bulbs in his house with CFs. This was fine everywhere except the bathroom, because the bulbs would take 45 seconds to reach full brightness. Generally, that's acceptable, but when you have to pee and can't hit the toilet because the light is too dim, you need a bulb that turns on faster. The bathrooms in my dad's house are the only rooms with incandescent bulbs.

My mom's house has dimmable bulbs in the kitchen. I know there are dimable CFs available, but right now they're hard to find and the price is a bit excessive. Hopefully the lack of availability of incandescents will fix that problem though.

Re:Done right: Efficiency, not specific technology (1)

cdrudge (68377) | more than 6 years ago | (#21805650)

What type of CF lights did your dad use? I have a variety of CF lights around my house and they are all pretty much instant on to full brightness.

Nanny State (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21805378)

I haven't RTFA, but this is getting ridiculous. I am pretty sure that as adults we are fairly capable of making our own decisions. If the people of this country (er...world) don't wake up soon we are going to find our selves in a situation worse than in 1984.

Check out http://www.republicmagazine.com./ [www.republicmagazine.com] Some of the material on the site may be construed as propaganda, but the majority is legitimate and frightening.

Go Ron Paul!

Re:Nanny State (2, Insightful)

Brian Lewis (1011579) | more than 6 years ago | (#21805460)

Why does everyone thing Ron Paul can actually do half the stuff he's promised to do, if elected.

Every 4 years, we hear "lower taxes" and all kinds of other garbage... He's no different from the rest. If nobody else has been able to said things in the past, what makes him more able to "abolish federal income tax".

I really want to know, because as a voter, it matters to me. Has he outlined a specific plan and legislation he will propose if he is elected? If he did that, and it didn't seem too insane, I might vote for him, though I hardly think that legislation like that will ever make it into the books.

Re:Nanny State (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21805470)

Wow. You're dumb.

It's not being a nanny state when you're preventing people from killing each other. HTH.

Re:Nanny State (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21805506)

If the people of this country (er...world) don't wake up soon we are going to find our selves in a situation worse than in 1984.
Was it the Los Angeles Olympic Games that got you down? Or the Reagan administration? Or was it the deregulation of Australian banks that made 1984 a particularly bad year for you? Pray tell.

Digital TVs.. lightbulbs.. (1)

brxndxn (461473) | more than 6 years ago | (#21805436)

It's like these laws are passed just to keep us consuming at a ridiculous rate..

Outlawing certain light bulbs should NEVER happen in a 'free' country. What about all the people with old ovens, refrigerators, microwaves, etc that require incandescent bulbs?

Re:Digital TVs.. lightbulbs.. (1)

FireNWater (1182607) | more than 6 years ago | (#21805496)

Well, I guess you'll have to throw those out too. . . . and buy new ones!!! It's a beautiful circle, isn't it?

Re:Digital TVs.. lightbulbs.. (1)

jargon82 (996613) | more than 6 years ago | (#21805626)

Dunno. The light bulb in my fridge has been out for going on two years, anyway ;)

Too soon (2, Insightful)

BlueParrot (965239) | more than 6 years ago | (#21805440)

The law itself is sound but they should have made it 2020 with an intermediate period of indirect taxation on incadescent ones starting 2015. I fear this one is too strict and may very well backfire if a latter administration decides to overrule it.

Mercury poisoning (0)

Theovon (109752) | more than 6 years ago | (#21805442)

Break a bulb and get a mercury in your house in very unhealthy concentrations. We're already giving our kids ADHD with the crap in our foods. How about we give them some more environmental poison! Yeah, that's great.

Seriously, people. I understand why mercury is used in these bulbs, but something has to be done to make them safer. Make them much harder to break, or find a substitute for the mercury.

Oh, and I haven't found a fluorescent bulb that doesn't give me a headache. The light output is never equal to the "equivalent" bulb, and there's something wrong with the color. I'm not sure, but nothing beats a halogen, at least for my eyes.

So, make the bulbs not suck and not poisonous, and I'm all in!

Hope you don't . . . (2, Interesting)

cheebie (459397) | more than 6 years ago | (#21805494)

...need to use light bulbs outside, since fluorescents don't
tolerate cold well. ...need a light that turns on and off frequently (like traffic
lights), cause that uses a lot MORE energy in a fluorescent. ...want dimmer switches, since fluorescents don't work with them.

This is just silly. Sure, use the more efficient fluorescents
where they make sense, but don't ban all incandescents just because
the commercials on HGTV keep telling you it will save the universe.

Re:Hope you don't . . . (1)

gatkinso (15975) | more than 6 years ago | (#21805544)

I have had one of those bulbs outside for over a year now no problem.

Of course I live in MD where it doesn;t get all that cold.

The public needs to be better educated (1)

Yusaku Godai (546058) | more than 6 years ago | (#21805526)

But not about the fact that they should switch to CFLs where possible. And they should, and I think people are starting to get that, for the fact that it'll save them money on their electric bill if nothing else. My family has been using them for the last decade at least (they used be to far less...compact....and didn't fit everywhere).

But they're also chock full of nasty chemicals, not the least of which is mercury, and ought to be recycled properly. But the public is not largely aware of this, and proper recycling facilities for them are not nearly as wide spread as in places like Japan (where boxes are set out for them at various stores). So when people just start tossing these things in the trash, we're going to have a huge mess on our hands.

CFL Lifespan (1)

superid (46543) | more than 6 years ago | (#21805528)

YMMV of course but I have been using these in many forms for a long time (years). There have been local giveaway programs sponsored by either the state or the power company, I forget which. My gut feeling is that these bulbs have not lived up to their expected or marketed life expectancy in my house. They're supposed to last many times the length of an incandescent. I just threw another one away two days ago.

I'm caveating the hell out of this, it may be just my house, where I'm using them, etc.....but I don't think they last as long as we've been told.

I ask again about RFI! (1)

amper (33785) | more than 6 years ago | (#21805576)

Someone please tell me just who it is that's going to make sure that all these compact fluorescent bulbs are redesigned so as to eliminate the massive amounts of RFI pollution that most current designs emit?

The same Congress that keeps passing asinine laws like this one, while completely ignoring the low-hanging fruit of the energy efficiency tree? Perhaps the FCC, who more and more is beginning to sound like the marketing arms of multinational corporations? The manufacturers themselves, who don't give a damn about anything but short-term profits, even at the expense of the environment, our health, and their own corporate longevity?

I have no hope for the Great Experiment.

Bah humbug (1)

Indigo (2453) | more than 6 years ago | (#21805618)

I bought CF lamps when they started becoming available around here. Imagine my surprise when I found that a "100 watt equivalent" CF lamp didn't produce enough light to read by. Literally, a magazine held 2 feet from my face could not be read. The CF produced maybe the same illumination as a 40 watt incandescent light bulb. I'll give it another try sometime, but for now, my house has incandescent bulbs, and I can see fine.
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