Our tax dollars hard at work…on lightbulbs

Rep. Jane Harmon [D-CA], whom I always vote against, has introduced legislation to prohibit the sale of certain inefficient light bulbs, and require the development of a plan for increasing the use of more efficient light bulbs by consumers and businesses.

The bill, HR 1547 includes the following:

Not later than 6 months after the date of enactment of this Act, the Secretary of Energy shall transmit to the Congress a plan for encouraging and providing incentives for the use of more efficient light bulbs by consumers and businesses.

There’s already a bill pending in California, welcome to 21st century socialism, American style. What next, brigades of Cuban social workers sent to change our bulbs?

Are the fluorescent bulbs safe? Expect more legislation.

16 thoughts on “Our tax dollars hard at work…on lightbulbs”

  1. Not only do I not see anything wrong with this, I applaud it. Australia has already led the way with this.

    Incentives for compact fluorescents, which are much more efficient (saves *consumer* $$!) and environmentally-friendly are a good thing.

    This is like the trans-fat argument. Let’s remove a poisonous substance from circulation if he have a perfectly functional, viable, and in all cases *better* option available. Edison’s light-bulb may not be “poison,” but in relative terms, it is potentially more harmful – to the earth and our wallets.

  2. I don’t want the government legislating what I buy. The light bulbs are available for anyone who chooses to use them. We tried them a couple of years back and they don’t fit into some of our antique light fixtures. Then they require special recycling. I say let the market decide, not elected officials who should be working on more important matters. Light bulbs may seem trivial, but it’s one more notch down the socialist path.

  3. How many liberals to change a light bulb?


    One to screw it on; one to pull the ladder from the one who’s screwing it on; 98 others to riot and torch the place.

  4. ok machete, i bite:
    perfectly functional, viable, and in all cases *better* option available
    for abortion
    abstinence = free
    100% sure to prevent pregnancy..
    the pill = $
    the shot = $$
    condoms = $

    i agree with ziva, let the FREE MARKET decide..

  5. @#$&!! … let me fry whatever bulb I WANT on MY OWN dime. They’ve only been around for over 100 yeas!!!!!!!

    I work all day long under these deplorable fluorescent lights — chewing on my retina. Hate ’em. Like SUVs, if I wanna drive one, BUG OFF.

  6. oh, i agree. I don’t think they should be banned, per se. big propnent of free market and free individuals. we should all be able to buy and do pretty much whatever we want. i think i’ve said it here referring to internet gambling.

    anyway, while i don’t agree that the bulbs should be banned outright, i like the incentives to purchase the CFLBs as a means to remove the incandescents from circulation. .

    and gigi, 100 years using the same technology is not a good thing. imagine if you were still using a commodore 64 for your office computing. and that’s only 20 years.

    The CFLBs are a better option. They’re about the same price as the light bulbs we’re used to and give off the same amount of light, but end up being cheaper: you replace 2-4 regular light bulbs during the life-span of one CFLB AND it lowers your electrical bill by a not-insignificant amount. You’d be an ignorant consumer not to want to use one of these, but ultimately, yes, it SHOULD be the consumer’s decision. All I’m applauding is the government helping it along – by providing incentives, not banning – in the face of rampant harmful misinformation.

  7. Ziva / Machete.

    For starters let said that 100 years ago when the Edison bulb was invented there was not legislature to band on the use of candles and kerosene lantern. People switch to the Edison bulb because it was better back then. Now, as soon as there is a better technology for illumination people will switch voluntarily. How many of you are still using vinyl records and 5 ½ floppy disk? So I fully agree with Ziva in this issue. Now as to the trans-fat I think this is another matter. First it affect people health and restaurant in NY don’t put adds at the doors telling me what they use to prepare the food I am about to eat. At least cigarettes have a warning on the box. So Ziva, yes I think that in the case of the trans-fat NY was correct, after all I leave lest than 14 miles from it and have to eat in the city from time to time.

    Now let get into the fluorescent bulb that as a matter of fact I have a few of them VOLUNTARIALY around my house, not because the saving that is minimum but because they are convenient at some locations.

    1) Very few fluorescents lamp produce a light that cover the whole spectrum, so most of the time when using them for a very prorogated time it will irritate your eyes. s also changing the color of the object being illuminated. That is why most stores will use a combination of fluorescent and incandescent so people know the true color of the items they are buying.

    2) Fluorescent lamp don’t give a constant ray of light, it pulses at the frequency of the electric power (60 cycles) witch not only help to the irritation of the eye but also create the illusion that a machine (like a blender) that is rotating had stopped (stroboscopic effect). Because of this in factory floors the overhead fluorescent lamps are wire to two phases of the service so they overlap each other. Remember that residential services are single phase.

    3) They increase third harmonic and can make the system unstable by overcompensating power factor.

    4) Dimmers, motion sensors and other automatic devices commonly used to control illumination in household don’t work with fluorescent lamps.

    Now machete. About lasting longer that is not necessary true. As I mentioned before I have some of them around the house and usually they don’t last that long.

    Now let me put some number together to see those big saving.

    The average price for electricity in the country is about 12 cent per kilowatt/hours. This meant that when you keep a 100 watt light bulb on for one hour you have spent 1.2 cents. Let face it. Out of your electric bill not more than 5 to 10 percent is what you spend in illumination. The rest goes to the refrigerator, A/C, hair dryer and all other electro domestics that you have around the house.

  8. I remember when water conservation was the rage. They outlawed “wasteful” pressure valves that expended more than one galloon per flush and eliminated also showerheads that used more than 3 galloons per minute. Consequently, no residential toilet has ever flushed right and showerheads are no better than little water guns.

  9. Manuel,

    I agree with you. Now the toilet gets flushed 2 or 3 times to do the same job it did in just one flush.
    The end result is that you use more water. Stupid politicians!

  10. Vic – I can personally attest to their longevity. I switched almost all my lightbulbs in my house to CFLBs 3 years ago (approx 16 of 20 total bulbs). During that time I’ve replaced 3 of the 4 non-CFLBs at least once each and have never changed any of the CFLBs. Maybe my experience is not the norm, but there it is.

    Again: for incentives, not for banning.

  11. This reminds me of that period in Cuba where little kids went from door to door telling people to turn off their lights, because they needed to conserve the little energy that the government allowed them.

    This how starts…

    I personally believe in personal choice, no one needs to tell what to use in your house or in your personal life.

    And by the way I am an evil republican that likes to waste energy
    (My mode of transportation is a scooter 75mpg)

  12. While it seems a good idea because of the very real energy savings. Making the use of these bulbs a requirement is potentially unwise for two reasons:

    (1) These light sources have an excitation wavelength of about 254 nm, which is then converted to visible light sbout 500-700 nm by “phosphore” coatings. The far shorter (and thus far more energetic) light can be hurt eyes if the phosphors are defective, aged or peeling. Usually not much comes through glass at 254 nm, but some does come through at about 370 to perhaps 400 nm, and this can be harmful.

    (2) it is my understanding that when broken these phosphores are toxic.

    This is not a problem if you know what you are doing, however, aged and neglected fluorescent lights can cause problems and if required can open up a state or local government to litigation.

  13. Here’s the thing, I don’t want some politician whose salary my tax dollars support, even if I didn’t vote for them to tell me what to do. I want to choose how I spend my money, how I live and where I live, how I raise my children, what I put into my body, what doctor I trust my health with, etc. As a free person I have a right to make my own choices in pursuit of my happiness. That is guaranteed by our constitution. Aren’t the democrats always harping about the right to choose whether or not to carry a baby or abort it? Well then, why in hell can’t I choose my own light bulbs?

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