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The Light Bulb 2.0

The 100 watt incandescent light bulb, standard since Thomas Edison Days, is on its way out by law, January 1. We’ll look at the light to come.

LED light bulbs made by the Lighting Science Group (AP)

LED light bulbs made by the Lighting Science Group (AP)

For 400,000 years, human night has been lit by flame. Even Thomas Edison’s incandescent light is, essentially, the light of a burning filament that casts the glow of flame.

But incandescent bulbs are infamously inefficient. On January 1st, by law, the 100 watt incandescent bulb is going away. No more manufacture or import. Then 60 watt incandescent bulbs will go. Then 40.

So what will light our homes? What kind of light? At what price?

This hour On Point: The revolution in lighting. We’re looking at the light to come.

-Tom Ashbrook

Guests

Dan Koeppel, writer, “Let There Be LED” for Wired magazine

Robert Friedel, professor, History of Technology & Science Department, University of Maryland; author, “Edison’s Electric Light: The Art of Invention

Brett Sharenow, CFO & CSO, Switch Lighting

From Tom’s Reading List

Sept. Cover (Courtesy of Wired Magazine)

Sept. Cover (Courtesy of Wired Magazine)

Wired “[LED is] a liquid -cooled bulb, as radically different from Edison’s invention as anything that’s ever been screwed into a standard socket and, [...] the next big thing in the $30 billion lighting industry.”

Consumer Reports “Our tests of 26 compact fluorescents and 10 light-emitting diodes found that though the newest bulbs might not be perfect, they last longer and use less electricity than traditional incandescent bulbs, and many of the problems of earlier versions have been overcome.”

More

(Courtesy of Wired/Misha Gravenor)

This illuminated LED light bulb, made by Switch, has a liquid filled dome that prevents the LED from overheating. (Misha Gravenor/Wired)

Comparison shop for LED bulbs

(Courtesy of Wired)

(Courtesy of Wired)

Learn more about new LED bulbs on the market:
GE
Lighting Sciences International (makes some EcoSmart bulbs)
Philips
Switch
Feit Electric

Video

How Switch LED Bulbs Work
http://youtu.be/ynsVaPFkmyE

LED Bulbs Light Up LightFair
http://youtu.be/53dR9-sr0hU

Please follow our community rules when engaging in comment discussion on this site.
  • Terry Tree Tree

    CFL’s hum annoys me in reading lamp, cold starts, in cold weather, Hazmat disposal COSTS a LOT!
        Not sure how LEDs will do.  Too new and expensive!  They looked good in a demonstration I saw, but that’s NOT real life.

    • Anonymous

      @fa0bc679d4cba4c097672d7e5c15d631:disqus Your experience was true and probably is true of the cheapest CFLs today. But it is definitely NOT true of the best bulbs, from Philips, GE and Sylvania.

      But note that the law requires a 28% reduction in power for equal light (lumens) of output. So some manufacturers may be able to offer incandescent bulbs in the future as many of them have developments in the lab they say will meet that criteria. Note that halogen lights (a form of incandescent) meet this criteria.

      The LEDs currently available are expensive to buy but are cheap to operate. The price will come down as they are made in volume. The other aspect is to determine what type of light, its “color,” rated in degrees Kelvin (e.g., 2700K, 3000K, 3500K, 4000K, and 6000K). This refers to the spectrum of the emitted light, or the amount of light at each of the frequencies, from red to blue, visible to the eye.

      Note that the 2700K is the accepted “color” of incandescents but I like 300K best. Also note that a dimmed LED does NOT go even more “yellow” as the light is dimmed.

      • Terry Tree Tree

        Thanks for the hope!

  • Rgray

    Perfect timing.  LEDs are nearly “here” – better price points, dimmable, choice of color temp and pretty good color rendering index (CRI).  Would be great to hear from the guests about the 2012 innovations and improvements we can expect.  When will the next price tipping point occur?  Can we expect CRIs above the 85-90 range the best seem to offer today?  Which companies have the best quality records?

  • randy tray

    Just another example of government forcing an unwanted change!  Thanks for a more expensive light bulb that doesn’t do what I want it to do.

    • Brandstad

      I guess we are getting what we voted for when we elected Obama!  Change!  Who knew at the time what “Change” he was really proposing!

      • Brett

        Wait a minute, didn’t you just say this in another reply? …Even Modavations is more than a one-trick pony, after all! …Wouldn’t you guys do better to let a more well-spoken neo-con represent your voice? I hate to see you all shoot yourselves in the foot/reduce your side to a lowest-common-denominator caricature… 

        • Steve T

          Oops too late for that.

      • Pete

        Just a note, although I agree that the “light bulb ban” is an absurd
        “nanny state” law and Obama’s presidency has been a disaster, laden with destructive regulations on business, the “light bulb ban bill” was introduced by a republican and signed into law by Bush.

        • Anonymous

          Yes, it is amazing that they seem to conveniently forget that part of this story.

        • Anonymous

          @google-a83d6091731d52977071a733978b9171:disqus @2e606c056691ed35438dc7eb848a956f:disqus @56b54278ca7bb18fb503333b06d515c8:disqus Note that this law was signed by George W. Bush!!! This one is NOT Obama’s “fault”!

          So buy a few of your “favorite” bulbs today to use when current bulbs burn out.

          The reason the law was passed was to provide a market for manufacturers to meet. They will, maybe not fast enough for you, but you are making a political argument not an economic or environmental one.

          One of the ways we get into problems that call for government solutions, from obesity to environmental destruction, is our propensity to look ONLY at purchase costs rather than LIFETIME costs. That was the reason for energy costs on refrigerators, etc. But I will bet that a lot of Texans, where electricity bills went up almost 25% because of air-conditioning needed for the high heat this summer and probably over the next summers, wish that their new air conditioners had the higher efficiency the Bush administration rejected. Note that the heat from the incandescent bulb has to be removed by the air conditioner too. And using electricity to heat resistively is more costly than practically any other type of heat, so companies that count on their lights for office heating would prefer to heat differently.

          When many people buy just the cheapest the better but more expensive is not offered.

    • Jasoturner

      What do you want a light bulb to do exactly, that an LED or CFL cannot?

      • Middtenn

        Be affordable and not be mandated.

        • Jasoturner

          Ah, so actually a matter of what it is, not a matter of functionality.  Roger that.

  • Gregg

    “We’re going back to Thomas Edison’s principle” -President Obama to GE just before Edison’s light bulb was outlawed

    What ever the future of the light bulb is, I hope the market decides it and not government.

    It was Bush that killed the incandescent bulb. Why aren’t liberals mad at him for that? They’re missing out, everything else is Bush’s fault. Does anybody dispose of the curly ques properly… or just toss them in the can? What’s it doing to the environment?

    • Anonymous

      Like the market decided to pass The Pure Food and Drug Act of June 30, 1906, that provided federal inspection of meat products and forbade the manufacture, sale, or transportation of adulterated food products and poisonous patent medicines? Or the Clean Air Act of 1963? Or the Clean Water Act of 1972?

      “The Market” relentlessly pursues the short term objective: sellers pursue higher profit and buyers pursue lower cost. Before those regulations, sellers cut cost on safety and were free to dump their external costs onto the public in the form of pollution and deterioration of the public health, artificially keeping prices low. The more unscrupulous they were, the greater price advantage they enjoyed.

      If the unregulated market had produced the nirvana that Randians imagine, Upton Sinclair would have had no audience and the Triangle Shirt Waist Factory fire would not have immolated 146 workers:

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Triangle_Shirtwaist_Factory_fire

      • Gregg

        Gee wiz! Who said anything about unregulated markets? Just because I’d like to have the option to buy an incandescent bulb doesn’t mean I want rotten meat fed to children. 

        • Anonymous

          Glad to hear that.

          Perhaps this will appeal to you:

          The issue still is how to account for external costs. With an incandescent bulb, more energy is used, with the associated further harm to the environment. If manufacturers are free to pass that external cost on to the public, they enjoy an artificial price advantage. The free hand of the market won’t work under those circumstances, which is the whole idea behind the carbon tax. We fine people who throw their litter onto the road, we should fine manufacturers that cause pollution. If you adjust for these external costs, consumers might choose to pay a premium price for an incandescent bulb plus the privilege to pollute. In any case, they will be free to make a more informed decision.

    • Anonymous

      @327b60c55221432e499267aebfb70c09:disqus I put “fault” in quotes above because EVERYBODY should like this law and not “blame” anyone. The law mandates efficiency, not type of bulb, and it required an increase in energy efficiency of 28%, which some manufacturers (GE) think they can meet with improved (and slightly more expensive) incandescents, which they would not have introduced because of the purchase cost barrier, not the lifetime cost barrier.

      EVEN if all the CFLs were disposed of improperly, the amount of mercury is much less than the mercury emitted at the coal power plant to power the less efficient incandescents (Consumer Reports). But I hope that everyone will properly dispose of their CFLs, which will provide a transition item for many until the cost of LEDs do come down.

      But if some new source of light is invented, nothing prevents its use as long as it is sufficiently energy efficient. And energy efficiency can save consumers the money to buy a lot of other products and keep the economy going when (maybe only IF, the way the Tea Party Republicans are obstructing recovery) it recovers.

      • Gregg

        You see it your way, I guess I see it mine. Alright then, sing Bush’s praises.

        • Terry Tree Tree

          Still WAY too much that he did wrong, that cost this country, to sing him praises.  He got a few things right.  Almost impossible for someone to go through life without doing something right!

    • nj

      There is no “market” without a government. Any “market,” purportedly free or otherwise, is a purely human fabrication, created, controlled, enabled, parameterized, regulated by dreaded government. Get over it.

      It’s funny, all this bloviating over compact fluorescent bulbs from the neocons because they’re going to save a little energy. Where has the concern been over the standard fluorescent tubes which contain 5–10 times as much mercury as the CFLs?

  • Michiganjf

    Amazing!

        Our country’s population has increased significantly over the last decade, but our energy usage has not, thanks to all the terrific new bulb designs… this has been a huge part of improving our country’s energy independence!

    Any taste in lighting can be satisfied with all the choices available, so long as one is not infantile about the ignorant, conservative, dittohead tantrum about “individualism.”

    I even found CFL lighting my wife is very happy with, and she was initially insistent that she would never like flourescent lighting… companies have really worked hard to suit every taste, and they’ve succeeded marvelously: daylight, full-spectrum, incandescent-ilke, tinted… all choices you’ll find at any Home Depot or Lowe’s.

    The cost savings are HUGE, especially if you keep outdoor “bug” lights on all night long, as we do.

    I really like the LED bulbs as well, but only own one, as they’re still too pricey… the CFLs can now be found at dirt cheap prices, however, and the savings are immediate!

    Ignore the asinine “individualist” blowhards on this one, folks… they couldn’t be more ridiculous and WRONG-HEADED.

    • Michiganjf

      BTW, the latest generation of CFLs don’t have the mercury that was once a concern for disposal.

      • Michiganjf

        I should have worded that slightly differently:

        BTW, the latest generation of CFLs don’t have the amount of mercury that was once a concern for disposal.     

        • Middtenn

          Until they are all thrown away in mass quantities. Then the mercury will pile up. Plus all those “asinine individuals” have a vote and the nanny state mentality will be voted out.

      • mary elizabeth

        Thanks,Mich, that is good to know.  I have avoided CFL bulbs for fear of breakage with a resulting pool of mercury. 

        • Anonymous

          @94179c70e3f1b88c89d46a2182e8e760:disqus There still is some mercury and you should take care in cleaning it up; use a piece of paper and with a damp sponge push the glass and powder onto it, carry it outside and fold it up and put it and the sponge in a bag for the trash.

          But if you are changing bulbs this can be avoided by placing a non-holey plastic bag over the bulb first and then unscrewing it and putting another bag over the new bulb until it is screwed in.

          This process should be used for installing new halogen bulbs because it is finger prints (oils) and other dirt on the bulb surface that increase heating and decrease life of the new bulb.

  • Rational

    A 40-100 dollar bulb better have a real warranty. That’s quite an investment, and in most cases is more expensive than the fixture its installed into.

    The Luddites will cry foul about the transition technology of CFL’s and about LED’s as well. But like the whining about rotatory phones, steam power, horses, spears, and that darn fire used to cook food and stay warm… the future will have to move far past 1950′s technology before they see the light of reason. 

  • Anonymous

    There’s a large box of broken & burned-out CFLs at our local recycling center. (at least we have an official disposal option) Maybe it’s a 1st-generation problem, but they don’t seem to last as long as advertised. And now I hear concerns about them emitting radiation?

    I just don’t see the need for an outright ban here. People unwilling or unable to make the switch will just be forced to double up on a lower wattage, or buy “ornamental” bulbs – until those, too are outlawed.

    A consumer who’s not sophisticated enough to discern the benefits (and drawbacks) of CFL is not likely to to dispose of a broken one properly. That’s bad policy.

    • SteveV

      I agree. I’ve also found that while most of our CFLs have lasted, we’ve had to replace a couple. That may be a First Generation problem but most people won’t have a disposal facility handy, hence they will simply toss them in the household trash. This is one reason I refer to our government as a Nanny State. I wish they would spend more time and energy regulating the financial industry.

      • Jasoturner

        Interestingly, when I was in China recently there were CFLs all over the place in the cities.  Dunno if that was because of cost savings or government policy.

        Surely we will be burning our incandescents patriotically when they come to settle the books one day…

      • Anonymous

        I agree it’s the bankers and the mortgage industry that should be priority number one. I’ve also noticed a rather high premature failure rate for CFLs. I’ve heard most are made in China and the industry may be compromising quality to meet the price requirement to make the device affordable.

      • Middtenn

        Not to mention all the mercury that ends up in landfills from CFL’s that are thrown out.

      • Anonymous

        @2ae1bfe428aa915fa2aecaf89f668051:disqus Are you saying the government cannot walk and chew gum at the same time?

        These are quite different actions and are implemented by different agencies, so even the simultaneity is not a single person’s requirement. Even though Republicans would like everyone to think Obama was enforcing it each day, it just isn’t so. But then Republicans (and even some Democrats) want the government to seem incompetent, and arguably try to MAKE it incompetent.

    • Anonymous

      @lizelle:disqus There is no question that at least some of the cheapest CFLs, most made in China have shortened life expectancies. Remember that old saw, You get what you pay for?

      Note: Incandescents were NOT banned. Improved bulb energy efficiency was required. Some manufacturers have been looking at their lab work and think some old improvements that could not meet the purchase price barrier will be sellable now. They apparently are keeping a low profile on it right now.

      As I noted above, there are good reasons to dispose of all things properly, and the country does need to learn that. But the use of CFLs will actually reduce the amount of mercury in the environment even when improperly disposed of. Proper disposal of a broken bulb is important for the individual/family at the site of breakage, but less so for society at large.

  • Worried for the country(MA)

    Advances in efficient lighting is great but the ban on incandescents is just wrong.

      BTW – in colder climates the ‘waste’ heat isn’t really waste.  It simply contributes toward heating your home.

    • Jasoturner

      True about the heat effect, but electric resistive heating is, in most cases, only about 35% efficient (from burner tip to plug in your wall), whereas direct fired boilers or furnaces deliver efficiencies of 80+%.   So this is true but not compelling.

      • Anonymous

        @ec83219a7a1ebf66c63f3a5b695ec4ba:disqus @jasoturner:disqus And in the summer it INCREASES the air conditioning load.

  • http://richardsnotes.org Richard

    Let’s not forget about simpler solutions to light rooms in poorer countries where electricity isn’t as available or affordable:

    http://isanglitrongliwanag.org/

    This is a genius idea.

    Take a large, plastic soda or water bottle with top, fill it with water and a bit of bleach (to prevent mold over time), cut a hole in a corrugated roof and fit the bottle in with grout and you have a source of light that’s better than a skylight because the water diffuses the light and turns the bottom end of the bottle into a 60 watt light bulb (in the daytime).

    • Anonymous

       In New England wouldn’t you need a little glycol added to prevent freezing?

      • http://richardsnotes.org Richard

        jpf: No doubt and while it was developed at MIT it’s for developing countries which tend to be a bit warmer than New England.

        Around here we tend to use Light Tubes:

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Light_tube

  • Brandstad

    When did America stop being the land of the free?
     
    I remember a day not to long ago that consumers had the choice to buy an old or a new technology product and eventually if the new technology was better it won and pushed out the old technology.
     
    We never had to ban the cassette tape in order to get the compact disc!
     

    • Brett

      Oh yeah, I heard he struts around the Oval Office all day lashing out at staffers and berating them in e-mails with missives like, “I SAID NO MORE INCANDESCENT LIGHT BULBS OR HEADS WILL ROLL!!!!” He keeps calling the local gas station, too, and he tells them to jack up their prices! Oh, the [in]humanity! 

    • Anonymous

      Well, at least we’re still free to fly hydrogen passenger balloons:

      http://www.airships.net/blog/hydrogen-balloons-launched-north-carolina

      What could possibly go wrong?

      http://danielpauhl113.wordpress.com/2009/11/13/the-hindenburg/

    • Jasoturner

      I’m sure your feelings are heartily seconded in fossil fuel exporting countries around the world.

      Why, for that matter, should the Feds regulate how much mercury or arsenic or lead or Polonium our industries release into the environment?  Clearly consumers would shun them an put them out of business as they and the market selected winners, no?

      Although, as someone who has worked in Central Europe, I can tell you that coal wins the marketplace battle.  And the smell of victory hangs (or used to hang) heavy in the air of free and unregulated Krakow.

    • Af_whigs

      Well, but this isn’t just about technology.  Sometimes the government needs to step in, sometimes they don’t.  Without gov’t regulations we’d likely still be driving 10 mpg vehicles.

      When it comes to the environment we need to start taking a longview, rather than just looking at corporate profits.

    • Acnestis

      You’re not free to poison the nest we all have to share, and that is precisely the issue.  At one time the 90+ percent inefficient incandescent bulb was the only game in town, so it’s use was justified.  Not so anymore.

    • Rational

      You will always be able to purchase incandescent bulbs. They are required for machine shops, where frequency bulbs are hazardous to the workers.

      • Anonymous

        @18f6d8a8367cf9b733270a4f0bbfd48b:disqus Good point; but non-dimmed LEDs use constant direct current – dimming is best accomplished by pulse-width modulation. If the conversion from AC to DC is external to the bulb and the shop, there is no reason, other than rewiring for those lights, to preclude the use of LEDs.

    • Steve T

      Think led based paint.
      Your analogy of technology while true, is not a good fit for the argument.

    • Anonymous

      @2e606c056691ed35438dc7eb848a956f:disqus And you are setting aside the money to recompense me and others for the catastrophic decline in living conditions that will occur due to Anthropomorphic Climate Change over the next 50 to 100 years due to not reducing the emission of CO2? How is that to be accomplished, with the NECESSARY speed, other than to require energy efficiency? Since Republicans refuse to set a carbon price through a direct tax or cap and trade, what alternative do you see?

      Have you looked at buying an insurance policy against your being wrong?

      When a country threatens us we band together and fight the enemy; Climate Change is the biggest threat to life on Earth the human species will EVER face. The U.S. must lead on this just as we have to lead on so many other issues.

    • nj

      Yeah, i want my leaded gas and paint back!

  • Markus

    Rich topic. On the one hand, I believe that climate change is real (though grossly overhyped and has taken on almost a religious aspect), is largely man made and that switching to more efficient products is a good thing (though probably a drop in the bucket). At the very least, buying these is a vote for energy efficient products.
     
    On the other hand, I don’t have much faith in the government’s ability to pick the right products and I certainly don’t trust their motives. The recent loan of $500 million to the solar panel company that went bankrupt and that company’s contributions to Democratic politicians reinforce this (though it wouldn’t surprise me they contributed to the other side as well). In any event, Obama’s people gave away half a billion dollars even though auditors warned them ahead of time. Whether they’re dopes, crooks or both, it doesn’t fill you with confidence.
     
    But I do trust scientists a bit more, though that depends on who’s funding their research, so, doing my best to balance it all out, I’m for dropping the old bulbs, but am very suspicious.

    • Jasoturner

      I think the analogy to the solar loan guarantees does not fit.  LED and CFL lights are currently available products that deliver equivalent lumens of light for about 25% of the energy use of incandescents.  This is not trying to pick a winner.  This is a measurable, factual basis for good national policy.

      • Markus

        You could be right in that the science and economics behind using LEDs and CFLs is a no-brainer. I haven’t had time to look into it in much detail, though with what I’ve heard, I’m for them.

        But I stand by my position that you can’t trust our leaders to recommend the right thing. And that you should at least ask the question of scientists, who’s funding them.

        But I don’t think we have much of a disagreement here.

        • Jasoturner

          Me neither.  Incidentally, I live in a well to do neighborhood, big houses with lots of can lights in the ceilings and so on.  I was able to reduce my monthly electric bill by over $100 by converting from incandescent to compact fluorescent lighting.  If it were not for a small pump in my koi pond, my monthly bill would be under $100 in Boston (read expensive electricity, like $0.15 per kWh!) for a house of 2,500+ SF.  From offhand comments at a barbeque, I learned that I used 1/2 to 1/3 the electricity of my neighbors.  The savings potential nationally is gigantic in dollars, in avoided emissions, and in avoided fossil fuel extraction.

          • Tina

            Jasoturner,  thanks for all your knowledgeable comments!  You mention that your neighborhood has houses with “lights in the ceilings”.  Can I ask you to look for my earlier comment where I explain how recessed ceiling lights give a certain advantage when it comes to selecting bulbs for all the OTHER lamps in the house (floor, table), AND how they require certain ceiling height to not drive you out of your own house from the heat.  I’d be interested in your reaction to my comment.  Thanks!

      • Pete

        If the LED and CFLs are really such superior products, then people will buy them and the incandescent will disappear like the horse and buggy, the 8-track tape and the land line. No government interference is necessary.

        • Jasoturner

          I am willing to bet that roughly 0.0% of the coal fired power plants in the midwest would be outfitted with scrubbers if the guvmint didn’t make them install them.   Same thing for selective catalytic reduction systems and flue gas desulphurization systems.  I think guvmint interference was warranted, and trusting the average consumer to understand these issues is idealistic at best.

          Similarly, most people I know have no knowledge of how much energy we use or how you translate that use into quantities of fuels or relate it to emissions.  Like FGD systems, sometimes the government has expertise and perspective the average consumer cannot reasonably (or perhaps “realistically” is more precise) be expected to master.

          • Steve T

            As we continue to deregulate everything, and give no education or warrant any to our schools. Most will still be in the dark as to how it all works. Great post earlier on the math unfortunately few will understand it even as straight foreword as it is .

        • Anonymous

          @56b54278ca7bb18fb503333b06d515c8:disqus The problem has always been that the American consumer puts the purchase price at the top of the decision tree and the operating cost at the bottom. Republicans are refusing to allow the external costs of power generation to be included in the cost of electricity; without that cheap energy guzzling bulbs will always win, or at least for too long. The emission of CO2 from power plants, over 30% of the power generated from which goes to lighting, must be reduced starting yesterday.

          The mandate that government protect us from our enemies, even ourselves, does require this and more legislation. Delaying this now will result in even MORE such regulations in the future as the coming catastrophe becomes more obvious and the only solutions are really draconian.

          It is interesting that Republicans can get all riled up over a relatively small underfunding of Social Security which will not have an effect for over 25 years when it does not bother them that delaying emission decreases will cost $500 BILLION for EACH year of delay and while the small effects are obvious now the real big effects will BEGIN in 15 years or less.

  • pajipswich

    Great topic… it’s about energy conservation and the politics of it. Personally, I’ve been impressed how Target lights their cold and freezer cases in the store with LED lighting that goes on with a sensor when a customer walks near the area. This is a particular example of using energy in a smart way!

  • Ed in VT

    We have many CFLs in our house (most bought for 99 cents each, through a gov’t-subsidized program).  The lighting is fine.  However, we’ve noticed one annoying problem:  When they’re turned on, they generate a hum in our TV (a CRT model).  Anyone else notice this?

    • Jasoturner

      What brand of CFL?  I suspect it is vendor specific.  The quality of CFLs varies widely.  It might be worth investing in some more expensive CFL for the fixtures that are close to your TV.   LEDs may be an even better option, since I don’t believe they require a ballast, which is probably the source of the hum.

    • Rational

      I was an early adopter as well. The CFL’s were free via a electric company rebate. I replaced all of my incandescent bulbs except two.

      Of all of the bulbs (about 20), three died, and one hummed. I recycled those. Some of the very earliest bulbs had delayed start and delayed illumination, but the new ones have none of these problems.

      Some of my old bulbs did interfere with my radio, but I moved them to the garage opener (no filament to break), and they are still there.

      Now, the biggest RF noise maker in my house remains the recharger circuit for my electric shaver.

    • Scott B, Jamestown NY

      That’s the “60 cycle hum”, which you get with almost any device since that’s what AC electricity cycles at.  Anyone with a guitar amp and guitar with a single coil pickup will tell you about fighting that issue.

       The newer bulbs don’t do it like the older ones did. You have to just about put your ear right next to them to hear them.

      • Ed in VT

        The hum was coming out of the speakers, not the bulb itself.

  • Bob Gardner

    In order to protect this country’s energy supply, we send soldiers to Iraq and Afghanistan over and over to fight and die.  In order to make ourselves a little less dependent on foreign  oil, we ask citizens to use more efficient light bulbs.
        Guess which group whines constantly about the enormous sacrifice they have to make.

    • Jasoturner

      republicans?

    • Middtenn

      Americans

    • http://richardsnotes.org Richard

      What a fantastic comment. Thanks for making it.

  • Jasoturner

    Some may find of interest.  The math is surprising easy.

    For hydrocarbon fuel,basic combusiton equations are:

    C + 02 = CO2    (12 lb + 32 lb = 44 lb)

    H2 + O = H2O    ( 2 lb + 16 lb = 18 lb)

    Consider natural gas:

    CH4 + 2O2 = CO2 + 2H2O    (16 lb + 64 lb = 44 lb + 36 lb)

    For coal, we can generalize that for every lb of coal (carbon) burned, emissions will be (~0.8 * 44/12 = 3 lb) of CO2 gas.  A pound of coal liberates about 14,000 Btu of energy ==>  4,700 Btu / lb of CO2

    For natural gas, we can generalize that for every lb of gas burned, emissions will be (44/16 = 2.75 lb) of CO2.  A pound of gas liberates about 22,000 Btu of energy ==> 8,000 Btu / lb of CO2

    Example, consider a 100 watt lightbulb running for one year.

    100 watts x 3.412 Btu/watt-hr x 8,760 hrs/year = 2,988,912 Btu/year.

    Next, assume 33% efficiency at power plant.  Consumed energy is:

    2,988,912 Btu / 0.33 = 9,057,309 Btu fuel use.

    Let us assume we are getting 14,000 Btu per lb of coal

    9,057,309 / 14,000 = 647 lb of coal (or around 13 cubic feet).

    CO2 Emissions are

    647 lb x 0.8 x 44/12 = 1,898 lb CO2

    • Anonymous

      @jasoturner:disqus The results are approximately right, but burning coal is different from burning natural gas. With coal, the carbon is contained in more complex molecules, which have to be taken apart by some of the energy released by the C + O2 combustion plus other combustion products; thus burning coal is about 50% as efficient on a greenhouse gas production basis. But in practice natural gas, which is basically CH4, leaks from pipelines and now from fracking wells, big time, into the atmosphere so its use may not be so much better; CH4, methane, is a shorter-lived, but much stronger greenhouse gas.

      • Jasoturner

        Just wanted to keep things simple so people would grok the general idea.  All this stuff gets complicated when the details start popping up, agreed.

  • Virginia Rick

    So, what will cartoonists do now, when a character has an idea?

    • Jasoturner

      The government is banning cartoons next…

    • Scott B, Jamestown NY

      Probably a little squiggle for the pigtail  CFL.

  • Brilliant in Iowa

    Tom,
    Does the law actually ban a particular product or simply set an energy standard for this line of products which can be netoriously inefficient?

    Thank you for checking the actual law as written.

  • Anonymous

    I only switched to incandescent bulbs when the liberal elitist nanny state big federal government took away my whale oil.

  • Patti

    The future is not going to be bright for some of us.  I am allergic to flourancent light bulbs, they raise my BP to 2220/100!

    • Akfaka

      Come ‘on, 2220/100? you will die instantly of a massive stroke.

    • Terry Tree Tree

      Proof that you’re dead already?  2200/100?  Could veins and arteries stand that pressure?

  • Cindy

    My only experience with new energy efficient bulbs is that they did not last long at all, and worse than that, they cracked, causing me to worry about mercury emissions. Plus, most people don’t know that these bulbs need special recycling due to mercury content. I am extremely pro-environment/pro-conservation but I am against these bulbs.

    • BHA in Vermont

      No mercury in LEDs only CFLs :)

    • Pateceramics

      Aren’t they supposed to have less mercury than the incandescents? And you do have to be careful that you don’t touch the bulb with your bare fingers or the oil from your fingers significantly shortens their life.  They should last much LONGER than an incandescent.  Wear gloves or touch the bulb with a dishtowel while you screw it in.  And don’t buy ones packaging with an open window in the package where the 16 year-old kid working in the stockroom at the grocery will touch the bulbs accidentally.  There is labeling on the package, but I can guarantee the stock-boy didn’t read it if you didn’t!  :(  

    • Anonymous

      @33a1fa3152a729d015437ab06d408692:disqus See my earlier posts! I would strongly recommend taking care with CFLs (see previous) but they save enough energy that less mercury is emitted at the coal plant generating the electricity than is in the bulb, so the total environment is better off with their use.

      It is probable that the cost of LEDs will come down enough that CFLs will go away at about the same rate as coal-fired power plants.

  • Middtenn

    Bring on the dark ages.

    • Terry Tree Tree

      Republican?  That seems to be the Republican aims.  To go back to the dark ages of Religion denying science, Robber Barons owning everyone else as slaves or serfs, and a plethora of other regressive concepts!

  • http://twitter.com/en_b ian berry

    Why not just charge more for electricity and let people choose. Maybe vacant office buildings will start turning their lights off when the office is empty instead of leaving them on.

  • Tina

    I’m sorry, I’m an environmentalist to my core, but these new compact  florescent bulbs don’t light my house the same way that incandescent bulbs do.  I tend toward having Seasonal Affective Disorder — with compact florescents, the low-grade feeling I get from Winter will set in All Year with only these bulbs to light my interior spaces.

    On the other hand, the people who wrote these new laws probably have new, high-ceiling houses with halogen bulbs that provide so much light that they won’t be affected by the choices they make in their regular table and floor lamp bulbs.  The expense to go with recessed lighting would be impossible for me; my ceilings are too low for the heat generated by halogen.  I’m eager to find out what OTHER solutions there are to this problem other than the compact florescents, as well because if you read what you have to do if you DROP one, it is freaky!  

    • Tina

      I forgot to mention, or question:  what will happen to those people who get migraines from florescent bulbs?!!!!!

      • Kerry

        Migraines are only triggered by old style magnetic ballast fluorescents which strobe at 60 cycles per second and cause the annoying strobing in computer screens.  Modern electronically ballasted fluorescents (linear and all CFL’s) do NOT strobe at all.  Most schools and businesses have replaced the old magnetic style lamps and ballasts (unfortunately, the office I am in now has not but will in the next 6 months).  The problem is that most homes still use the old technology — which, by the way is also being phased out by government mandate.  The old fat F40 cool white 48″ lamps in basement shoplites and the circline bulbs in old kitchen fixtures are the strobing headache producers and are supposed to be out of production along with the 100 watt A lamp.  if you do choose tubular fluorescents for your house, make sure they have electronic ballasts.

    • Kerry

      You are probably not using high enough wattage CFL’s.  You need at least a 32 watt or even 42 watt CFL to get the illuminance output to match a 100 watt softwhite incandescent.  It is NOT the wavelength of light that effects SADD, it is the intensity.  Get higher watt bulbs or add more fixtures to your house.  I even have 3 way CFL lamps that can give my reading lamps the equivalent of a 150 watt A19 bulb. 

      In fact, the only real treatment for SADD is the portable light boxes which use either high output fluorescent or ballasted HID metal halide.  It would take the combined blast of 30 or more regular lightbulbs to match that. 

      New CFLs don’t have mercury.  Also, regular A lamps had mercury for years too.  it is no more “freaky” to sweep up a broken CFL than an exploded A lamp.  Halogen are downright dangerous.  They can explode and burn you with superheated glass shards.  I would never use them in the house except the ones with the plastic coating.

      I am a trained lighting consultant and have used CFL’s for almost 25 years exclusively in all my homes.  If you choose the right products you will notice no difference.   

      • Tina

        Kerry, I hope you see this reply, because it is a now a day later!  Thank you so much for this information, I really appreciate it, especially the specific numbers you’ve provided!  I’m writing down these specifications right now!

        Perhaps it was just the one box of CFLs that I saw, but the directions on it said, regarding a broken CFL, that we must don a mask and gloves and take the broken lightbulb to a special recycling center where we are to inform the staff that we are delivering a CFL (I have easy access to a recycling center, but most of my friends in a nearby city do not — not easy, that is).

  • Frank

    I’ve been told by a DIY expert that the newer bulbs don’t work with dimmers, especially in houses with older wiring. Could you comment about that?

    • LaCresha

      We are so screwed.  This is NOT a good idea.

    • Jasoturner

      Dimmable CFLs have been around for years.  LEDs work fine on dimming circuits.

    • Tina

      And I’m wondering what happens to your dimmer switches when the bulbs don’t work?  Do they not work at all?  Do they only work for on “high”, or only on “low”????  I just had new wiring done recently for both regular lights AND for ceiling fans with lamps attached — no one indicated I’d have any problems when January 1 came along — most particularly regarding the DIMMERS (not the architect, not the Lighting Specialty Store specialist, not the general contractor, nor the licensed electrician!!!!!  

      Yikes!  Do we each have to know EVERYTHING in the Whole Wide World on our own?  I thought I was doing the right thing by consulting so many experts on the matter of what wall sconces and ceiling fans with lamps to choose, sometimes with several of them talking to me in one big conversation so that they could hear one another’s mistakes and lacunae???!!!  I feel like I might be looking at some very expensive lacunae!!! (This second paragraph is just an aside — no need to answer this part!)

  • BHA in Vermont

    LEDs – YES!!!!!!

    Part of the expense of each bulb is the transformer each must have to drop the voltage from 110V to 12V so they can fit into existing fixtures.  The other ‘option’ is to replace the fixture with one that has a transformer built in. BIG WASTE of money having transformers at each light fixture.

    Future need – Dual circuits built into the home. The 110V circuit for appliances and a 12V for lighting. LED ‘bulbs’ can use whatever base is best for the technology, and make adapters for use in current fixtures plugged into 12V outlets. We already have 220V circuits for ranges, dryers, water heaters, etc.

    • Jasoturner

      Great comment.  It used to be odd to see houses wired for computer networks and cable TV, too.  Low voltage DC for lighting makes lots of sense.  I would think you’d run 120V to closets near the rooms to be served, and you’d install the step-down inverters there and wire from there, so as to reduce low voltage wiring costs.

  • jack

    Tom, Great show & thrilled to hear you’re on WPBI here in Palm Beach County, FL.

  • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

    Makes us feel “nauseous”?  Nauseous means the characteristic of causing nausea.  The word you wanted was “nauseated.”

    • http://profiles.google.com/tcnoble Tim Noble

      Usage has changed, the word “nauseous” is now generally understood to mean “affected with nausea”. It is defined in Merriam-Webster, and several other dictionaries as such, sometimes with caveats. I’m sure that nobody cares which word you thought they wanted.

      • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

        Just because lazy people can’t be bothered to use the correct word is no excuse for dictionaries to acknowledge it.

      • Brett

        Well, if we have to take sides, I’m in Mr. Camp’s camp! It’s NAUSEATED! Sure, word usage changes over time, and some words become dictionary worthy if used over and over; some words become archaic and are dropped from our lexicon (I would love for the word INSIPIENT [not wise, as in Modavations is an insipient oaf] to come back into fashion)…but do we have to hasten the process by misuse? Then English loses its nuance and beauty…

    • Kerry

      I don’t believe people who claim that they are “sickened” by CFl lights.  Except for some “bright white” CFL bulbs I use in one area of my house, all the CFL and linear fluorescent lights in my house are warm white color (and have been for over 20 years) and were chosen to have the right output for what was needed in each area.  At a party at my place a few years ago the topic of converting to CFL’s came up and several guest swore that they hated the light they produced and that it sickened them.  So I asked if they thought I should switch to CFL’s.  They said, “oh no, your house has such nice light it would be a shame to spoil it”  (I am a trained lighting designer and have always made sure my house has comfortable, functional and attractive lighting sources in it).  I just smiled, got up from my chair and walked to each of the light fixtures in the room, removed the shades and showed them every lamp in the house was fluorescent.  None of the guests, even those who claimed to be so “offended” by them, knew I had those kinds of lights.  The so-called “nausea” reaction to CFL’s is just one of the many iterations of hypochondria that are rife in the population these day.

        I still work in the construction and design field and can tell you that every office, hotel, school, store and hospital uses CFl, electronically ballasted linear fluorescent, HID and LED lighting and have been doing so for between 20 and 30 years.  These conversions. virtually all of them voluntary and economically based, have resulted in massive savings in costs, maintenance and energy consumption.  Doing the same in US homes will add to those savings without changing anyone’s “quality of life” except for the better. 

      • Tina

        Just because you are a “trained lighting designer” doesn’t mean that other people don’t have epilepsy; and some of those people did experience extreme reactions to florescent lighting at some times during the development of lighting fixtures.  Your status as trained lighting designer should take second place to someone with the status of experienced patient living with epilepsy and to their doctor when it comes to evaluating their physical reaction to florescent lighting.  

  • Akfaka

    100 watts light bulbs are just so last century, Come’ on people, wake up and move forward!!! LEDs is the future and the future is HERE!  

  • PI Resident

    Can the guest comment on:
    dimming capability
    and
    many CFLs say do not use in enclosed fixtures.

    As such no user friendly

  • Yar

    The politics of light, it isn’t a simple problem, if you heat with electric resistance heat, in the winter an incandescent light bulb doesn’t add to energy use.  
    Track the problem back up the power line to the source, the destroyed mountains for coal, the polluted rivers from slurry spills, the mercury and arsenic that causes brain and birth injuries, the global warming that starves millions and floods communities.
    What the freedom to use cheap energy really means is the freedom to exploit others.  
    Price energy at its true cost, then people will make better choices.

    • Jasoturner

      Resistive heating is very inefficient compared with direct-fired boilers and furnaces when you look at the fossil fuel requirements.  In colder climates, only those without options or with limitless money use electric heat.  Well, I guess the clueless do too…

      To heat my house electrically would easily double my costs, and would result in lots more fossil fuel being consumed at the power plant.

      • Rational

        I think he’s referring to a chick incubator… That kind of thing.

        • Yar

          “Chick incubator”
          Is that a term for romantic lighting?
          I live in a state with 10 cent per kilowatt electricity rates. People have resistance heat is many places. A lot of people heat with heat pumps, if you heat with electricity, then the incandescent bulb is not as bad in the winter.

      • Yar

        I agree, but I think the regulation should be around pricing  energy at its true cost, including the cost of environmental degradation. It is an oversimplification to just outlaw a bulb.

        • Jasoturner

          Ah, but how can we ever hope to agree on the proper costing of “environmental degradation”?  Indeed, if you feel that we will never reasonably reduce our carbon emissions but will address climate change with relatively low-cost geo-engineering solutions such as pumping reflective sulfites into the atmosphere, you might argue that the current price is fair.

          I guess I am a cynic, but I see outlawing incandescents as feasible.  I see reaching an honest consensus on the pricing of fossil fuels to be virtually nil in this country.  Ergo we may be better off letting the feasible trump principle in this case.  But there is surely room for debate.

          • Yar

            The power companies would argue that they could increase sulfides by taking scrubbers off coal power plants. 
            We don’t want to change anything, but using 100 million years of fossil energy each year is not sustainable in definition of the word. What if the more energy you uses the higher the price per unit?  People will change their habits pretty quick when they see a price increase.

          • Jasoturner

            Genius!  We get rid of scrubbers and tame global warming at the same time!  Ah, on to the next global vexation…

        • Jasoturner

          Okay, but just between you and me, what odds would you give on our political system developing a true value for energy that the various constituencies affected could agree upon?  Does it reach double digits?

  • Ren Knopf

    “Lightbulb Freedom of Choice?” What no longer surprises me and  continues to worry me is that people will listen this drivel.

    • Rational

      Agreed! Its identical to the arguments of the 55 MPH national speed limit. People were arguing that to be free they needed to drive at 95 MPH on the way to work.

    • LaCresha

      It is very sad that people are willing to get onto this bandwagon!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=609923161 Melinda Fayette

    For folks who tend toward
    seasonal affective disorder, or simply get down in the winter, this is a
    nightmare. The quality of light turns into a quality of life issue.

    • Beez

      Me, me, me…what about the quality of life for future generations?

      • LaCresha

        Thank you!!!

        • Kerry Parslow

          This is not a “nightmare” for people with SADD .  It is not the wavelength of light that stimulates the positive endocrine response it is the intensity. Even regular high wattage conventional lightbulbs can’t treat SADD.  In fact the portable light boxes used to treat SADD use either very energy efficient metal halide HID lamps (as are used in many street lights and in brightly lit stadiums, gyms and stores) or high intensity fluorescent.  These are not affected by the ban. 

          I converted my entire house to linear fluorescent and CFL’s more than 20 years ago.  I have all the light I need whereever I want it and saved thousands of dollars in electric bills and lamp replacement. 

          Most people who object to energy efficient lighting just don’t understand it.  I am annoyed with the fools who claim they are ‘stockpiling” incandescent light bulbs.  I don’t think they realize how quickly they will burn through them.  Just heard a guy who claims his 500 bulbs will last his lifetime. He must be planning to die soon. Since the average life of an A19 bulb is 1000 hours, that is 500,000 hours of use.  Since the average house has 50 bulbs and half are on at least 10 hours per day, that is 250 hours per day or around 91,300 per year.  So he will run out of bulbs in about 5 and a half years replacing them as they burn out.  And within that time he will have spent $7,500 on his power consumption for those lights at 15 cents per kW.  If he had switched to buying 25 of the 32 watt CFL’s (at $5 a piece they would have costed the same as his 500 incandescent lamps) which produce the same quality and intensity of light, he would have saved almost $5,000 on his light bill. Plus he never would have had to change any of the bulbs.  And within that 5.5 years he will have run out of his bulbs anyway.

          It is simply childish stubborn ignorance to stick to the idea that spending 25 cents over and over and over and over again is in any way preferable to spending slightly more up front to save hundreds or even thousands of dollars over time. 

          • Brett

            Thanks, Kerry! 

          • Terry Tree Tree

            Not to mention, time spent changing the bulbs.  Especially if you pay someone to change them!

  • Steve in Canada

    Will the price of CFLs “spiral” in the coming years?  Actually, one problem I’ve discovered is these bulbs cause radio interference on the AM broadcast band. In fact, I listen to On Point on an AM station from about 85 miles away and have to either turn off my kitchen CFL bulb or else move my radio to another room.

  • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

    I have compact fluorescents all over my house.  They work, and I don’t see any problem with the light that they produce.

  • Tribalguitars

    We replaced every bulb in our house with CFL’s  over 5 years ago, with the exception of our bathroom vanity lights, and it was a great decision. We started small with replacing our most used lights (kitchen, living room, office) and noticed our utility bill went down a immediately.  That was enough for us to replace the rest.

     Now that CFL’s have improved so they give better natural looking light the vanity lights wll be replaced soon, too.  When LED bulbs get below $10 we’ll be switching all our bulbs to those. 

    The  only hassle we find is recycling the bulbs. It would be nice if more stores had boxes to take the CFLs and the tubes (like we have in our basement and garage), instead of having to keep them around until a local business has a recycling day once a year.

  • Pateceramics

    I have no problem with the curly compact bulbs, but they can’t be used in most enclosed fixtures.  We’ve been updating the lighting fixtures in our 100 year old house, and most of the new fixtures we have found have warning labels, that you can’t use a cfl with them.  Will bulb-makers and fixture makers get together on the led?  Doesn’t do much good if you can’t use it in your fixture.  

    • Anonymous

      Most of the current generation LED bulbs can’t be used in fully enclosed fixtures either.

  • Scott B, Jamestown NY

    Incandescent bulbs will still be made. They’ll be sold, as they are in Australia, as “heating elements”.  But the law says that lights have to meet certain energy standards and until that law happened the bulb makers haven’t had any incentive to improve them. Now bulb makers have upped the efficiency by 20%-30%.

  • Beth in CT

    Are CFLs and LEDs better for the environment in regards to how they are produced and how they are disposed of, as well as in the amount of energy they consume during use?

    I have resisted the CFL because I can’t get a straight answer on how to dispose of them and what environmental impact they have, besides the energy consumption. [When my landlord recently sent an "energy audit" team through our apartment complex to swap out incandescent bulbs for LEDs, we actually hid a few incandescent bulbs - including my favorite 3-way bulb, which I'd just purchased!]

    I also hate the color of the CFL light for making photographs – will LEDs have comparable light temperature and intensity to incandescents? Will you be able to get an LED that will give 3200K light? What about tungsten bulbs for studio lights and larger flash units?

    • BHA in Vermont

      Will you be able to get an LED that will give 3200K light?
      In short, yes. Available now.

  • Bryan

    Did the governments or states in the U.S. or Britain ever regulate candles in the eighteenth or nineteenth centuries? 

  • Modavations

    As the “Thought Police” screamed “citation,proof “,I mentioned that the 100 watt bulb is banned as of Jan.1 and the 40 watt,in 2014

  • Nathaniel

    I agree with Tina about the quality, expense and practicality of lacking in LED bulbs. My concern is the lack of public information sources regarding the changeover. This is actually a pretty major change that warrants some kind of government media campaign that would educate the public and reduce confusion; perhaps it could be similar to the buildup to the change to digital TV signals. I know I am still confused by the multitude of options when I walk into the lighting section of my local hardware store.

  • BP

    Tom, it’s a no-brainer.  The incandescent is on the way out.  Anything that reduces energy use is an improvement, and excuse me some people spend the price of a new type bulb on coffee each morning!  The new bulbs will get better.  Regulation is okay by me, but generally unpopular in the U.S.; incentives are good, however.  Some time ago in Wisconsin, you got a coupon for $2 or $3 off a compact fluorescent bulb with every electric bill.  I’m not sure if the state was behind it, but I imagine it was.  Yeah we bought them!
    Those who say they want choice, want to have the choice to destroy our planet in a way we did when we didn’t understand the results of our energy-wasting ways.  I beg these people:  please  look at the evidence, get real, be adult, be responsible; there is no doubting climate change. God gave you a brain to work out the logical solution.

  • Modavations

    But Moda,but Moda you’ll save $100.00 bucks.I blow that in a night at the bar.

    • ulTRAX

      From where it’s clear you write all of your posts.

      • Terry Tree Tree

        AFTER Happy Hour?

  • Modavations

    Maine noted that if you bust a curli-cue bulb,you should call a Hazmat team,for $2000.00

    • ulTRAX

      Another claim. Have a credible source?

  • Mary Sawyer

    We switched to compact fluorescents in 1986 and are now phasing into LEDs.  No problems with color or depression. 

  • Kathy

    I have found that when you compare lumens of a “100 watt equivalent” to an actual 100 watt incandescent, they are NOT equivalent – lumens are supposed to be the measure of light cast, so how can they say it’s equivalent, when it’s clearly not??

  • Modavations

    I was in Vt.a few months ago and the room had the curli-cues.I had to sit two inches from it to read the newspaper.

    • BHA in Vermont

      Just because the bulb is undersized for the task at hand doesn’t mean the technology is bad.

  • BHA in Vermont

    Manufactured OFFSHORE!?

    Please. How much of the process is human based? I suspect about ZERO. There is no reason the bulbs can’t be built in the USA for the same cost and lower shipping charges and the associated pollution.

    • LaCresha

      Exactly!  Why do we have to bend down and fold to China?  If we produced them here…why golley gee, they would create jobs in the USA!!!

  • LaCresha

    How is this ok????  What about ALL the jobs that will be lost?  Why do we have to change?  How will this be good for economy?  More cost of living just for a light bulb???  I think we need to be less concerned with energy savings and be more concerned with the jobs, the people who put up the high line wires, those who can create jobs by having these factories in the USA instead of China!  Who’s messed up idea is this???

  • Dianna

    I have nothing against LEDs – the colors are gorgeous – but what will happen to CFLs? I have found some I quite like; will I be able to keep them? Or is the mercury too big a problem?

  • Modavations

    When I grade diamonds we view the stones under a hooded,fluorescent lamp,called the Dazor.The light is flat,without light,like winter.

    • Brett

      And just what does that have to do with Obama’s failed presidency, the evils of feminism, liberals being wimpy and warped individualism?

      • Modavations

        Nothing I hate more then Ivy League,Commizars telling the Peeps what to do.Go watch Clockwork Orange.Nanny State bullies

    • Terry Tree Tree

      Like you won’t be able to get this industry-spefic bulb?

  • Phil (Des Moines)

    I was an early adopter of CFLs and continue to use them, but am woefully disappointed by their inflated life claims. I’ve had so many go bad that the rest would have to last about 12 to 15 years in order to bet my 7-year average life.

    • Worried for the country(MA)

      I’ve noticed the same thing.  When I researched the problem I found that CFLs have a design flaw that life is reduced dramatically when they are subjected to on/off cycles.  They are probably not a good choice in applications like closets where they are switched on for brief periods.  Therefore we should continue to use incandescents in closets.   Oops I guess we don’t have that choice anymore.

  • YH

    Now that there are daylight CFLs, I am sticking to CFLs until I see LEDs with better efficiency (rated lumens/watt). Too often I see LEDs bulbs on the shelves of Home Depot, Lowe’s, etc that are more 3x cost of CFLs but offer worst to slightly better efficiency of CFLs. Even accounting for rated life of bulbs, CFLs is still more economical. So CFLs is still generally more efficient and much more cost effective.

    I know LEDs now can be much more efficient than CFLs but I am just not seeing it on the shelves.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1681158090 Ramon Bannister

    (Listening to broadcast right now.) I think LEDs and CFLs are a good idea. The only reason I haven’t invested in them is that – in the case of CFLs – they are expensive AND the light produced is jarring for my eyes. LEDs, in contrast, produce good light but are extremely expensive as compared to CFLs (which are already expensive). Moreover, the incandescent produces the best quality light by far.

  • Akfaka

    I am all for LEDs, but I wonder how much environmental impacts it produces in the manufacturing process? Seems to me all these talks about green technologies do nothing but shift the energy cost to the  
    manufactures so we can fool ourselves into thinking we are green. 

  • Yar

    The price per bulb will go down as the demand goes up! 
    Rebates will only slow the reduction in price.  Raise the price of electricity and people will change their bulbs to save money.

    • LaCresha

      WHY in the hell do we have to raise the price of electricity??  People are struggling enough, they don’t need more increase in their current cost of living!!!

      • Yar

        Because you are not paying the true cost, you might not care if you destroy my water, but water quality is part of the price. I don’t want my kids to drink water with poison in it so you can waste energy. 

      • BHA in Vermont

        I think it gets back to the argument that government shouldn’t mandate but the consumer should make the choice.

        If the cost of a more efficient bulb is less than the cost of the electricity saved, they will make the ‘good’ choice. More expensive electricity makes the ROI happen faster. Same with the price of gas. If it is $1/gallon, everyone buys the 10 MPG hog. At $4, people start buying 30, 40, 50 MPG cars.

        • Yar

          What would have happened if we added a 1 dollar per gallon tax on gas at the start of the Iraq war?  We would have changed the amount of fuel we use, we would have paid for the war, the price of fuel today would most likely be lower than it is now. We would most likely have been out of Iraq in less than 3 years.  This is way we should pay true costs.  
          Don’t get be started on the price of food.

      • Modavations

        If you’re in Ma., wait till you have to pay for Wind Mill Elec.

    • Steve T

      And the poor who can barely afford to pay their bill now can just sit in the dark?

  • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

    I generally take a libertarian attitude toward life, but in this case, the old bulbs are costing all of us too much in environmental damage and energy costs.  This is an area in which society as a whole has to act.

    • Brett

      I have to say, it is refreshing to hear from someone who has the capacity to make decisions based on good sense, irrespective of ideology! 

  • LaCresha

    PLEASE people!  This is NOT a good idea!  The light bulb has been just fine for 100 years, “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”!!!  Let’s keep the bulbs the same and get some factories here in the USA to help jobs, instead of increase our cost of living with something as stupid as a light bulb!
    The quality isn’t as solid in LED’s, and they are not available in the variety that regular bulbs are sold.  Why does America have to screw up everything?
    This is ridiculous!

    • BHA in Vermont

      Whale oil worked for decades as well, as did wax candles and gas light. Open fire has worked for thousands of years. Maybe we should all go back to open fires and hand carried fire torches.

      Consider how much coal or natural gas we WOULDN’T have to use to create electricity if a given amount of light was created for 17W instead of 100W.

  • Modavations

    The Mojave Desert,Solar projects, given the go ahead by BLM,have been litigated again,by coalition of Sierra Club,Unions and Indian tribes.Ms.Feinstein is worried about a tortoise.By the way an accountant who handled all the Calif.Dems campaign accounts, was arrested yesterday.She stole 5 million from Dianne and 400,000 from Ms.Sanchez

    • JustAskin

      The solar project was building light bulbs?

    • ulTRAX

      M’s alleged top notch college education again fails him not only in his illiterate style of writing but he STILL can’t fathom the simple concept of a “topic”.

      • Modavations

        As the Brown Shirts crushed the last light bulb,the Free Men turned to the Thought Commisar and chanted WOLVERINES

  • Info

    Sending more jobs and money to China. That is where almost all CFLs are made. We don’t even have a good option for LED lights made in this country yet!
    We will not be saving our economy by cutting American jobs. China will NOT bail us out.

  • http://www.eddiecaplan.com/ egc52556

    My son did a study for his high school and discovered it was cheaper to throw away their existing incandescent bulbs and replace them new CFL or LED bulbs… including the cost of the new bulbs.  The cost of the electricity was that great.

    BTW, I really need full spectrum light — or the equivalent — otherwise I feel ill.

  • salzburg

    What is the best light bulb for movement detectors? 

  • Mike Romany

    What about the safety? I worry about what’s inside when they break.

    Thanks.

    Mike

  • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

    I really don’t get the complaints.  My desk light is a CFL, and it’s brighter than an old bulb, and the kind of light doesn’t look any different to me.

  • Modavations

    Mr.Maddow,after doing the propaganda commercial for the Hoover Dam and a new WPA,was seen picketing in the Mojave.”Stop the Tortoise Holacost Now.”

    • Justaskin

      How is this about light bulbs?

      • Jeff C. in Newton Upper Falls

        Simple – light bulbs are used to illuminate your front porch, and you turn them on when someone comes to say hello, thus the “hola cost”.

    • TFRX

      “Mr. Maddow”?

      Maybe they didn’t teach you this at college, but in this country such remarks make you look like someone who is either confused about your own gender, or akin to a scared fourth grader on the playground grasping for any insult he can think of.

    • ulTRAX

      M’s alleged top notch college education again fails him not only in his illiterate style of writing but he STILL can’t fathom the simple concept of a “topic”.

    • Brett

      I suppose that is as good as it is going to get from a homophobic, misogynistic mindset?!?!

  • Jen

    For $75 my Mother just had a home energy audit. They installed the new CFL’s. When I visited her at her home this past weekend it took so long for the lights to warm up in the bathroom that there was basically no point to turning on the light! I’m all for saving $ and energy, but this is not progress.

    • BHA in Vermont

      Must have used cheap bulbs or something. I have some CFLs that are full bright in about 2 seconds. I do have one (which is NEWER, and therefore I presumed BETTER) that is a GE. Takes FOREVER. I swapped it from the long section to the small section over the kitchen counter with an older CFL.

  • CJ

    The conversation so far is about substituting LEDs into old uses of incandescents. New technology becomes much more useful when the new uses of the technology are exploited. LEDs can run on batteries and fit in the pocket, on glasses, on gloves… they can go with a person. We don’t need power plants, transmission, distribution, metering, house wiring in order to have light with us anywhere (in the house, in the woods, on the mountain or in caves) anytime.

  • Rex

    Why is everyone worried about the cost of the bulb?  The energy savings pay for the bulb in no time and you don’t have to change them.

    • Brandstad

      Rex, 

      The energy savings doesn’t pay for the change in no time.  It takes 2 years to pay for the CFL and much longer to pay for the LED because of the initial cost of the bulbs being so high and electricity being so cheap relatively.

      • Rex

        Touche.  I suppose the savings would be more on large scale projects and, of course, in the long run.

  • Cletus

    Please ask your expert about not COLOR temperature, but TEMPERATURE … are we going to be able to use these in oven interiors?  How about outdoors in subzero conditions?

  • Scott B, Jamestown NY

    To get LEDs and CFLs into homes people should be encouraged to buy one or two to replace the bulbs they use most.  For us it was places like the kitchen and living room.  That was when CFLs were about $5 each, but it was worth it with the savings we saw, and that we didn’t have to replace the bulbs all the time. 

    One thing that will kill any bulb is a lot of on/off action and/or a lack of ventilation.  There are incandescent bulbs that have been on continuously for decades, one for well over 70 years.  We’ve had CFL’s burn out after couple years and not the 5, but they were all in tight quarters, like globes, or places like the hallways where they’re on and off a lot.

    We can’t wait to be able to get LEDs in our house, as soon as it gets down to where we can afford them.

  • Steve

    I have tried several brands of CFL and LED bulbs and have been dissatisfied with all of them.  The equivalent light intensity seems to be exaggerated on all of them, to my eyes by a factor of about 2.  The light is blue-white and harsh.  Some have a delay before attaining full brightness.  Some can’t work with dimmers.  I have given them all away and currently plan to hoard incandescents.

    • ulTRAX

      There are warm CFLs… in fact most are. But there are also some that produce cooler light and full spectrum lighting. You must have purchased some of those. But it’s true, SOME CFLs have an annoying trait of starting dimmer and building up to full output.

  • Jeff from Montreal

    My wife and I just got married last week, and we had our reception on a hayfield out in the countryside in southern Quebec and it was all completely off the grid, running on batteries.  We lit the entire tent with 30 9-watt compact fluorescent, one for each table, for a total of 270W.  That’s huge savings compared 1000W of incandescent lights that came with the tent, and in fact we only used about half of the 30 bulbs.

    We used rice paper shades and the quality of light was fantastic, even according to my aesthetically scrutinous Architect wife, as well as one of our guests who was a lighting designer for a theatre.

  • Brilliant Iowan

    Tom,
    Consider this…a person could purchase a home, outfitted w/ LED lighting, and not likely to have to replace any bulb over the typical life of the home ownership.  So the bulbs are part of the purchase price.  WOW

    • Brandstad

      Brilliant Iowan

      Think about the price tag for buying a house with LED lighting instead of the industry standard.  A coworker looked to do this and it was going to cost over $7,000 to accomplish. WOW

      • Rhbroberg

        I call bs on that $7000 figure – even with the most-expensive $40 Philips bulbs on the market, that comes out to 175 light bulbs in his house.  Either that number is drastically inflated, or your friend lives in a very, very big house – and can easily afford id.

        • ulTRAX

          Maybe B’s coworker was setting up a grow house. LOL

  • Chris

    I’d be willing to pay more for a long lasting bulb as long as there’s a warranty.

  • Modavations

    Rand Paul questioned an EPA commizar about “water saving” toilets.He said you have to flush 10 times to clean the bowl

    • JustAskin

      How does this apply to light bulbs?

    • Anonymous

      What does Ron Paul eat? 

      • Brett

        I don’t think we want to know! 

        • Modavations

          Like 3 crows on a telephone line.Caw,caw

    • ulTRAX

      Off topic as usual.

  • Anonymous

    The mercury in CFL’s is *tiny* compared to what is in the coal burned to power incandescent bulbs!  The mercury in CFL’s can be recycled — the mercury in coal is what is poisoning our world.

    Neil

  • Brilliant in Iowa

    Tom,
    Question: What would it take to manufacture the bulbs in USA and export?  Is simply an living wage question?

  • Modavations

    After Shell oil spent 5 Bill.on an Alaskan Oil field,the EPA denied their permits and Shell walked.The 4 Dem. members(one or two were activist lawyers)said a village 75 miles away, would be affected by oil fumes from frigging ice breakers.

    • JustAskin

      Were the LIGHT BULBS too bright in that tanker?

      • Modavations

        That’s the fall back excuse.It tampers with the “Leatherbacks” gyros

    • ulTRAX

      Off topic as usual.

  • Level headed citizens needed

    This is a trumped up controversy. Changing efficiency standards are not unusual. Today, you would not be able to buy and install the same boiler or a.c. unit that your parents or grandparents had. The standards and efficiency of those models has likely changed and theses would be ‘illegal’ to buy. It is not about “freedom of choice,” it is about changing/improving technologies.
    It is simply that this is a consumer purchased product rather than a professional purchased item (meaning your plumber or electrician buys and installs it) that the public is even paying attention.

    And I wholeheartedly agree with the commenter who spoke of our soldiers that sacrifice for the energy security of our nation….and the “support our troops” bumper sticker crowd is going to complain about sacrificing their lightbulbs??

  • Everyman600

    NOT TRUE THAT CFLS LAST LONGER: IT IS A LIE!  The switching connection, on-off architecture, burns out after a few hundred switches.  Have been using them for years and have replaced several dozen after a couple hundred hours at most.  You fast talkers get your info from models, not direct use measurement in real life settings.  The switching is the weak link, on/off use as in a real home burns out fast.

    • ulTRAX

      If you’re going to repeat yourself so will I…

      Not true. I have some Phillips CFLs I bought back in 1992 that are used several times a day and ALL are just fine. But there are some instances where CFLs don’t seem to hold up well. There are two enclosed ceiling fixtures at my mom’s house that seem to require CLF replacement every two years.

  • Chris Parker

    Shame on you guys for giving in to that ridiculous mercury panic. The net amount of mercury in CFLs is so low it’s not even worth talking about. Look it up.

    • Jasoturner

      Listen, if we start looking things up we’ll have nothing to snark about.  Jeesh.

  • Katie

    My boyfriend and I just moved into a new apartment and the first thing we did was change the lightbulbs from flourescent to good old 100 watts.  The color that the bulbs give off is extremely important to ambiance and mood!

    • ulTRAX

      The light from traditional fluorescents that have been around since… perhaps the 40′s, is garish. But most CLFs also have that “warmer” incandescent color temperature you’re used to.

  • JLNeill

    The Federal govrenment has no business telling us citizens how to light our home or what light bulbs to purchase. Albsoulte nonsense, Lets have government, grovern for the people wishes !!!! They surely have more important issues to deal with. Wake up American Legislators!!!!

    • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

      Does the Federal government have any business regulating the environment?  If no, who’s going to take care of removing the smog that I don’t want to breathe?

      • Jasoturner

        No, the magical marketplace will start selling you clean canned air that you will be free to purchase at competitive prices whenever your budget allows.

  • Mary

    CFLs have small amounts of mercury, but electricity generation, especially coal burning, also produces mercury. Use of CFLs cuts down on air-borne mercury.

  • Brilliant in Iowa

    Tom,
    Rather than consider the rare earths as a land-fill issue, consider the bulbs as a source to be recycled and these elements to be reclaimed.

  • jtellerelsberg

    An important reminder for listeners: though these bulbs are more expensive, many if not most utilities run occasional programs that make compact fluorescent bulbs available at discounted prices or even free. Here in Vermont, there’s a program running for the time being that makes these bulbs a mere $1 each. Utilities do this because subsidizing the price of efficient bulbs is better business for them than building new power plants or buying expensive power from the grid. If everyone took full advantage of these programs, that would make much of the cost issue a non-issue.

    I have dimmable compact florescent bulbs in my house and have had mostly good experience with them. A few of them buzzed, but I have been able to find others that are silent. They don’t dim as much as incandescents do, but they dim plenty for our needs. When new they went to full brightness immediately. As they have aged, they take a couple of minutes (and only a couple of minutes) to warm up to full brightness. Sometimes that’s mildly annoying, but to my mind a heck of a lot less annoying than a higher electric bill every month.

  • Mark

    CFLS ACTUALLY BURN OUT AFTER A COUPLE HUNDRED SWITCHES.  The SWITCHES, not the filament, burn out fast.  I’ve replaced a couple dozen in the four years I’ve had them in my house. 

    • http://reinventing-america.blogspot.com/ ulTRAX

      Not true. I have some Phillips CFLs I bought back in 1992 that are used several times a day and ALL are just fine. But there are some instances where CFLs don’t seem to hold up well. There are two enclosed ceiling fixtures at my mom’s house that seem to require CLF replacement every two years.  

  • Modavations

    As the massed,”free men” assembled to watch the last 100watt bulb smashed, a chant was heard wafting through the air…..WOLVERINES

  • Mieshe

    We use CFB exclusively in our home. However, in view of the mercury content, I think more attention should be paid to  easy recycling. The recycling center where we lived before received fluorescent bulbs; in our new town we’re supposed to deliver a car-full before we return any.

    • Scott B, Jamestown NY

      Stores that sell them should be encouraged to offer an easy way take them back for recycling. Home Depot has a small box for them in their entry ways, but I can’t exactly put the 4′ ship light tube in it.

  • jtellerelsberg

    I would also like to note that compact fluorescent bulbs come in different “color” options, from cooler to warmer. If you don’t like the fluorescents you’ve currently got, maybe the solution is getting different ones rather than jumping over to energy-hogging incandescents. 

    • http://reinventing-america.blogspot.com/ ulTRAX

      I’m using a “full spectrum” CFL as a write this. They produce what is considered a cooler light but more akin to natural daylight. They were a bit more expensive than the “warmer” CFLs… I just wanted to try them.

  • Common Senseless

    I don’t have to worry about this.  I stocked up on whale oil lamps a long time ago.

    • BHA in Vermont

      Must be a bit of a problem chasing after wales to fill the lamps though ;)

      • Modavations

        I’ve got a sweetheart from Knighton,Wales

      • ulTRAX

        I hear the Chinese are opening up whale farms!

  • stephanie

    Thank you for this discussion. Brett, I thank you immensely for your vision and explanation of “cradle to cradle” products. I hope your example leads manufacturers of many more products to follow in your footsteps. We also need a segment of society to beat the drum on these overarching issues so that we can make responsible, economically smart choices that take into account all costs, including ones we do not typically account for, such as environmental degradation or shipping of manufacturing jobs overseas. Yes, the incandescent bulbs are cheaper to buy outright, but what are the “real” costs that we as consumers do not usually think about.

  • RobertME

    On the human adoption front; People voraciously adopted new and very expensive flat screen TVs a few years ago, and high demand drove down costs of the technology.  Of course all those new, enormous, flat screens are energy hogs and people were willing to pay for them initially at very high costs in spite of wasteful energy use. 

    Now with LED light bulbs we have a product that provides lasting energy and monetary savings, but people may be unwilling to adopt it because there is no “pleasure/ entertainment” incentive… just a boring moral imperitave to save the planet.  

  • Steve

    For many of us who live in cold climates, the heat from incandescent bulbs is beneficial.  I assume it reduces the energy needed from other sources like gas and oil to heat our homes.  Has anyone factored in the cost of the LOSS of heat from incandescents?  That heat has to be made up from somewhere. 

    • BHA in Vermont

      CFLs aren’t cold, neither are LEDs they just aren’t as hot as incandescents.

      It is a LOT cheaper to heat the house with anything BUT electricity.

      A human puts out about 100W of heat, just add 1 person for every bulb you replace :)

      • Yar

        Yuri Zhivago returns home from the war to Moscow to discover that the People have taken over his home and moved 15 families into it, he pauses to process this infomation and then says “It’s much better this way. More just.” When his slightly more cynical uncle laughs at this, Yuri insists, “but it is more just!”
        I not sure I want to heat my home with people, I would rather turn down the heat.

  • frustrated fan user

    In our ceiling fans, we have tried several different cfl bulbs, including ones that are specifically meant for the vibration of ceiling fans.  However, the lights flicker and I read online that means it is not drawing enough electricity to stay steady.  How can we be green without needlessly changing light fixtures, and in turn, make more waste?

    • BHA in Vermont

      Interesting. I have 4 (2 40W and 2 20W equivilents I think) ‘candelabra’ CFLs in our bedroom ceiling fan and don’t have this problem.

    • TFRX

      I have read that overtightening bulb affects the fixture, and any bulb you put in afterwards will flicker because the contact isn’t made securely. Then one screws it in a bit tighter, leading to more physical distortion of the electrical contact.

      A handyman should be able to tweak this back to the norm.

      (I’m not advising anyone to electrocute themselves.)

      (No cite, couldn’t find it in 2 mins. It’s out there someplace.)

  • Jeff C. in Newton Upper Falls

    Recycling is a weak solution to controlling toxic materials. I live in high-minded Newton with “mandatory recycling” and my neighbors put all kinds of recyclable materials in the trash barrel. I’d love to have trash inspectors imposing fines, but it would violate Americans’ God-given right to pollute freely.

    • BHA in Vermont

      Don’t know if they still do it but friends in Weathersfield CT some years back were required to use clear plastic trash bags and apparently there was compliance checking for recyclables.

      • Jasoturner

        When black trash bags are outlawed, only outlaws will have really interesting trash…

    • Steve T

      It would at least create jobs that pay for themselves. We are not going to stop doing what we want no matter who it hurts.

  • Wayne

    Listening to the political comments at the start of the show makes me feel like a true patriot. I don’t have a flag pin but I have changed all the light bulbs in the house and put up solar panels to generate the electricity to light them.  Using home grown energy reduces our dependence on foreign oil, and the need to go to war over it.  President Bush’s call to for this switch in light bulbs was partly justified for this reason, not to mention the need to reduce carbon emissions for the sake of the planet.  I’ve been able to do this without any great sacrifice.  I have dimmable CFL bulbs where I need them, LED bulbs where they work in the hallway, and even changed all my Christmas lights to LED.   During the summer, I earn a credit from the electric company.

    • BHA in Vermont

      “Using home grown energy reduces our dependence on foreign oil”

      Hate to burst your bubble but only 1% of the electricity generated in the USA is made from oil. Most of the oil is used for transportation. Now, when you replace your gas/diesel car with an electric vehicle charged from your solar panels, THEN you can say you are saving oil.

      Not that I disagree with your actions, it reduces the need to mine/drill and burn coal and natural gas (58+% of electricity production, nuclear is another 20+%). :) Using less of most anything is GOOD no matter the reason.

  • Modavations

    While the Vilnius Times(Lithuania)ran the  NYC election story,on it’s front page,the New York Times did not mention it.When Pravada, in Moscow was quiered ,they just blushed.

    • ulTRAX

      M’s alleged top notch college education again fails him not only in his illiterate style of writing but he STILL can’t fathom the simple concept of a “topic”. Of course perhaps a better explanation is found in the psychiatric realm.

  • Modavations

    As the Book burners cowered,the chant of the Free Men rose………WOLVERINES

    • ulTRAX

      M’s alleged top notch college education again fails him not only in his illiterate style of writing but he STILL can’t fathom the simple concept of a “topic”.

  • wall color change with cfls

    I have had to change paint colors on my walls because during the day with natural light the color looks one way and at night with cfls the colors look entirely different and usually horrible!

  • Mark

    Seems like the show is ignoring my experince that cfl’s do not last above 1-200 hours.  The switching burns out not the element.  mark

    • Ray in VT

      My brother has had problems with some of the ones that he has put in his barn, but my house bulbs have been running for 3-4 years so far, and my light bill dropped by several dollars per month when I made the change over.

    • Chris Parker

      Might be because your experience is singular and not representative of everyone else’s experience. For instance, I replaced my incandescents with CFLs years ago, and the original bulbs are still on.

      Also, bonus, no mercury poisoning.

    • ulTRAX

      Gee Mark, are you getting PAID to post that same comment over and over? This is now the THIRD new thread you started where you’ve said the same thing.

  • Chris Parker

    FEAR CHANGE, right? That’s the message. Folks like Bruce is why this country is in trouble.

  • Rorytn

    They’re lightbulbs people. Calm down. This isn’t a fascist take over. Save the drama for something real.

  • Stillin

    I’m with Bruce, I am going to go get my lightbulbs for my life after school today…thanks Bruce for putting it out there.

    • Ray in VT

      I really hope that you’re kidding.

  • Ray in VT

    As to the caller who called this the “actions of a totalitarian government”, please.  This sort of quiet frankly deranged sentiment has somehow become mainstream is a disgrace to our national dialogue.  The next thing you know our totalitarian government will mandate that we can’t have lead in our paint or our gasoline!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1478170644 Natalie Hildt

    The lighting revolution is here. Cutting-edge LEDs are getting better – faster and cheaper than anyone predicted. Contrary to popular opinion, the federal lighting standards have actually spurred competition and meant more choices for consumers. And LEDs mean jobs. Just one example: the growth of the industry has allowed manufacturer Cree to add over 800 full-time jobs at its Durham headquarters since February 2009.

  • Mitch

    I work for Panera Bread.  My cafe went out and bought CFL for the entire store.  When home office came in they asked us to put all the old bulbs back, because CFL doesn’t make the food look good, nor does it make people feel comfortable.

    In order to get wide adoption in the commercial sector, customers will have to be comfortable with it before business risk making themselves uncomfortable.

    • ulTRAX

      Check the color temp of the bulbs.

  • Stillin

    Maybe the “new jobs” for the future will be light bulb police going door to door, you know, with benefits….

    • Modavations

      and unionized

  • BHA in Vermont

    Right, the government is on a power trip, wanting to control everything we all do. PULLEEZZEE

  • Mike sherman

    Clarification:  incandescent light bulbs are not banned.  The government established an efficiency standard that first 100 watt bulbs need to meet. The technology to improve traditional incandescent bulb efficiency has existed for decades but manufacturers chose not to change.  Further the 100 watt bulb is not the most commonly used bulb; 60 and 75 watt bulbs are more common.  So America won’t go dark by February.

  • Chris Parker

    You sound crazy, lady. I think we’re listening to a little too much Fox news, huh? Did your son think to calculate energy savings costs?

    • Anonymous

      All schoolwork done by 10:00 am and time to sit the kids in front of the radio.  Not even the evil lazy union public school teachers can get away with that.

      • Chris Parker

        Not really sure what point you’re trying to make, here. Don’t see much about light bulbs so…

        • Anonymous

          It was a comment on the quality of education that is likely being offered by the nutty home-schooler caller.  She couldn’t just make her point about lightbulbs, she had to say that she was home-schooling, and that the government plot is so simple that a child making some calculations can get to the bottom of it.

          • Chris Parker

            Ok. Right on. Trolls abound in these places, so my defenses are up.

          • Brett

            Man, when you gotta explain your humor…

          • Jasoturner

            For what it’s worth, I found that comment highly amusing…

          • Brett

            …as did I! John’s humor is the most enduring on here! Sorry, it was more directed toward Chris Parker 

          • Anonymous

            Thanks!

  • Mike manka

    Just like water saving  toilets,the government made us use them. Now you get to flush two or three times.

  • Scott B, Jamestown NY

    People should think about how much energy will be saved for the times when more energy for increased use of air conditioners or heaters is taxing power stations.  It could very well prevent the need for rolling blackouts, and the brownouts, that are so common in certain parts of the country during certain times of the year.

  • Kathie

    what about the buzz that the LEDs make?  We switched back to CFLs because the LEDs we put in made so much noise

    • Anonymous

      Interesting point. I don’t have any in my house, but this would annoy me as well.

  • Ctmhall750

    I have changed to CFL bulbs in my entire house.  The original reason I changed was because incandescent bulbs were burning out so quickly, sometimes once a month.  You had to buy alot more of the cheaper bulb.  The CFL last at least a year.  I’ve had some in for several years.  Will the LED bulbs last that long?
     

    • Anonymous

      From what I’ve read about LED’s they can last for years. The more expensive ones up to ten years.

  • Ebbob35

    Regarding CFL: Mercury laden, absolutely no EPA or local code enforcement to take care of broken bulbs; no recycling except for retailers, e.g. Lowe’s. Why put this to residential users before trying it on businesses/government properties?
    LED: okay, no mercury. Do it first with businesses, government properties first.  They must do it there first!

    • Chris Parker

      Mercury… laden? Do some reading! Please, folks, stop thinking Fox news is a good replacement for independent thought!

      READ!

    • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

      What about the mercury that coal plants pump into the air?  In the balance of harms, the CFLs are much better.

  • Kelly

    Everyone needs to take a look for subsidies.  I get my CFL’s for 25 cents a piece.

    • Lynne

      Sorry, but to have to have subsidies for lightbulbs seems like a world gone mad with intervention and regulation.  What next?  Quotas (and subsidies?) for toilet paper?  “Yes” I can hear many saying…

      • Modavations

        The singer Sheryl(?)All we want to do is have some fun….actually said you should be limited to one square per session.I heard her myself,as she flew off in her Lear Jet

        • ulTRAX

          M’s alleged top notch college education again fails him not only in his illiterate style of writing but he STILL can’t fathom the simple concept of a “topic”.

        • Gregg

          Sheryl Crow.

          • Modavations

            Bingo!!!Welcome aboard General.The Tought Police are crying on their Birkenstocks today.

          • Terry Tree Tree

            General???  Did you mean the Taught Police?

      • TFRX

        In a world where corporations lobby like hell to make sure they keep stripping costs (monetary, environmental and social) off for all of society to bear, while privatizing, reaping the benefits, such subsidies are not “gone mad”.

        • Jasoturner

          Astute point.  Well said.

  • Wackerdr

    Tom, Tom, Tom. Once again you’ve taken a non-issue and blown it totally out of protortion. If you really want to focus on the issues, this one should strictly be the idea that the government should mandate this swithch. If I want to use a 100 watt bulb, I can get two 50′s and a simple y-adapter. Let’s let the market rule. Anyone with common sense can see that the CFLs are much better that they used to be and that’s because we consumers demanded it.

    • Jeff C. in Newton Upper Falls

      When the market allows continued belching from coal-powered nuclear plants, I think it’s time to intervene. Use of 100-watt bulbs negatively affects other citizens. We don’t each get our own planet. Maybe the market would eventually react when the entire northeast is brown from acid rain and West Virginia is one big crater, but that would be a bit late, doncha think? Or maybe it wouldn’t react, if slick marketing by coal companies dupes an increasingly ignorant populace, and energy corporations have no limits on funding the campaigns of their pet politicians.

      • Terry Tree Tree

        Coal-powered nuclear plants?

  • SJT

    My energy company (NSTAR in Massachusetts) did an energy audit and replaced all my incandescent bulbs with CFLs for free.  I figure I’m set for lighting for the next 10 years.  I’m guessing that these audits may be available for LEDs.
    By the way, I had a few dimmer switches that I never liked.  I replaced myself them to be compatible with CFLs for about $3 each.

  • jbop from DesMoines.

    If all the high ceiling lights in gymnasiums didn’t need to be replaced for ten years, custodians would be very happy, and safer.  Also, lighting in refrigerators in grocery stores would give out less heat, saving a lot of energy.

  • Lori C

    Although I am adverse to replacing all of my incandescents, I realized that I heavily rely on the light emitted from my computer monitor (LCD) and television (LCD).  I rarely turn on a lamp anymore, so adding an LED lamp or two would not be exhorbitant.  However, I do look forward to the LED “wallpaper” idea as energy-efficient and environmental ambient light. 

  • Aefister

    Been using CFLs and LED lighting since they hit the market years ago – I’m never going back to the dinosaur wasteland of incandescent bulbs. 

  • Simpson601

    LEDS  are being subsidized in Western PA by Duquesne light.Available @ Costcos.

  • Rex

    What’s all this talk about CFLs burning out?  In the past three years I have not replaced the spiral bulbs in my lamps.

    • ulTRAX

      Having used CFLs for about 20 years I have noticed some don’t take well to being in enclosed fixtures. If they are upside down, some can appear to have browned from overheating.

  • Lynne

    Government intervention seems so beside the point.  LED or flourescents could garner a real (unforced) market share by making them good enough for consumers to want to buy them.  There is very little on the market that doesn’t change.  And when a better mousetrap (or lightbulb) comes around, people will flock to buy them.  Let the green world buy green and those who prefer incandescent by incandescent.  Sooner or later, if the bulbs are worth it, consumers will opt in.  To force people to buy $40 light bulbs, however, seems downright criminal.

    • ulTRAX

      “To force people to buy $40 light bulbs, however, seems downright criminal.”

      And this is happening where exactly????  

  • Tim

    I switched from C7 bulbs to the LED equivalent several years ago for our christmas tree.  The initial cost was high, but the benefit was huge.  First of all, we have a 14 foot tree in our family room.  It takes approximately 12 – 14 sets of lights depending on its diameter.  Three big benefits immediately came through, first and foremost was the drop in our electrical bill, second was that the tree did not dry out as fast due to the fact that the LED’s burn cool as opposed to the heat of a Std C7 and lastly was the effect.  The, lights were a bit softer than the std C7′s giving the tree an old fashioned kind of look.  It looked great.  I welcome the new LED’s.  The technology will only get better as the technology improves.

  • Scott B, Jamestown NY

    Our local power company offers a decent, and immediate, rebate your next power bill  if you brought the receipt for an Energy Star compliant appliance.  That could be applied to LEDs.

    The utility also offered one  free CFL to anyone. If a person even replaced just one frequently used bulb with the CFL it’s a start.

    BTW, CFL’s do light under 30F.  I have CFLs and 4′ tubes in my unheated garage (often closer to 0F in deep winter months) and they do take an extra second or two to turn on and a few more to get to full brightness, but it’s not like I need to perform emergency surgery immediately upon entering the room.  But I accept that like my wife and I accepted, as an early adapters of CFLs years ago, the extra second or two it took after flipping the switch for the kitchen CFL to come on.  Which, by the way, isn’t an issue at all anymore with the new CFLs we use.

  • TJ

    Lights for our Animals! I came late to the show so could not call in and have always wanted to hear this concern discussed. I have not read all the comments so not sure if it has been addressed but I doubt it.

    Since incandescent bulbs are the only one that DO give off heat anyone who keeps a reptile that needs a basking area CANNOT USE the CSF, Halogen or LED bulbs.  When they first hit the market I tried some as it would have been great to replace my 100w bulbs that are on 10-14 hours/day, but of course this was not going to be possible.  My bearded dragon’s basking area needs to get up to 105°.  I have a turtles and two other lizards that require these lights.

    As it is, companies sell “Basking Lights” for a ridiculous amount of money where inexpensive incandescents work just fine.  There is an obvious concern here – what do we do when we can no longer heat our animals? Will we be at the mercy of rip-off companies to charge us whatever they please for “basking lights?”  How do we stock up when, unlike your caller who could estimate his “lifetime supply” we cannot.

    I would REALLY like to hear this discussed the next time you air this subject or on any other NPR program (I am in the VPR and NHPR listening area, sorry, don’t get WBUR)

    The reptile community thanks you.

    • Anon

      Or you could let animals live where they are supposed to and get a pet indigenous to your region…

      • Brett

        This gets my vote for favorite comment of the day! 

    • BHA in Vermont

      Stupid questions:
      - Why do the reptiles have to be heated by a light bulb?
      - What keeps them from getting too cold the other 10-14 hours a day?
      - Could they not be kept warm via small space heaters instead?

      Re: not getting WBUR – you can listen on the web, same as you can listen to VPR (which I do all day at work). Of course that doesn’t help if you are out doing things and have only a radio handy.

      • ulTRAX

        BHA asked: “Why do the reptiles have to be heated by a light bulb?”

        Obviously they’re afraid of the dark!! 

    • ulTRAX

      Gee, 20 years ago there were small heating “pads” available for snakes etc. Are you saying they’re off the market?

  • DavidMSwan

    Trying to bump up the discussion to a few main points:

    1) Government: I don’t think the government should be mandating the types of light bulbs people have to use!  This is plain silly, period!  Rather, the government should help make the new, vastly more efficient bulbs affordable.

    2) Color: This is a real issue with existing alternatives such as CFC, and current LEDs, which often produce an unappealing, unnatural light.  But, this _will_ be resolved in the next few years.  You will be able to buy efficient non-incandescent bulbs in the spectrum of your choice. 

    3) Cost: The new bulbs save a LOT of energy.  This is not a theory, it is backed up by science (which a lot of people don’t seem to care for!).  People who are complaining that this is a government conspiracy are missing the point.  Yes, the new bulbs are currently _very_ expensive (A caller noted it would cost her family $720 to replace her existing incandescent bulbs).  What the caller fails to understand is that this investment will be recouped within ~1 year via lower electricity bills. That siad, many people cannot afford to spend such a large sum, so they should be allowed to continue using incandescent bulbs and slowly replace them when _and if_ they choose to. 

    In summary: The government should not be involved beyond education and helping to reduce cost.  Bulbs that produce the exact same light spectrum we currently enjoy will be available soon.  The bulbs will quickly pay off.

    Thanks to Tom for doing his usual great job with this piece.  I listen to everything you do and appreciate your knowledge and skill moderating discussions.  You are second to none!
      

  • Anonymous

    Hoarding a lifetime supply of light bulbs.
    Home schooling hothouse kids so the outside world can’t taint them.
    Fever dreams of black helicopters.Paranoia strikes deep
    Into your life it will creep
    It starts when you’re always afraid
    You step out of line, the man come and take you away

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9d0d6qgsvTw

  • Wes, Cambridge, MA

    I am surprised that you did not talk about the health effects of lighting. Many people are avoiding CFL bulbs because they believe they are unhealthy, emitting harmful EMF radiation, especially people with EMF sensitivity. They are stocking up on incandescent bulbs. They are skeptical of the new LED bulbs also. Do the new LED bulbs produce less EMF radiation than the CFL bulbs? Are they as healthy as incandescent bulbs?

    • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

      What harmful EMF?  Light is an electromagnetic frequency, as are radio waves.

      • Anonymous

        My tinfoil hat blocks most of that.

        • Wes, Cambridge, MA

          Electromagnetic Hypersensitivity (EHS) is a real phenomenon, although the cause of it is not agreed upon within the scientific community. I have two friends who suffer from it. I do not have it, myself, but I am concerned for those who do.

          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electromagnetic_hypersensitivity

          From Wikipedia: “Figures from Carlsson et al.[10] show that 1.9% of people report much annoyance from visual displays and fluorescent lighting. 2.4% report much or some annoyance with both any electrical factor and also chemicals or smells. A 1991 study by William J. Rea concluded that there is “strong evidence that electromagnetic field sensitivity exists”.[11]”

          My point is that health effects and perceived health effects need to be considered in the adopting new technology.  I have two other friends who are stocking up on incandescent bulbs, not because they have EHS themselves, but because they believe that CFL bulbs effect their health adversely.

          • ulTRAX

            “Figures from Carlsson et al.[10] show that 1.9% of people report much annoyance from visual displays and fluorescent lighting.” It’s unclear whether this is RF sensitivity or a sensitivity to the flicker. I could perceive the flicker of my old CRT monitor if the refresh rate was 60Hz… and I can perceive the flicker of long fluorescent tubes, also at 60Hz.  

      • ulTRAX

        Tune an AM portable radio between stations and put it up to a CFL.  

        • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

          But that frequency isn’t harmful.

          • ulTRAX

            My only point was that the RF from CFLs exists. Who are we to say some aren’t sensitive to it?

          • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

            I’m saying that.  If you claim that radio waves are harmful, provide evidence, not speculation.

          • ulTRAX

            WHERE DID I SAY RF FROM CFLs WAS HARMFUL???

            I’m not saying anything other than some MIGHT be sensitive to RF… and unlike you I will NOT claim such sensitivity doesn’t exist because I simply don’t know. But feel free to revel in your omniscience. 

            CFLs DO give off RF while traditional incandescents don’t. My house is filled with CFLs. My only problem with the RF is it interferes with AM radio reception at times.
             

          • TFRX

            Yeah, ham radio sorts, and the FCC take this kind of thing seriously, and I have yet to read anything about this at the AM band.

            All the stuff about “safe distances” and radio waves (at power levels one will find except next to a broadcast tower) are about freqs way, way up the spectrum.

  • Modavations

    Obama and the thought police have a snitch line called Attackwatch.com.If you see someone who espouses opinion that is abhorent to the left,you can turn them in.Unfortuneatly,I’m not making this up.And the chant wafting through the Ether grew louder….WOLVERINES

    • ulTRAX

      M’s alleged top notch college education again fails him not only in his illiterate style of writing but he STILL can’t fathom the simple concept of a “topic”.

    • Ray in VT

      The right has a snitch line, too.  I think that they call it Fox News.

      • Modavations

        Dude,I’m serious about this

    • Brett

      Judging by your continued comments, I’d say you haven’t a thing to worry about from any so-called “thought police”!

    • Steve T

      OK I just tried to turn you in but they don’t think you worth the trouble. Actually need people like you to keep up the interference of good public debate. 

    • Modavations

      Bad news,you have to “snitch your mate” in the Mother Tongue….German.Again kids,this is the serious malfeasance 
      of the POLICE STATE

    • Terry Tree Tree

      Like Ed’s snitch line to turn in anyone that doesn’t believe totally in the Child-Molesting, Child-Abusing church?

  • Andrey

    About price.
    Old fashion 100W bulb consumes 100W and price is $0.50
    New LED 100W equivalent consumes 20W and price is $40.00
    National grid price is 7.282 cents/kWH
    There are about 8760 hours is the year.
    Let say light is on one third times.
    It is 2920 hours per year.
    in 3 years incandescent bulb will eat about $64.00 including price of bulb.
    LED will consume $53.00 including price of bulb.

    • Worried for the country(MA)

      LEDs will be more attractive once National Grid starts charging you Cape Wind prices.

      • Jasoturner

        Excellent in every way.  Well played indeed.

    • BHA in Vermont

      Our local price is 13.5 cents/KWH year round. LEDs already ROI faster :)

      • Brandstad

        So a quick websearch puts an 8W LED replacement bulb for a 60W incondescent costs $33.  If your power costs 13.5 cents/KWH and a 60W incondescent bulb costs $1 or less, then it takes 4700hrs to save the initial investment of the bulb. 

        In my house, the average light bulb in the house is only on for 4hrs a day or less and at that rate it would take 3.25 years for the savings to pay off assuming the LED bulb wasn’t defective and die before that. 

        • ulTRAX

          Obviously when gettting started with energy efficient lighting it’s best to target lights that are on for long periods of time. It makes no sense to initially target lights that are on for just a few minutes at a time like for closets.

    • Jasoturner

      If you are talking NGrid in Massachusetts, you might be paying 8 cents for the commodity, but you are also paying another four or five cents for local distribution charges on each kWh.

      Also, the utilities offer rebates to help offset the cost of efficient lighting, and often set up booths in malls and workplaces where you can buy a lighting bundle at a very steep discount.

      Finally, LEDs are much more expensive than CFLs at this time, which distorts the economics – at least if you want to identify achievable savings with current technologies in general.  But I agree, LEDs are not a bargain at this time.

      • Worried for the country(MA)

        Yup, the ‘deregulation’ of the power grid in MA sure saved us loads of $$$.
        NOT!

        • Modavations

          Similar to Romney-Obama care.and the Emergency room treatment rate ,dropped nary and iota

          • ulTRAX

            M’s alleged top notch college education again fails him not only in his illiterate style of writing but he STILL can’t fathom the simple concept of a “topic”. Of course perhaps a better explanation is found in the psychiatric realm.

        • Jasoturner

          Well, as we hear from Congress, the government screws everything up, so I guess we should be thankful that altruistic private power producers now control power generation.  Fortunately we know that ISO regulations eliminate any chance of them gaming the system, so we must have achieved the lowest power prices attainable.

          Viva capitalism!  It just makes life better and better for the little people forced to buy products like electricity, gasoline and communication/internet services!

    • Kerry

      Actual cost paid by average consumer for electricity is closer to 15 cents after taxes and other fees.  You forgot to mention and include the cost of replacing that 100 watt incandescent at least 7 times.  Average functional life of a standard A lamp is 1000 hours.  So your cost is at least $3.50 more than you state for using incandescent.  As you stretch the lifetime over the next 5 years the cost differential will increase.  The 20 watt LED (already paid for) will cost you $13 to run while the next eight 100 watt A lamps will cost you $68.  If energy costs increase (as they likely will) that will jump even more. 

  • Modavations

    I’ve got 100 bulbs stashed down the basement.When folks realize what’s happened I’ll probably be able to sell for $10.00 a pop.And the chant grew and grew.WOLVERINES

    • Brett

      Wow! 100 incandescent bulbs AND $5,000 stashed down in that basement! …When the collapse of our country becomes fully realized, and lawlessness ensues, you’ll be like a Vanderbilt or something! …Answer this: vacuum-sealed dehydrated food or canned goods? 

      • JustAskin

        How would a 14 year old get money for 100 bulbs?

      • Steve T

        Lol He’s forgotten a couple of things to consider. That money wont be worth the paper it’s printed on and electric services wont be on. I hope he got matches to burn the money for heat and he’ll probably eat the bulbs, because he forgot to buy vacuum-sealed dehydrated food or canned goods.

    • Jasoturner

      Don’t forget ammo, gasoline and scotch…

      • Modavations

        In Ma.they even banned “squirt guns”

        • Jasoturner

          Nah.  There are at least two gun shops within a 20 minute drive of my house.  You can get guns no problem in MA. Like just about everywhere else in this country.

        • Terry Tree Tree

          You referring to the ‘grease gun’ of WWII? 

  • Worried for the country(MA)

    Wait, there is a clearly a conspiracy here.  How am I going to power my Easy Bake Oven once they ban the bulbs?

    Oh, the shame!

    • Scott B

      You can always buy them as “heating elements” from Australia.

  • rose

    I was surprised Tom Ashbrook didn’t address 2 issues:  1: how do you dispose of the new bulbs? do you have to save the old ones and take them somewhere for recycling? if they break, is it dangerous to pick up the pieces and throw them in the trash? Are those pieces dangerous to children and pets?
    2) I’ve heard that more efficient incandescent bulbs are being developed. Is this true?

    • Scott B, Jamestown NY

      Places like Home Depot have a drop box for CFLs, and I don’t see why you can’t put the LEDS in them, either, when they die 20 years later. lol

      Incandescent makers have improved the old light bulbs to 20% – 30% effience vs the 10% now (light to heat).

  • Modavations

    What’s next….Food Police. And the chant of the Free Men rose through the Ether…………

    • ulTRAX

      M’s alleged top notch college education again fails him not only in his illiterate style of writing but he STILL can’t fathom the simple concept of a “topic”. Of course perhaps a better explanation is found in the psychiatric realm.

  • Scott B, Jamestown NY

    I had turtles for years and it’s instinctual for them to find light. Cold-blooded animals associate  [sun]light with heat, so generally most non-desert reptiles aren’t looking for a hot rock.  Get a heating rock and any lightbulb placed over it will do, as they’re only concerned with body temperature, not trying to achieve photosynthesis.

    I did hear on a home improvement show that LEDs  is that insect don’t see them. So instead of having to have those ugly yellow bulbs in your porch lamp, an LED bulb won’t attract them.

  • Modavations

    Rep.Jean Shakowsky’s husband ,has just been indicted

    • JustAskin

      Was that because of the light bulbs?

      • Brett

        I think what Mo-D is trying to say in his inimitable, oblique manner, is that he studied hard at night growing up (without the use of light bulbs)…

        • Modavations

          Like three crows on a telephone line.Caw,Caw. Off to the gym,play nice girls

          • Terry Tree Tree

            ????

    • ulTRAX

      M’s alleged top notch college education again fails him not only in his illiterate style of writing but he STILL can’t fathom the simple concept of a “topic”. Of course perhaps a better explanation is found in the psychiatric realm.

  • Modavations

    Speaking of Dim Bulbs:let me posit this Ms.Bachman.The spike in Autism is because the girls are having their babies at 40, instead of 20.

    • Brett

      Well, ya know what Stevie Wonder said in Superstition? 

      “When you believe in things you don’t understand then you suffer!”  

    • Brett

      Come to think of it, that is another chauvinistic, misogynistic comment! I suspect you know very little, if anything, about autism, or its causes! That would require all kinds of desirable qualities and scientific analyses, like empathy, critical thinking, longitudinal study in a given discipline, etc….Seriously, I just don’t think you possess any of those.   

      P.S.-Do you think of 40 year old women as “girls”? Also, isn’t your comment just a veiled dig at feminism? Come on, admit it…

      • Modavations

        Last month one of you guys repeatedly mentioned that Ms.Bachman needed a sex toy.Not a peep from you hypocrites,including the girls.Some old Proffessor type,e-mailed to say how ashamed he was.

        • Terry Tree Tree

          I am not an ‘old professor type’, and I objected to the comment about Bachmann and a sex toy, because it was not pertinent to the subject, offensive, and Ms. Bachmann had neither mentioned it, nor been exposed for texting about it, or trying to seduce under-age Congressional pages.

  • Modavations

    When Pinch was asked how it was possible that NYTimes failed to mention the Election in Queens,he quipped….We’re busy trying to ban lt.bulbs!!!!!

    • ulTRAX

      M, the more you post the more I suspect some serious psychiatric disturbance.

  • Modavations

    When the editor of Pravada was asked about Pinch’s incredible ommission,he smiled,bowed his head and blushed

    • Stan

      I’ve learned something today.

      Not just that mentally challenged ADD people can contribute, but that they believe that Satan himself radiates from the twisted spiral of CFL bulbs.  We should do our best to make the special needs folks feel welcome, despite their inability to focus on the topic.

      Right Cartman?

      • Brett

        I think you just offended many people with ADD comparing them to Mo-D!

    • ulTRAX

      M, the more you post the more I suspect some serious psychiatric disturbance.

      • Modavations

        Please tell me why the NYTimes did not have a story about the electrion,That’s sick.It was all over the European rags

        • ulTRAX

          And this election was about lightbulbs?

  • Modavations

    And the President said,if you love me you’ll pass this bill

    • Stan

      When Sponge Bob did his show on light bulbs… You was watchin’ right?

      • Modavations

        You’d have to cover three Mid Western States in Windmills,to produce the yield of one good Deep Water well.50,000 men sit idle while Soros invests 2 Bill with Cuba to drill 90 miles off Florida

        • ulTRAX

          M, the more you post the more I suspect some serious psychiatric disturbance.

          • Modavations

            Your theory please.How could the NYTimes not mention the election.It was all over Europe.

          • ulTRAX

            And this election was about lightbulbs?

        • ulTRAX

          I’d ask for a credible source for your claims but then an intelligent person would have provided one without needing to be prompted.

        • Terry Tree Tree

          Deep Water Horizon well produces HOW much?  For the clean-up, it seems to have COST a lot of energy, and will cost a lot more before it is ALL cleaned up!..  It was drilled to be capped! 

  • Wisper

    We can not afford to replace all of our bulbs with CFL’s or LED’s.
    We can not afford to rewire the house. The few CFL’s we have used, they didn’t last long. Just a few months. One didn’t last two weeks. Twenty bucks down the drain. Now, in our community, they do have ” trash police” and they will fine you if they find CFL’s in the trash.
    Now LED’s, what happens when 1 or 2 LED’s burn out? You can’t replace single LED’s you replace the whole thing. Thousand hour life? Ha.

    • ulTRAX

      $20 for a CFL? And these defective bulbs could not be returned to the store like other defective iterms?

  • Coach Carol

    Our FIRST Robotics Team 3585 is selling LED bulbs as a fundraiser.  The price point for a equivalent 40 watt bulb is $20, which is in line with what we have seen at Home Depot and the like.  Plus, you support a terrific youth program.  You can go to http://www.usfirst.org/roboticsprograms/headlines/first-green-e-watt-saver for more information on the bulbs, as well as choose which robotics team to support with your purchase.  We have had great feedback on those who have bought them so far!
    Carol
    Rogue Robots of 4-H, Sullivan County NH

  • Yvonne Z. from Utah

    I wonder if they have done any research on how these lights affect people with migraines? I find certain lights affect me significantly. Is it emotional or physical? I agree with the gentleman discussing the xmas lights. It does have an effect. 

    • Rob

      LED’s affect the retina and generally do not conform to ansi/iesna rp-27.1-05 Photobiological Safety for Lamps in that they produce a blue light health hazard that affects the retinas.

      • ulTRAX

        Does that standard apply for direct or reflected light?

  • RLS

    I not only prefer the quality of incandescent bulb light, but miss the local heat they give off as I sit in my reading chair. I am forced to go over and turn up the thermostat to compensate, heating the whole room or even house – and my home heating runs on oil.  
    Did someone say unintended consequence?

    • Blake, Professional Engineer

      What do you think they burn to make your electricity?  Fairy dust? More likely coal, which is horrendous for the atmosphere.  Moreover, 65% of the energy of that coal is lost in creation ad transmission.

      Please look at the bigger picture.  If you have A/C, you clearly are not.  Electricty to power bulb x 90% losses + Electricity to cool that heat = all kinds of waste.

      Someone please teach critical thinking to our children.  It’s apparent that the average American has lost that skill.

    • ulTRAX

      Yup, I’m sure never putting on a heavier shirt or sweater came to mind. Better to heat the whole house.

      If there are unintended consequences here it’s that CFLs have demonstrated you’re inability to see no other option but the most absurd and wasteful.

      Are there any thoughtful people out there that care to post?

    • Andrew

      Ever hear of a sweater? 

  • Adrian from RI

    We The People, illiterate bumpkins all, have wise man in the Halls of Congress and the Whitehouse to lord over us in minute detail. One of the blessings bestowed upon us bumpkins by the Wise Ones in Washington was the outlawing of the candle around 1910 and making the purchase of Edison’s incandescent lamp mandatory. I am sure that we, bumpkins, would still be sitting around smoky candles had not our wise men rescued us from our ignorance.
     
    The bumpkins of a century ago were lucky, indeed, to have elected such wise men to rule over them. Since these ancient times things have only gotten even better. As the bumpkins became ever more bumpkins our wise rulers became ever more wise. We are lucky, indeed.
     
    So, the wiser men have now outlawed the incandescent lamp with something that will save the world. I certainly was much to dump to realize how much better off I will be, once I replace that little incandescent lamp in the attic. That long life half a dollar bulb is turned on a few times each year for a few minutes and will last longer than my attic. Now, the wise men will force me to replace that little bulb that comes on instantly with a ten times more expensive bulb that takes minutes to come on, will last eons, and will need a HazMat crew to dispose off. No wonder that a simple minded bumpkin like me (and you?) would never change that little light for a much better light without the guidance and the guns of the wise men in Washington.
     
    Is not democracy great! I am free to vote myself into slavery and every so often I am taken off the plantation to vote for a new master in the Big House and a new set of wise men in the Halls of Congress. And I better do not have a care in the world because it would do me no good. So I am as happy as Alfred E. Neuwman and I am looking forward to the day that we will all be sitting around smoky candles in a cave again. Tom, isn’t democracy great because we get what we deserve good and hard?

  • Pati B

    We switched several years ago.  I believe there are 10 incandescents left in my house; eight in the bathrooms which are used for short periods of time, quick on and off.  We also have 2 halogen bedside lights.
    My art studio is lit with flourescent tubes, pairing one warm with one cool.  Task lighting is Ott (flourescent color balanced).
    All other lights are CFL.  We recently added an LED strip light under one of the kitchen cabinets as a test, and LOVE the light.  The rest will be done as soon as we have time.
    There are situations in which the color balanced incandescent is desirable, and I hope it will remain available.  It already carries a cost of around $10, but is essential for artwork, tho’ one could use the Ott.

  • jkc

    I use CFLs wherever I can, but they are not suited for all applications.
    Used in a room (e.g. bathroom) where lights are flipped on and off burns CFLs out so fast that the cost is prohibitive; CFLs are only cost effective if they last many times longer than the incandescent.
    Also, how am I going to run my Lava Lamp?

    • jkc

      That is, I don’t think the end of the incandescent should have been decided by the government, but rather people should have continued to have been allowed to make this decision for themselves, since neither the CFL nor the LED is currently a complete and sufficient replacement for the incandescent in all situations.

  • Dave in CT

    while you’re all here…

    and we continue to bail out Europe….http://www.nytimes.com/2011/09…”European Central Bank said it would allow banks to borrow dollars for up to three months, instead of just for one week as before. The E.C.B. said it was acting jointly with the Federal Reserve of the United States, the Bank of England, the Bank of Japan and the Swiss National Bank.”Did you vote on that? Did your representative?Who do these international bankers think they are?Oh yeah, In Charge.

  • Jasoturner

    Actually, the government and lightbulbs doesn’t bother me much.  What is personally dangerous to me and my family is when the government makes unsubstantiated claims about proper dietary practice.  The original food pyramid was very wrong, and the new on not much of an improvement.  Hey Tom, how about a show exploring how the “low fat” religion is one of the biggest and most damaging frauds bureaucrats ever inflicted on a population?  Gary Taubes can pretty reliably tear apart the nutritional “experts” who still endorse the destructive low-fat, high-carb diet that a bunch of non-scientists foisted upon us through the FDA.

  • Blake

    They started doing this in 2007 in Australia.  I lived there at the time.

    I’m a little disappointed that ‘how other nations are doing it’ is not researched before reporting on this.  I consider it a problem in journalism across the board. 

    Step it up NPR.  We are counting on you!

  • Modavations

    Speaking of Dim Bulbs,the Despot of Iran will speak at Columbia.When asked,why there,he quipped, “Birds of a Feather”.Caw ,Caw

  • Bruce

    Power “on the grid” isn’t a steady amount of current, and spikes often cause my incandescent bulbs to fail.  How vulnerable are the new bulbs to under- and over-voltage?

  • Bert Stocker

           I’ve changed from incandescent lights to LEDs several years ago in several applications. 
           Christmas lights are now available at a very reasonable cost with a warm white light.  I have a 12ft Christmas tree that I used 25 sets of 100 mini lights that used 1125 watts.  I switched to 30 sets of 80 mini LEDs that use only 88 watts. I used a watt meter to measure.   I’m very happy with the light and I don’t have a problem with broken or bad bulbs every year when I put up the tree. 
           I also changed my down lighting on the front of my house from halogen PAR 20 lights to LED PAR 20 warm white lights .  The LED price was less than 50% more than the halogen lights.  The amount of light is a little less but the house looks very good and I haven’t replaced any LED bulbs yet.
           I’m still looking  for reasonable priced  dimmable LED lights for recessed fixtures and nondimmable LED lights for lamps and other fixtures.

    • John of Medford

      Bert,

      I agree.  But, I still have the same issue every Christmas even with LED lights with the only half the strand lighting up.  I thought that with LED lights that would not happen.

  • JustAskin
  • JustAskin

    The Light Bulb Conspiracy:  http://vimeo.com/26859312

    More than just light bulbs. But a short documentary about planned obsolesce. The part about ink jet printers explains how your printer will stop printing before it wears out.

    • ulTRAX

      Thanks for that link. 
       
      Capitalism’s pathologies are so much more evident when it demonstrates it’s incapable of translating its own efficiency into improving the quality of life… but instead into pointless consumption.

      Heaven forbid we harness this power to do something useful for humanity. It’s so much more beneficial to corporations that we piss away natural resources and labor. Could we have a 30 hour work week? Could we donate 10-20% of our production to less developed nations? Maybe… but not under the logic of the corporate system we created and now has a stranglehold over all of us.

      • JustAskin

        Some of the comments in this blog demonstrate a kind of intractable and even self defeating psychology that the market has programmed into them. The market loves people who can be programmed, and hates the self aware. Once again, everyone has to suffer the consequences of that conditioning.

        I agree with some of their points about bulb disposal, but I wonder how many of those complaining about the environmental damage, have also owned 15 cell phones, 10 computers, etc and took them to be “recycled” and ship the consumer guilt away.

    • Tom

      What are you talking about? My printer has worked for 12 years and still does.

      • ulTRAX

        Companies go though different phases in marketing strategies. The pricing model that printer companies use now… sell printers cheap and gouge the public on ink… probably didn’t exist when you bought your printer. My old 1997 HP printer… then costing about $250, was pretty rugged. But the print quality was crude so I dumped it for that reason alone.

        I believe companies really would prefer not to compete and routinely fall back on the old strategy of trapping consumers in proprietary monopolies and ink cartridges are a perfect example. After gouging the consumer on ink, the planned obsolescence of printers might  just as easily be accomplished by refusing to make compatible ink cartridges.

        This is the perfect place for government intervention in the market. Mandate 3-4 standard cartridge types and force companies doing business in the US to redesign their products. Then let market force work to LOWER overall prices instead of now keeping them artificially high.  

        BTW… stay away from EPSON!!!! Ink is so expensive I hate even using my printer.  

    • ulTRAX

      A quick summary of the video… back in the early days of incandescent lighting, companies competed to increase life span of their bulbs… 2500 hours was not uncommon. But a lighting cartel was created to limit the life of these bulbs to 1000 hours. They were largely successful. It would make a great OP Show.  

  • Shelly

    Florescent light fixtures are also affected.  My 100 year old church has been given an estimate of $15,000 to retrofit our fixtures!!!
    Shelly Kuney Spokane

  • Rob

    I am an air conditioning contractor in Florida and the CFL’s and LED’s reduce the amount of heat that is emanated into the conditioned space which is less heat load for the air conditioning system to have to remove. A hidden and significant savings for homes that use air conditioning.

    • Terry Tree Tree

      Even without air conditioning, less heat produced in summer equals better comfort.

  • Already convinced

    please point out that maximum benefits are by replacing the most used bulbs first (dining room bathrooms, etc ) then least used last …or not at all (rarely used closet?) savings can cover cost of bulbs progressively     therefore watch the cash flow for your bills 

  • Ken

    i have 36 light fixtures in my manhattan one bedroom apartment all on dimmers so I am a freak about lighting. I always hated those CF bulbs so one day I dipped the bulbs in shellac the amount of dips transfers that ugly cast of the CF bulb into a real nice warm glow. So I switched and dipped…just wish the dimmable quality was a bit better

  • Dhoel

    As an electronic technician I’m concerned not only about how long the actual LED will last but the associated circuitry that is requierd to make an LED run. So the idea of a 20 year LED is a bit of a strech. Your buying an entire circuit and what will the warrantee?

  • Maryschn

    I came late to the program–did anyone bring up the fact that mercury, a
    VERY toxic metal, is part of every CFL?  If a bulb were broken in a
    home, that room–if not the whole house–would become a HAZ MAT site. 
    Putting untold thousands of these bulbs throughout the country seems to
    me like a disaster waiting to happen!  I highly doubt that most people
    are educated enough to treat a broken bulb with the caution it
    warrants.  Even if they are disposed of in the trash  (really–how many
    people will bother to take them to the special disposal sites??),  that
    means the landfills will be laced with deadly mercury on an increasing
    basis.  Mercury is highly volatile and is easily inhaled.  It causes
    multiple, substantial health problems.  IF THE HEALTH EFFECTS OF MERCURY
    WERE NOT DISCUSSED, YOU SHOULD DO ANOTHER PROGRAM!!

         Please consider the health effects of this product.  What good
    does it do to save money on energy if you end up spending that
    money–and more– on health care for heavy metal poisoning,
    multiple sclerosis, brain defects (especially in children), etc?? –in
    other words, shortening the quality and/or length of your life or your
    family members’ lives??

         Please–let us hear the REST of the story!!

    • Andrew

      How about all the mercury spewed out by coal-fired power plants?  At least the mercury is contained in a CFL.

      • fishergal

        That’s a very valid point for much of the US. But where I live we have power from a small hydroelectric dam.  So my electricity isn’t spewing mercury.

  • Environmentalist in Queens

    You are taking calls from people who are calling this totalitarianism or who don’t think their Christmas lights are quite as pretty.  We have an extremely serious problem in terms of climate change and according to most reputable climate scientists, we will say much worse before this century is half gone. Surely changing your light bulbs is a very small price to pay for avoiding the impacts of climate change, some of which we are beginning to see already:  drought and famine, wildfires, flooding, more intense hurricanes and typhoons, more intense tornadoes, extreme heat waves, increased disease, destruction of habitats.  If you  could avoid the suffering of others due to these kinds of extremes, why would you stockpile less efficient light bulbs?

  • Marie

    According to the reading we have done, rare earth elements are used to produce LED and other energy saving light bulbs. Has anyone looked at the way rare earth elements are mined – thought about the potenital environmental effects of those kind of mines, the cost of mining and the fact that none of these elements is processed into light bulbs here in the US? There is a “dirty secret” in some of these so-called green technologies? We live at the foot of a place where one of these mines may be opened – and we are quite apprehesive about our water, about the left over mining pit that cannot be recycled all created in the name of “green.”

    • Dimbulb

      Thanks for your input Marie, here’s some more info below to back up your point.  You would think that with such a long program about lightbulbs someone might have done their homework… Tom?

      “We find the low-intensity red LEDs exhibit significant cancer and noncancer potentials due to the high content of arsenic and lead,” the team wrote in the January 2011 issue of Environmental Science & Technology, referring to the holiday lights. Results from the larger lighting products will be published later, but according to Ogunseitan, “it’s more of the same.”

      http://www.physorg.com/news/2011-02-products-billed-eco-friendly-toxic-metals.html

      China is set to tighten its hammerlock on the market for some of the world’s most obscure but valuable minerals.

      China currently accounts for 93 percent of production of so-called rare earth elements — and more than 99 percent of the output for two of these elements, dysprosium and terbium, vital for a wide range of green energy technologies and military applications like missiles.

      http://www.nytimes.com/2009/09/01/business/global/01minerals.html

      The particular semiconductors used for LED manufacture are gallium arsenide (GaAs), gallium phosphide (GaP), or gallium arsenide phosphide (GaAsP). The different semiconductor materials (called substrates) and different impurities result in different colors of light from the LED.
       
      Impurities, the nuts in the cake, are introduced later in the manufacturing process; unlike imperfections, they are introduced deliberately to make the LED function correctly. This process is called doping. The impurities commonly added are zinc or nitrogen, but silicon, germanium, and tellurium have also been used. As mentioned previously, they will cause the semiconductor to conduct electricity and will make the LED function as an electronic device. It is through the impurities that a layer with an excess or a deficit of electrons can be created.

      http://www.madehow.com/Volume-1/Light-Emitting-Diode-LED.html

    • Dave in CT

      Don’t worry, there’s mandate for that!

  • Ralph

    I recently purchased Feit 7.5 watt LED bulbs for all my closets and the task lighting in the kitchen.  They put out 450 lumens and cost $14.00 each, on sale at Menard’s. They put out perfect light.

  • Dimbulb

    Hmm… I wonder what country will be making most of the LED bulbs… could it be CHINA?

    But Cree, a major recipient of Recovery Act funds, may be sending that money straight to China. At the very least, its CEO, Chuck Swoboda, has a very China-centered strategy that involves building a new plant overseas…

    Cree received a $39 million as an Advanced Energy Manufacturing Tax Credit from the Recovery Act.

    The company began developing clean energy technology, hired a few more hundred workers, and the administration touted it as a “true American success story” on the White House Web site.

    Then in late 2010, the company opened its first plant in Huizhou City,China. That made Cree the first global LED company to locate a manufacturing plant in China.

    But that plant is only beginning of an expansion in China, says Swoboda. At the opening of the plant, Swoboda boasted that more than 50 percent of Cree’s employees live and work in China.

    http://dailycaller.com/2011/06/12/obama-plans-to-discuss-jobs-at-company-shifting-focus-to-china/

    And so it goes…

    • Brennan511

      Yeah I hear they buy lots for off the grid, good study area, ye wa?

      My uncle with Heffer Project [ret] said the big thing he saw [recently] was solar power “bear-zappers”, for storing grain/crops in “weak cinder block buildings” [new -remote areas],

       So what they’re using it… for, and what/why we’re wasting it is very interesting.
      And repair ability “locally”.

  • Professorx

    LEDs are great.

    I just have an issue with the manufacturing. One of the guest said the price will come down next year when the bulbs are made over seas, aka China. Everyone knows the Chinese don’t play fair on ANY level. Their business model is that they will manufacture for whoever but they have the right to manufacture for domestic use without paying anything… jobs lost, revenue lost.

    An issue that should have been discussed since most manufacturing jobs are going overseas.

  • Brennan511

    Timers, Automatic shut off lights. you wouldn’t buy a computer that doesn’t automatically turn off the big watts but add a camera and you’re security is famous, USE IT, but don’t worry bout shuting off, it’s ok, modern function.
    If you had a bone color or lite blue AND half red, hey 3D, gravity shift.
    With modern evolution in elec or mechanical [energy-storage] “magic finger”. Well with that savings and security, we could see evolving  life loving lights [pop public] Edison meets meets Picaso meets Disney land, plus all that jazz and exterior Speaker sytem that “you” turn “on” {and not nes off} and tune in, and know that when you walk away, the lite and sound will actually follow you or the wall until the next episode, and little flashing arrows so you don’t get lost, and then you get the 1950′s semi strobe, pick a mineral, any color, like a milk shake, like a ship at see{?} on bald mountain. the tv that actually cooks your dinner. We could make stairmaster labour mills [o we o] made from a bicycle chain and 2 boards, on a multi gravity loop, energy storage{stairmaster}, and heck turn off the main grid to light brown out at 11pm-go to sleep-          get a fish tank [unheated?cam?], get a big Palo Alto victorian size bay Window with full sky&horizon V wi’d garden, they won’t find you there, ha ha.
    So lite containers[merc] and “follow you lights”.
    i can not sleep! with the solar pathway lights. If you filter the color tone… you will? loose the benefits?

     Heated desk over winter legs, solar heat and one light.[following me?]and a can.

  • Iknowbetter

    To the fellow from San Jose: I sure hope those bulbs are not as obnoxious as San Jose’s yellow street lights that make me nauseous and distract me from traffic lights.  Fluorescent light is not good for some medical conditions.  If you spend $30 on a bulb that lasts 10 years and only get $150 savings over the life of the bulb, that is not very much savings.  And yes, even on a teacher’s salary $30 is too much for a bulb.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=68402708 W. Owen Webb

      …ummm so you spent $30 and in ten years it returned $150??? And you’re complaining?  Have you seen the stock market lately?

  • Bethebulb

    Please tell me, how are people supposed to afford $20 to $40 per LED bulb in the next couple of years?

    Or, are we going to be able to tell class in America by the bulb you screw in – CFL or LED?

    Wait, I’m a Congressman, that doesn’t matter, I deserve another pay raise.

    Here, here.

    • ulTRAX

      Leaving aiside the fact LED prices will come down… given there are plenty of cleap CFLs, just who’s holding a gun to your head and forcing you to pay $20 or $40 for LEDs? 

      • Bethebulb

        No one is ‘holding a gun to my head’.  I am just differently light sensitive and I know others are too.

        Although more affordable than LED lights, CFL lights are not an option for me. 

        I’ve tried them.  I find the type of light they give off overly harsh and somehow physiologically disturbing.  But, I’m the kind of person who can’t go outside without polarized sunglasses even on some overcast days and who has dimmers on almost all of my indoor lights.

        As an analogy, CFL lights are as annoying as the car behind me with xenon headlights in my rearview mirror.  Sure, I can flip the dimmer, but I still get the glare from the sideview mirrors and then need to turn them away.

        Everyone’s light perception is different.

        • Andrew

          My wife swore up and down that, like you, she could not only tell the difference, but that CFLs made her uncomfortable.

          Well, I fiendishly swapped bulbs in her favorite lamp, and prompted her to wax poetic on how much nicer that light was that the CFLs I was lobbying for.  I really let her talk, too.

          She was a little peeved when I revealed that the comforting glow she was praising was, in fact, a dreaded CFL.

          We replaced almost all of the bulbs soon thereafter, and in 3.5 years, I swear I’ve only replaced 4 bulbs.  (And I know that’s accurate because I’m saving them up for recycling.)

        • ulTRAX

          The real compact CFLs can seem overly bright if you look directly at them… the same light coming from smaller surface area. Same with ultrabright LED flashlights where they can seem blinding.

  • Anonymous

    I do not like flourescent lights; they are harmful to health.  I wish that instead of getting rid our incandescent ligiting, the policy makers would mandate temperature settings for public buildings.  At my graduate school (state university), the temperature settings in the classrooms stay the same all year.  This is horribly inefficient.  68 degrees is fine for winter, but it is ridiculously low for summer!  Humans can tolerate higher temps than that.  Or better yet, turn off the climate control in the warmer months and open the windows!

    • Dave in CT

      I wish they would mandate all the right things so I could stop all this thinking and choosing! 

      Give me Soma and a checklist, please!

      • Anonymous

        Dave, I seriously doubt that you “choose” the room temperature settings when you are in a public building.  So yes, that is a government decision, whether you like it or not.  Temperature controls were in place in the 1970s and no one felt like their freedoms were unduly compromised.

        • Dave in CT

          I know what you’re saying, someone has to have a public building policy, I just couldn’t resist the mandate bit….

          That said, bad temp decisions means wasted money means bad management and that public manager should be held accountable. That has more chance of happening (picking a smarter temperature as you want, and delivering accountability if not) in a private setting than a public one, to the broader point I was making.

  • notafeminista

    Apologies for coming to the conversation late, but has anyone already given thought to the effect this will have on the developing world? e.g. if one cannot afford food/clothing/shelter how does he or she afford a $14 light bulb?  Keep in mind a significant portion of the world’s population lives on less than $2 a day.

    • Nick

      How will the US government mandate what bulbs they use in Nigeria?

      • ulTRAX

        Obviously they can’t. But mandating that progress be made in lighting efficiency means efficiencies of scale. People off the grid now in remote parts of the planet will have access to cheap solar panels and LED lighting in the future where they might not if such mandates were never made.  

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  • Leleng

    I’m also late in my comments – but yesterday I was listening as I drove to work. We converted all of our lightbulbs to CFLs in early 2002. At the time we had 10-12 total in our apartment (we even change the bulb above the stove top!). Our electric savings were apparent on the first bill – it was more than $5 less than all previous ones. The two times we’ve moved since, we’ve brought our CFLS with us and left the original bulbs (which we saved) in their place. We haven’t had any problems with the quality of light – and have found that we prefer the “day light” bulbs in some rooms, but that they’re not needed in all.

    • Leleng

      Forgot to add my second to the caller on the show who’s wife complained about the LED Christimas lights. We used to really enjoy going to the Festival of Lights at the Cincinnati Zoo – until they changed to all LED. Granted how I understand why even the primary sponser of the event (the power company) prefers the lower cost, we found the lights cold and unfestive. Even driving through any town during the Christmas season, we find ourselved drawn to the “old” style lights.

  • Bill

    Late here – but we need a push to get beyond CFL and go to LED’s.

    CFL’s are nasty, dirty, energy sucking devices – if you measure energy expenditure and pollution from cradle to grave. They use less electricity in use – but much, much more to manufacture. And make less pollution in use – but all the electronics and mercury and very dirty to make and deal with afterwards. The push from incandescents to CFL’s is a scam.

    • Terry Tree Tree

      I would say the push from incandescents to CFLs is a mistake!

      • JonS

        I agree. CFLs do not have the color rendering quality that incandescent lamps have. Yes they are far less energy efficient but who cares when they cost so much less, even when you take into consideration that they last only about 1000hrs. LEDs are the future of lighting but their cost is astronomical. I do believe that the public will demand that incandescent lamps return to the market.

  • Mark in Iowa

    Funny, seems the faster they talk (Tom, for instance) the more they seem to resemble my neighborhood used car salesman and some of the politicians who have been spending a lot of time here in Iowa lately.  Gee , Tom, and not a word about this for your oh so well informed guests and self: from the NY Times:

    KEITH BRADSHER, On Thursday September 15, 2011, 7:46 pm EDT

    BEIJING — In the name of fighting pollution,
    China has sent the price of compact fluorescent light bulbs soaring in
    the United States.
    By closing or nationalizing dozens of the
    producers of rare earth metals — which are used in energy-efficient
    bulbs and many other green-energy products — China is temporarily
    shutting down most of the industry and crimping the global supply of the
    vital resources.
    China produces nearly 95 percent of the world’s
    rare earth materials, and it is taking the steps to improve pollution
    controls in a notoriously toxic mining and processing industry. But the
    moves also have potential international trade implications and have
    started yet another round of price increases for rare earths, which are
    vital for green-energy products including giant wind turbines, hybrid
    gasoline-electric cars and compact fluorescent bulbs.
    General Electric, facing complaints in the United States about rising prices for its compact fluorescent bulbs, recently noted in a statement
    that if the rate of inflation over the last 12 months on the rare earth
    element europium oxide had been applied to a $2 cup of coffee, that
    coffee would now cost $24.55.
    An 11-watt G.E. compact fluorescent
    bulb — the lighting equivalent of a 40-watt incandescent bulb — was
    priced on Thursday at $15.88 on Wal-Mart’s Web site for pickup in a Nashville, Ark., store.

  • Mark in Iowa

    And finally: I’ve used cfl bulbs for years.  Did you know (I’ll bet your guests did) that because the fixed SWITCHES fail after a few hundred on/off cycles, one has to throw out the whole bulb before the 14,000 hours life to the filaments have lived. I’ve replaced a couple dozen in two years.  Let’s factor THAT into the cost.  Of course, the mercury is just a fun extra.  D’Oh! Caught once again.  or is it D’uh: as in what you think of the general citizenry.  Sorry, Tom, I think you and your friends are either naive to creating real value in a real life sort of food-growing way, or else you have a more socialist agenda that can’t stand the actual light of day.  Once again, the best and the brightest are really just overgrown kids…don’t like reality?  Talk the grownups out of it.  Sacrifices must be made. It’s too bad all that wonderful education didn’t include a few courses in honest, critical reasoning.

    • DohandDuh

      Critical reasoning – what’s that?

      Need to do some research?  Guess the dog ate your internet.

      Welcoming guests or callers who might have a different opinion… What do you think NPR is – fair and balanced? 

      They’re just like FOX but in the opposite direction… all touchy-feely. 

      The mantra I hear the most on NPR – from “Morning Edition” to “Diane Rehm Show” to “On Point” is “What does it all mean?”

      In other words, “Let us tell you what to think.” 

      Instead of reporting facts and relaying balanced information, so we can analyze the data and make up our own minds, we get laundered noospeak presented through a whitewashed agenda.

      Mark in Iowa, you rock.  And by the way, thanks for the article below. 

  • Scott in Boston

    I just don’t understand the criticism of energy efficient light bulbs. Yes, LED lights are expensive today. I do not buy LEDs. But CFLs are very cost effective. I just priced 100 watt incandescent bulbs at $.37/ea. (with a 750 hour life) vs. comparable output CFLs at $1.68 (with a 10,000 hour life). For 7,500 hours of lighting you would use 1 CFL at $1.68 verus 10 incandescents at $3.70. In addition you would save 577,500 watts or 577.5kw per bulb. At my energy costs 17.4 cents/kw that is $100 savings.
    I am an architect, very sensitive to color. I have found color balance in CFLs that match incandescents. You do not have to change or buy CFLs as often. The one problen is mercury. However, stores like Home Depot will recyle CFLs.

  • Scott in Boston

    One other thing I forgot to add. Typically, when we do energy audits of commercial buildings lighting efficiency upgrades are the qiuckest payback and have the cheapest “first costs”. American business and industry adopted the move away from incandescent light years ago. It is time that residential users caught on.

  • Steve in NY

    Did anyone here actually listen to this or read the wired article?  No one was talking about CFL’s unless they were talking about what a failure they were.  It was all about LED.  The start up costs would likely be subsidized in some way and the pricing will also start to drop sharply as the technology improves.  If you really want to resist, just use 60 watt Incandescent’s for the next year. 

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  • Tom in MO

    Why should we get rid of any type of Incandescents if they cost more then CFL’s or LED’s. I have already had CFL’s stop working long before they should have. All the fixtures in my house look like crap with the new CFL’s, they were designed for the Incandescents. In the summer the sun stays up longer, I use the lights alot less. In the winter I use the lights more, but they give off heat, which I need in the winter. I think I am the one that will be paying my electric bill, regardless of what bulbs I use. The government should keep out of this unless they intend to help pay for my electricity.

  • jose elias lopez,

    i like u.s.a. enginerings  go in led  tec,    i,  want to have cotation or price list end tecnical espacifications. of led,   bulbs to  remplace   sodium vapor  lamps of 150watts .for your led,  send me tecnical  specifications  my  e mail. eli_lop99@hotmail.com  gracias.  jose    elias lopez gonzalez

  • fishergal

    I like to use CFLs in my own home, but I don’t want to force that choice on others.  The new bulbs aren’t always the environmentally friendly choice.  A small local hydropower dam provides us with clean electricity. Though CFLs use less electricity than conventional lightbulbs but they also contain mercury.  Mercury can harm our fishery resources, so if the choice was chucking a bulb in the landfill or using a tiny bit more electricity I’d choose to use the electricity.

    I have access to a car and thus can easily get to a hardware store or to my city’s monthly household hazardous waste collection event to properly dispose of these bulbs.  But many in the city rely on the very limited bus service to get around and don’t have the time between all that commuting to go out of their way to dispose trash.  Forcing our non-driving population to buy these bulbs and then giving them little choice but to dispose of them in the landfill might mean more mercury in our waterways and salmon.

    The road to hell is paved with good intentions, right?

  • http://satandcable.com/left-categories/hydroponics/led-grow-lights Grow Lamps

    Different and varieties of bulbs are available in the  market but the  thing is that what type of bulbs you were going to use. According to me LED grow light provide you the best result and you never face any problem with this.

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