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old incandescent lightbulb
© Spanychev |

So you thought the that the House Republicans' obsession with incandescent lightbulbs had something to do with their love of the 19th century. Nostalgia for the days of Dredd Scott, child labor, no collective bargaining, few effective means for women to control their own destinies, and when coal was king.

While it's true that they do seem to have an unnatural attachment to those things, it does seem to come down to that coal being king bit. What's really behind the Republicans' war to keep America from saving money on energy by using more efficient lightbulbs is that the saved money would be going in the wrong pockets.

The real answer as to why the bill’s sponsors are itching to extend the shelf life of incandescent bulbs may not be so ideological. The U.S. Department of Energy estimates that in one year, replacing just one 60-watt incandescent bulb with an equivalent CFL results in $7 in energy savings (Microsoft Excel file). Other Department of Energy figures (PDF) state that the average U.S. household has 45 light bulbs across 30 separate fixtures and that there are 116,900,000 households in the country. This means there are 5.26 billion light bulbs across the United States. At present, CFLs hover at a market share just under 30 percent. If that were to go up to 100 percent as a result of the EISA mandate, power companies would stand to lose almost $26 billion in revenue every single year.

Manufacturers like GE have little to lose by introducing and advocating CFLs, because they’re almost six times more expensive than traditional incandescents on average, meaning that over the long term, the decreased frequency with which consumers would have to buy them would be offset by the higher price — and in the short term, such companies would get a massive burst in revenue from Americans switching over. But the energy industry has billions to lose in the conversion — and it’s appealing to its friends in Congress to try to keep that from happening. [emphasis mine]

Yep, that's the good ol' GOP. Always looking out for the little guy who just loves the warm glow of his incandescent bulb.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Eazy bake Oven Users Unite! (14+ / 0-)

    Pray for the dead and fight like hell for the living~~Mother Jones

    by CA Berkeley WV on Wed Mar 02, 2011 at 02:20:28 PM PST

  •  Alms for the Buggy Whip Makers (10+ / 0-)

    Alms for the Buggy Whip Makers.

    The unrelenting march of progress must be stopped!!!!!

    Sometimes when life hands you lemons, you should throw them back.

    by Into The Woods on Wed Mar 02, 2011 at 02:20:54 PM PST

  •  I for one am Shocked.. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    vets74, cameoanne, Betty Pinson

    the Republican Party, THe Koch Tea Baggers, who aren't much brighter than that bulb anyhow.. (and a good number of Dems) are willing to keep us in the 18th century..

  •  You kids with your crazy alternating current. (14+ / 0-)
  •  The Repubs attitude here reminds me of (10+ / 0-)

    ...a child who, when told by an adult the best course of action, will do the exact opposite just to make it clean the parent doesn't control them.

    The government suggests to us that we start using more energy efficient lighting?  How dare they!  We will continue to use outdated lighting methods just to show them they don't control us!


    "Ridicule is the only weapon which can be used against unintelligible propositions." - Thomas Jefferson

    by rfall on Wed Mar 02, 2011 at 02:22:57 PM PST

  •  Incandescent bulbs (8+ / 0-)

    are wonderful space heaters which, as a by-product of heating the air around them, emit some light.

    Only the willfully stupid want incandescent bulbs to stick around.

    In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice; but in practice, there always is a difference. - Yogi Berra

    by blue aardvark on Wed Mar 02, 2011 at 02:23:42 PM PST

    •  Really? (9+ / 0-)

      Have you seen the new EPA guidelines for handling fluorescent bulbs if they break in your house?

      What do you think is going into landfills all around this country right now?

      •  I wonder how much mercury is emitted (12+ / 0-)

        by mining and burning enough coal and / or natural gas to generate $26B in electricity.

        In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice; but in practice, there always is a difference. - Yogi Berra

        by blue aardvark on Wed Mar 02, 2011 at 02:37:47 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  That's a good question, but arguably (6+ / 0-)

          under the present system much easier to control than millions of CLFs in households across the country are.  The toxic

          This is just the hard surface hazmat response people are advised to take if they beak a bulb:

          Cleanup Steps for Hard Surfaces

          1. Carefully scoop up glass fragments and powder using stiff paper or cardboard and place debris and paper/cardboard in a glass jar with a metal lid. If a glass jar is not available, use a sealable plastic bag. (NOTE: Since a plastic bag will not prevent the mercury vapor from escaping, remove the plastic bag(s) from the home after cleanup.)
          2. Use sticky tape, such as duct tape, to pick up any remaining small glass fragments and powder. Place the used tape in the glass jar or plastic bag.
          3. Wipe the area clean with damp paper towels or disposable wet wipes. Place the towels in the glass jar or plastic bag.
          4. Vacuuming of hard surfaces during cleanup is not recommended unless broken glass remains after all other cleanup steps have been taken. [NOTE: It is possible that vacuuming could spread mercury-containing powder or mercury vapor, although available information on this problem is limited.] If vacuuming is needed to ensure removal of all broken glass, keep the following tips in mind:
          5. Keep a window or door to the outdoors open;  
          Vacuum the area where the bulb was broken using the vacuum hose, if available; and
          Remove the vacuum bag (or empty and wipe the canister) and seal the bag/vacuum debris, and any materials used to clean the vacuum, in a plastic bag.
          6. Promptly place all bulb debris and cleanup materials, including vacuum cleaner bags, outdoors in a trash container or protected area until materials can be disposed of properly.
          7. Check with your local or state government about disposal requirements in your area. Some states and communities require fluorescent bulbs (broken or unbroken) be taken to a local recycling center.
          8. Wash your hands with soap and water after disposing of the jars or plastic bags containing bulb debris and cleanup materials.
          9. Continue to air out the room where the bulb was broken and leave the H&AC system shut off, as practical, for several hours.

          That's just what happens in your house if one breaks.  What happens to your ground water and air around your landfill is definitely worse.

          It is worth reading the entire list of recommendations including not using CFLs in areas of "play"...

          I use some CFLs, halogen and incandescents.  This EPA warning really doesn't make me feel comfortable about my CFLs at all.

          •  total mercury emissions (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            cameoanne, Faeya Wingmother

            I believe that total Hg emissions from the fraction of the saved  electricity generated by coal are far higher than those from the CFL's, even if nobody takes them back to the store to recycle. I'm very comfortable with CFL's. Just out of lab-generated habits for dealing with much larger Hg amounts (and also because of having had some old Hg thermometers) I keep some powdered sulfur around to help with the clean-up, if needed. For CFL's, that's really overkill.

            Michael Weissman UID 197542

            by docmidwest on Wed Mar 02, 2011 at 03:30:09 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  Recycling is possible. (0+ / 0-)

            Like batteries, the matter can be resolved technologically and legislatively.

            Unless you're directly benefiting from the fleecing somehow, all your blind investment in establishment politics has bought you, is a dog-and-pony show.

            by James Kresnik on Wed Mar 02, 2011 at 03:40:41 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  Clumsiness never works for anything (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            In twenty-five years of handling CFLs, I have broken one.  This is largely due to the fact that they last five to eight times longer than incandescents, meaning I handle CFLs less than I would handle the required replacement number of incandescents.

            So the increased cleanup requirements of broken CFLs come at the bonus of almost never having to clean up a broken CFL.

            To me it sounds like a tempest in a teapot to describe the increased cleanup requirements of CFLs as somehow outweighing the sharply decreased number of bulbs, sharply decreased opportunities for breaking one, and sharply decreased energy bills. There just aren't any disadvantages of CFLs which aren't heavily outweighed by all the advantages.

        •  found a link...CFLs win (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          here's a CFL Incandescent mercury comparison

          PLEASE donate to a global children's PEACE project: Chalk 4 Peace

          by RumsfeldResign on Wed Mar 02, 2011 at 04:39:11 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  And it gets better for CFLs! (0+ / 0-)

            He is using 2007 data, which put the total emissions of "no recycled CFLs" at 0.13 metric tons.

            In 2009, the Energy Department looked at current CFLs, improved by reducing the amount of mercury in them, and concluded the new "no recycled CFLs" emission amount was 0.12 metric tons, a reduction based on the bulbs that used to use 5mg now using 3mg mercury. If you are really paranoid, you could even use an "Eco-bulb" that only has 1mg.

            Of course, breaking one CFL in your house would only result in a personal exposure of 0.000007 mg of mercury.

            To put that in perspective, to achieve any ill effects whatsoever from CFL mercury content alone, you would have to break 1,000 CFLs every single day for several months for the minimum chronic exposure toxicity dose (0.7 μg/m^3). That much broken glass is itself a greater threat to your health long before the mercury content would be.

            To get enough mercury from CFLs to achieve an acute (single) exposure toxic enough to cause ill effects, you would have to break, in a single four to eight hour period, by yourself (involving friends reduces your own exposure), 157,143 CFLs. (1.1 mg/m^3).

            So the hazardous handling requirements for CFLs are just a precaution, just in case you've been ingesting or breathing a lot of mercury from other sources (a common problem in a Republican government).

      •  30 years ago... (4+ / 0-)

        ...I was a custodian in Denver Public Schools, and I had to follow a standard procedure (basically keep the box and refill with old bulbs and send back to Central Operations for appropriate disposal) for tube fluorescent bulbs because of mercury concerns.

        Household CFLs have significantly less mercury than tubes that we have (and should have always) handled with additional care, and both Lowes and Home Depot (and other sellers) collect used CFLs as an alternative to throwing them in the general trash.  

        Transitioning from the "disposable society" to something approaching proper stewardship for our collective environment will and must dictate changes in old habits of convenience.

        It's the least we owe to our children and grandchildren.

        The so-called "rising tide" is lifting only yachts.

        by Egalitare on Wed Mar 02, 2011 at 03:01:57 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I can still remember when (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          inclusiveheart, dougymi

          you took burned out incandescent bulbs back to the store.  I have no idea why, or if you got money for them (I suppose the screw-in base was re-usable).

          And I don't qualify for Social Security yet (8 more months).

          We choose to go to the Moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard. - John F Kennedy

          by badger on Wed Mar 02, 2011 at 03:04:55 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  We owe it to our children, (3+ / 0-)

          grandchildren, pets and the environment to be much, much smarter about solving problems than we are right now.  CFLs in every household are not the smart answer, imo.

          When you were a custodian, you had a ready and available system for disposal.  You are going to recycle and take your batteries, printer cartridges and whatever other hazardous waste you have somewhere where it will be handled properly and safely (we think), but you are a minority.  You are a rare bird.

          We cleaned up American roads because of a teary Native American, but the challenge of controlling the proper disposal of millions and millions CFL bulbs is not nearly as easy to enforce or manage as that was.  Hazmat disposal in my city requires that I go to the dump which due to cut backs is no longer open on Saturdays.  How many people are going to be able to take a day off of work to do that?

          FWIW, there are as you note places that will also take certain hazmats, but it is hit or miss in a sea of millions of potential pollutants.

          Based on the EPA guidelines, people who live in apartment buildings with garbage chutes are likely living in something of a dangerous environment.  The garbage in every building I ever lived in in NYC ended up next to the heating and air systems...  Think about it.

          •  Seconding this. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            I had a CFL bulb in a lamp at college, and came home from class one day to find that not only had my roommate dropped my lamp and broken the bulb, but she had left the shards right where it broke - where my feet went in the morning when I got out of bed - 'because I didn't know what to do about it' for an hour or more.

            I've seen multipack CFLs on clearance at some of the local 'dollar' stores, one of the bulbs visibly broken in the package.

            Hoping and praying that the empty chairs and empty tables in th4e Middle East and Northern Africa when all is said and done are as few as possible.

            by Cassandra Waites on Wed Mar 02, 2011 at 03:26:12 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  Convenience is the sticking point (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            Quite frankly, the problem of improper disposal of standard batteries is already bigger than the coming tidal wave of used CFL bulbs. We need to a massive retooling of habit from disposal to reprocess/recycle.

            It's not going to be easy. Especially with the likes of the Kochs reminding us of how inconvenient proper handling of what is essentially toxic waste will be - since we will be using just a bit less of their coal and cut into their expected profit margins if we actually do the right thing.

            So, yeah, I've thought about it. We need to institutionalize the handling of our entire waste stream.

            That will necessitate inconvenience.

            Our children will accept it as the way you're suppose to operate, and it will be hardest on us. There's no way to sugar coat it, and I'm not going to try.

            The so-called "rising tide" is lifting only yachts.

            by Egalitare on Wed Mar 02, 2011 at 03:44:14 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Look. What you don't understand (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              is that more and more people falling into poverty are working their butts off longer and at more jobs trying to just get through life, make ends meet and feed children or other family members.  They don't all have cars to go driving out to Home Depot to properly dispose of a light bulb - not to mention gas money - and how about that gas consumption?  The nearest Home Depot to me is about 35 minutes with numerous traffic lights and at the wrong time of day 60 minutes idling most of that time.

              I don't know enough about what's in the LED technology with respect to toxicity, but I know enough about CFLs to have developed pretty unwavering opposition to using them.

              •  LEDs are a little better (0+ / 0-)

                LEDs contain plastic in the shell, copper or aluminum wire as the metal, and a semiconductor core made from various chemicals. While they do not contain mercury, they do contain lead and/or arsenic, though it is much harder to break a LED and release those chemicals. LEDs produce much less light and do not produce more light if you simply make them bigger, requiring multiple LEDs in a fixture to boost light output, so they are still unable to compete with CFLs.

                The mercury content of CFLs is hardly anything to worry about, given a relatively mercury-free diet and environment. The breakage of a single CFL will give you a personal exposure of 0.000007 mg of mercury, while the minimum acute and chronic levels required for toxicity are 1.1 mg/m^3 (acute exposure, single four to eight hour period) and 0.0007 mg/m^3 (chronic exposure, daily for several months). You'd get more mercury from a fish sandwich than breaking a CFL, and the fact that they last five years or more means the opportunities you will have for breaking one are few and far between.

          •  This is somewhat distressing, (3+ / 0-)

            but in Europe and Japan disposal of this kind of household waste isn't really a problem, as they mandate that manufacturers or consumers provision for recycling. Batteries are a far worse hazard and that problem is being resolved here through voluntary measures. Frankly though, all e-waste should be recycled by law.

            Unless you're directly benefiting from the fleecing somehow, all your blind investment in establishment politics has bought you, is a dog-and-pony show.

            by James Kresnik on Wed Mar 02, 2011 at 03:44:19 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  But we do not mandate. (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              I am so glad for Europe and Japan, but we don't.

              And who is to say that the manufacturers under our free-for-all unregulated system of government are going to follow the rules?

              The back end of this equation has been completely mismanaged.  Frankly, the design of the bulbs is clearly completely flawed if we are going to have people putting 5, 10, 20 of these things in their houses.  What happens in an earthquake?  Does your house become some sort of Super Fund site?

              We should be smarter.

              •  Even if we don't mandate (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:

                education can solve most, if not all of the problem. It's largely a matter of consumer education. Recycling isn't some insurmountable challenge and the potential risks appear to far outweigh by the benefits.

                Unless you're directly benefiting from the fleecing somehow, all your blind investment in establishment politics has bought you, is a dog-and-pony show.

                by James Kresnik on Wed Mar 02, 2011 at 04:01:32 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  I was at a funeral last week taking the (3+ / 0-)

                  trash out for the widow with her brother.  In the dark, we put the recycling in the wrong can.  I realized and tried to move the recycling over.  He said, "Oh, it all goes to the same place anyway.  They don't really recycle."  Weirdly, that was the fourth time someone said that to me during the course of that one week.  You've got a lot of work ahead of you and I contend that you'd be better off not putting toxic consumables in the hands of consumers to the extent that you can avoid it instead of relying on their compliance and trust in the system.

                •  I live in a rural area (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  lanius, in the Trees

                  we don't have recycling.  We barely have garbage pickup through a private company.

                  They won't even take cold ashes, let alone cfls.

                  Perhaps I should make a sculpture on my front lawn?

                  You seem to forget that a big part of this country don't live in cities.

          •  The many problems with CFLs - link (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            As much as it pains me to agree with the Republicans (these Republicans, especially) - i think the progressive, and environmntal movements has dropped the ball on CFLs.  It SHOULD be us who champions of better technology and safer homes, champions of people that have physical problems because of CFLs.  
            As for the availabilty of incandescents - Canada (federal gov) plans to phase them out by 2012, and at least British Columbia has already outlawed incandescents in the most popular wattage (75-120 I think).

            The link is to the web site of Magda Havas, a researcher at Trent University in Ontario, and big in the field of dirty electricity and electrosmog:


            •  Well (0+ / 0-)

              I and many other people have no problem with CFLs.  I even prefer the light of CFLs.  For people who don't want them though, they are fine because the 2007 law doesn't outlaw incandescent bulbs, only inefficient incandescent bulbs.  There are halogen incandescents available today that are functionally identical to inefficient incandescents (e.g. color accuracy, dimmable, outdoor use, etc...) but are 30% more efficient (70W produces the same lumens as a 100W conventional).  

      •  CFLs are a stopgap... waiting for LED to mature (0+ / 0-)

        now those are some awesome lights (tech just has to catch up)... but I did see some LED floods (not decorative like you usually see) at Lowe's last week, so almost there. :)

        Zombie Reagan gives the most peachy speeches.

        by The Dead Man on Wed Mar 02, 2011 at 03:41:17 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I don't know enough about LEDs (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          cameoanne, IndieinVa

          to make a call on them one way or another at the moment.

          I never liked fluorescent lights because they gave me headaches, but it was only recently that I found out how toxic they are.  Personally, I've contributed many from our laundry room to my local landfill without knowing how toxic and dangerous they are.

          I just don't understand how in the world the Green Movement would think it a better thing for all of us to turn into MadHatters than to use electricity.  I'd rather turn my lights off than risk mercury poisoning for me, my family or my dogs - dogs that do from time to time manage to take out a lamp or two when they play in the house...

          •  LEDs... (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            I am hoping that LEDs are being manufactured in a more ecologically-friendly way than they have been in the past. They are, essentially, a semiconductor and they have had a history of using some pretty awful chemicals in the manufacturing process. Just cleaning the wafers used to involve toxic chemicals that workers were getting sick from and resulted in some drawn out lawsuits some years ago. I seem to recall that the processes switched to water instead of the nasty toxic stuff for some stages of the manufacturing process but they are not, by any stretch, as "green" as one might think. On the other hand, I doubt CFL (or even incandescent) bulb manufacturing is anything I'd want taking place in my back yard either.

            I am hoping that the LED replacement bulbs come in high enough wattages and fit in our existing lamps. Many of the CFLs do not fit (too tall for the harp/shades) and they don't come in higher wattage equivalents for people who read a lot. (And they seem to emit enough EM for my guitar pickups to, well, pick up.) The only LED replacements I've seen were only 40W equivalent (maximum) and were outrageously expensive.

            •  Halogen. (0+ / 0-)

              You can use halogen bulbs for your smaller lamp/harp configurations.  And I agree that it is likely that none of the bulbs are manufactured in super environmentally friendly ways.  The thing about the EPA guidelines for CFLs that bothered me really had to do with the fact that people are using them in their homes and likely really don't how toxic they are when and if they break.  It is one thing to be in a manufacturing plant with procedures and protections systems, but quite another to impress upon a dog or a toddler the importance of not getting near mercury - if you yourself even understand how serious the situation is.

        •  And after LED, incandescent (0+ / 0-)

          Everyone thinks that incandescent light bulbs are inefficient, but that's just using today's filament technology.

          Engineers have already developed metamaterials which do not emit blackbody radiation in the infrared range.  If you use this as an incandescent filament, you have a light that is far more efficient, and without the mercury or need for DC conversion.

          Banning incandescent bulbs because of energy waste is like banning cars because of carbon emissions.  This only makes sense if you don't believe anyone will invent a better one.

          Linking to a news article is journalism in the same sense that putting a Big Mac on a paper plate is cooking.

          by Caj on Wed Mar 02, 2011 at 05:47:45 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  That's not necessarily an entirely bad thing (6+ / 0-)

      if you're in a colder climate where you're using heating; the heat given off of the bulbs somewhat mitigates heating costs (a point raised on some right-wing antiregulation website that was fanatically opposed to the new bulbs being promoted).

      Of course, there is the whole issue of "heat rises", and even in places like Delaware, Ohio there are warmer months where you're not heating, but I thought it was a half-decent point they happened to raise. Mitigates things a bit, but the incandescents are still quite inferior in the vast majority of circumstances (far as I know).

    •  It's not that cut and dry (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      lanius, Catesby, codeman38, cameoanne

      In my experience, the dimmable CFLs are highly unreliable. They are expensive and burn  out quickly. They are a waste of money. Incandescent bulbs may use more energy, but I would be shocked if the life cycle cost of the CFL wasn't twice the cost of incads in dimmer switches.

      I also know people who find the light from CFLs and other fluourescents to be very annoying, either from the color or the flash.

      The cost of the CFL is generally being subsidized by local utilities, but the beneficiaries are in China.

      Time to strip citizenship from treacherous immigrants like Rupert Murdoch

      by freelunch on Wed Mar 02, 2011 at 03:53:57 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I've heard people find them annoying (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        But, in my experience, only when they know they're there.

        I swapped out part of the incandescents in our house for CFLs: closets, guest bathroom, hall lights. My wife complained, said they were annoying. Electric bill went down 15%, though, so she accepted it.

        Then I secretly swapped out every other incandescent for a CFL: bedroom lights, nightstand lamps, living room lamps, desk lamps, kitchen lights (oven has always had an efficient halogen in it). No comments on the new lighting at all. Electric bill went down another 30%.

        I think it's all about the look of incandescents versus the look of CFLs, combined with a lot of people growing up with the cheapest kind of long tube fluorescent lights their local businesses could buy: fluorescent was bad when they were growing up, so the mere suggestion of fluorescent is enough to taint the modern, much improved fluorescent lights. No suggestion, no problem.

    •  CFL bulbs not appropriate for many situations (2+ / 0-)

      Like ceiling  fans or garage doors  
      Or recessed enclosed lights
      Or photocell or electronic timer
      Or dimmer switch
      Or outside in cold temps
      Or areas where lights go on and off in less than 15 to 30 minutes
      3 way bulbs are a big problem

      Now some of these have certain cfl that might work, pretty hard to find at a local store and it can be complicated, varying by manufacturer. Price of specialty bulbs all the higher
      For some no matter what type you use the life will be greatly shortened
      For some you are told to  just say no

      The time frame is way too soon for the current choice of CFLs.  Then the problem of inferior brands of CFL and failed failed components.

      So everyone should find where to order correct types and change  ceiling light fixtures they can't be used in and not buy the cheaper brands and so on . Some can't, many won't even know

      And when you are changing these bulbs several times per year you sure aren't saving anything. Oh and the disposal issue! That will take education and a lot more convenience but most will end up in land fills. Not that I'm against rare earth phosphors or anything.

      Might be only the unwillfully stupid wouldn't want incandescent bulbs to stick around for a bit longer until these bugs are worked out

      •  Then buy ... (0+ / 0-)

        halogen incandescents.  They are incandescents but more efficient and they satisfy the mandate of the 2007 law.  

        I have CFLs in nearly every light in my home.  They don't break.  They last a shockingly long time.  I don't mind the disposal issues given the various other things I need to take to the recycling center once in a while, e.g. old lithium batteries.  But hey, if you don't like them, feel free to use incandescent bulbs.  The 2007 law only requires that people not use the same grossly inefficient incandescent bulbs that they had been using for decades.

        •  Not really talking about me, though I sure learned (0+ / 0-)

          the hard way because I had them stop working within days or weeks in  some of the situations listed above. I've been using them for years

          I'm also not saying I will throw them in trash, not talking about most of us here.  (Disposing of them here is quite inconvenient here for those without a car. Pretty much all other recycling is picked up curbside and going miles for disposal will be noticed.) I'm talking about as the law changes for everyone

          And I do think about poor people. I know that if it goes right it saves a lot over the life of the bulb but the initial outlay can be tough. Paying 99 cents for a 4 pack is a lot more doable than a 5 or $10 outlay  for fewer. I hope communities get coupons or bulbs to give away to help them out
          And I hope better standards are set
          and that there is a big push to educate
          and that the specialty cfl bulbs for situations that call for them become easier to get because those examples I noted are not rare ones
          From talking to people out of my inner circle I know way too many know way too little

          The nytimes link just went to a blank page that said advertisement. Don't know if you meant to give me an ad to  halogen bulbs or an article that would have followed?

          •  Agh, Vimes Boots! (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            And I do think about poor people. I know that if it goes right it saves a lot over the life of the bulb but the initial outlay can be tough. Paying 99 cents for a 4 pack is a lot more doable than a 5 or $10 outlay  for fewer.

            Apparently you don't think all that much about poor people, if you think $5 now is always more expensive than 99 cents now.

            Let's do The Math. I happen to have a cheap 99-cent 4-pack of 60 watt bulbs and a $5 4-pack of 13 watt (60 watts of light) CFLs in my house right now, so I can read off the packaging.

            Incandescent 60 watt bulb, 99 cents in a 4-pack so 25 cents a bulb, 800 lumens, 750 hours life per bulb.

            CFL 13 watt bulb, $5 in a 4-pack so $1.25 per bulb, 950 lumens, 12,000 hours life per bulb. Since 12,000 divided by 750 is 16, this CFL replaces 16 - 60w incandescent bulbs.

            Assuming the national electricity cost of 10 cents a kilowatt-hour (kWh):

            CFL Cost:  
            13w x 12,000 = 156 kWh.
            156 kWh x $0.10 = $15.60 over the lifetime of the bulb.
            $15.60 + $5 = $20.60 total cost of CFL purchase.

            Incandescent Cost:
            60w x 750 = 45 kWh
            45 kWh x $0.10 = $4.50 over the lifetime of the bulb.
            $4.50 x 16 = $72 in incandescent bulbs over the lifetime of one CFL

            $72 + $3.96 = $75.96 total cost of incandescent purchase.

            If poor people really look at 99 cents a box for incandescent 60w bulbs and then at $5 a box for the same number of fluorescent bulbs, and then say "the 99 cent box is cheaper", then the public schools need a lot more funding, especially in the math department, and poor people need to be convinced they have a future in which saving $55.36 is a good thing.

            As for the "Vimes Boots" comment?

            Sam Vimes Theory of Economic Injustice

            At the time of Men at Arms, Samuel Vimes earnt thirty-eight dollars a month as a Captain of the Watch, plus allowances. A really good pair of leather boots, the sort that would last years and years, cost fifty dollars. This was beyond his pocket and the most he, Vimes, could hope for was an affordable pair of boots costing ten dollars, which might with luck last a year or so before he, Vimes, would need to resort to makeshift cardboard insoles so as to prolong the moment of shelling out another ten dollars.

            Therefore over a period of ten years, he, Vimes, might have paid out a hundred dollars on boots, twice as much as the man who could afford fifty dollars up front ten years before.

            And he would still have wet feet.

            Or in the case of the poor person and the light bulbs, he would still have less light: the CFL produces 950 lumens, the incandescent only 800.

            Vimes boots doesn't work quite as well on the small scale of 99 cents vs. $5, since one $5 purchase saves so much in a relatively short period of time that people would have to be stupid not to spend $5 now to save $55 over the course of just one year. And have to spend less time changing light bulbs.

    •  To be fair (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      dougymi, Cassandra Waites

      there are applications where incandescents are still the right choice.

      Heating the air around them is not always a problem.

      That said, there are new bulbs that are incandescent, that meet the new standard, using technology to increase the brightness per unit energy.

      Fry, don't be a hero! It's not covered by our health plan!

      by elfling on Wed Mar 02, 2011 at 04:11:18 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Sorry, don't think it's all that stupid (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      To begin with just a personal preference, based upon comfort level, I absolutely hate the light of fluorescent bulbs -- always have -- as they have always caused intense eye strain for me, as well as headaches, and yes, because they cast an ugly light on everything.  But in the interests of the environment, I have also tried to be very conscious of usage, including going to the trouble to have dimmer switches installed on EVERYthing, as well as using the lowest wattage I can get away with.  And I use them, always, turning lights up only when needed to read, or work, or cook.  I also use halogens where possible, though I don't feel they are a good answer due to the fact that they are very, very hot, and as such a fire hazard.

      In addition, as much as I have always hated fluorescent lighting and the cold, sickly light it casts, now I have extra reason for it.  Two years ago, I suffered a detached retina in my right eye, requiring 4 very traumatic surgeries to repair.  As now there is a problem regulating the pressure in that eye (too low, at risk for losing the eye if it doesn't stablize), I must be on a regimen of eye drops, one of which is atropine, a dilator.  As such, whenever I am in the presence of ultra-white, ultra-bright light such as CFLs emit, I am intensely uncomfortable.  They literally hurt my eyes.  If it is somewhere I can't escape politely (such as my sister-in-law's dining table overhead light) I must don sunglasses.  As cool as that may look, it is not really much fun to have to constantly be reminded of my new disability.  Plus, then I cannot see to eat my dinner!

      There are other options out there, including some newer LED technology.  A few nights ago a friend sent me a link ( to a recent article about a new design in LED bulbs that truly mimics the shape and light "temperature" of incandescent lighting, but lasts forever, without the Mercury contamination, without the need for special disposal (which I truly doubt most people will follow -- the bulbs will just go into the trash with everything else) and with the ability to dim the lights to whatever level is most comfortable. For me this is the technology to get behind.  Yes, there are new dimmer switches out that that can dim SOME CFLs, but they are very expensive to buy, and also one like me would need an electrician to install them.  Hundreds of dollars.

      I find myself very puzzled, if not appalled, that so many here cannot imagine why anyone would oppose this enforced changeover and would consider anyone who does to be "willfully stupid" or worse.  There are many reasons someone on the left, and someone who is a champion of the environment might think otherwise.

  •  Where are the jobs bills? n/t (5+ / 0-)

    Then they came for me - and by that time there was nobody left to speak up.

    by DefendOurConstitution on Wed Mar 02, 2011 at 02:24:00 PM PST

  •  Received a Home Depot gift certificate (12+ / 0-)

    for Christmas from a Rush Limbaugh wannabee in the family.   Used it to buy two of these fantastic 2nd Gen LED EcoSmart lightbulbs.   Twice as bright as Phillips bluish LED's, with a more yellow light and dimmable.

    It gave me great pleasure to spend his money on the new light bulbs which will save us real money.

    Republicans: They hate us for our Freedom.

    by mikeconwell on Wed Mar 02, 2011 at 02:25:31 PM PST

  •  My electric company SENDS me bulbs (15+ / 0-)

    So far, they have sent me 8.  For FREE.  They WANT people to use them.  I live in KY, by the way....

    The struggle of today, is not altogether for today--it is for a vast future also. - Lincoln

    by estamm on Wed Mar 02, 2011 at 02:25:41 PM PST

  •  hey I like incandescents too (5+ / 0-)

    ...but for different reasons than helping to burn more coal

    ...which reminds me...time to get a new lightbulb for my lava lite

    PLEASE donate to a global children's PEACE project: Chalk 4 Peace

    by RumsfeldResign on Wed Mar 02, 2011 at 02:28:17 PM PST

  •  Sorry, but I have to nitpick (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    OLinda, vets74, Leo in NJ, enhydra lutris

    it's spelled Dred Scott, not Dredd.

    Continue on.

    •  Power companies... (7+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      jam, lcbo, buddabelly, dougymi, PhilW, Leo in NJ, gabjoh

      Whereas it may be that some power companies want to expand the market for power, many--perhaps most-- power companies have embraced conservation programs, including CFLs, because it means they don't have to invest in additional power plants.

      If there is an economic influence on the GOP, it probably comes from coal mining or natural gas suppliers.

      But it seems that the wingnuts would pursue this anyway, just because they are stupid.

      "Well, I'm sure I'd feel much worse if I weren't under such heavy sedation..."--David St. Hubbins

      by Old Left Good Left on Wed Mar 02, 2011 at 02:37:01 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Sorry, didn't mean this as a response (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        jam, buddabelly, vets74, gabjoh

        but somehow it posted that way.

        Nitpick away.

        "Well, I'm sure I'd feel much worse if I weren't under such heavy sedation..."--David St. Hubbins

        by Old Left Good Left on Wed Mar 02, 2011 at 03:00:11 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Actually (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        Power generation and power distribution are generally unbundled now, with your local utility making most of its money from distribution and passing the costs of generation on to the companies that run the power plants. So it's more that conservation reduces the load on the distribution facilities, which are quite expensive to maintain and construct.

        If you Google "headache brain tumor", you will come away convinced that your headache is actually cancer—Seth Mnookin

        by ebohlman on Wed Mar 02, 2011 at 09:07:22 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  exactly correct (0+ / 0-)

        by "power companies" it has to mean generation companies to make any sense. Utilities are often unbundled and even if they aren't then they just make up for lost revenue in the next rate making cycle. As a monopoly, the utility's profit is generally set by the public utility commission (or other regulatory type body).

        It's independent power producers that want to sell, sell, sell.

        Causation was, is, and ever shall be a slippery bitch, so we're best sticking with noting the facts

        by jam on Fri Mar 04, 2011 at 06:50:31 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  I have cases of them. I have some antique lamps (5+ / 0-)

    that will only fit certain size clear incandescent bulbs and which don't look quite right with those curlycue mercury laden bulbs, when I even can jam one in.

    I have enough to last me for the rest of my natural life.  

    If you lose your disc or fail to follow commands, you will be subject to immediate de-resolution. That will be all.

    by SpamNunn on Wed Mar 02, 2011 at 02:30:14 PM PST

  •  I don't like CFL's due to the Mercury (7+ / 0-)

    I'd prefer we mandate LED lights even if that means subsidizing their development a little.

    we are but temporary visitors on this planet. The microbes own this place <- Me

    by yuriwho on Wed Mar 02, 2011 at 02:30:19 PM PST

    •  Agree with that (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      yuriwho, codeman38, damfino

      I'd like to see faster development of LED lighting technology.  Safer, cleaner and much more efficient.

    •  Efficiency Mandates not Technology Mandates (0+ / 0-)

      I think Congress took the right approach.  They didn't mandate a technology.  They mandated greater efficiency.  As a result, we already have incandescent bulbs which meet the mandate of the 2007 law.  Consumers can choose what technology they want: incandescent, CFL, LED, or something even better that scientists think of.

      •  Thats not what the public is being told (0+ / 0-)

        they are being told it's CFL's or nothing, so everyone is loading up on incandescent bulbs so they are not trapped.

        we are but temporary visitors on this planet. The microbes own this place <- Me

        by yuriwho on Wed Mar 02, 2011 at 06:47:05 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Color me shocked... (0+ / 0-)

          that Republicans, Talk Radio, and Fox News are lying to people.  

          The Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 only requires 25% greater efficiency in a certain class of bulbs.  Perhaps the difficulty is that the public isn't really clear on what an incandescent bulb is.  The bulb with the bare tungsten filament sitting in an empty bulb will be banned, but there are incandescent technologies (such as halogen incandescents) which are more than 25% efficient.  

          A year from now people are going to end up with boxes of wasteful incandescents that they will end up throwing out because they have a halogen incandescents that uses 50% of the power per lumen with no difference in light quality or dimmability, outdoor use, cold weather use, etc...

  •  Got rid of incandescents (7+ / 0-)

    for CFL's, but just replaced a bunch of those with LEDs - I LOVE the LEDs!  Great lights, great on a dimmer.

  •  Michelle Bachmann is . . . (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    RumsfeldResign, vets74, mconvente, zizi, Losty

    working hard to represent her real constituents. Now it is clear why she introduced her  “Light Bulb Freedom of Choice Act.” That's right. She thinks that light bulbs deserve freedom of choice but people don't. Black is white.

    "These days man knows the price of everything, but the value of nothing." - Oscar Wilde

    by metiche on Wed Mar 02, 2011 at 02:30:55 PM PST

    •  ...a dingbat. She'd love gaslight (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      vets74, metiche

      or scented candles to read by.

    •  I love Michele Bachman ! (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      MN-06's greatest contribution to Western Civilization, South Park, and blow-up dolls.

      The perfect balance of diet pill addiction and repressed histrionics.

      Kinksville North !!

      Gotta luv the whole idea of seeing Michele on a candidates debate next fall. And all the GOPer sell-out stooges biting their lips to keep from laughing at her.

      De-effin-licious !

      Financial capitalism's criminals + Angry White Males + KKK wannabes + Personality Disorder delusionals + George Will =EQ= The GOPer Base

      by vets74 on Wed Mar 02, 2011 at 04:50:40 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  It'll be interesting (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        to see how the macho Teapublican men deal with her Palinesque brand of feminine crazy. I saw her last debate with Tarryl Clark and her pouty visciousness was on display for all to see. Apparently that plays well with MN-06 voters but I can't see the men allowing themselves to be intimidated by her. (Not that Tarryl was intimidated. She just wasn't allowed to finish her sentences.) Michele does live on the edge though and it wouldn't take much to nudge her over. Just tell her that some lesbians were looking for her.

        "These days man knows the price of everything, but the value of nothing." - Oscar Wilde

        by metiche on Wed Mar 02, 2011 at 05:07:34 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Teabagger males dream she's doing ruffies+E (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          and they're next in line.

          Kink-O-Matic !!

          Financial capitalism's criminals + Angry White Males + KKK wannabes + Personality Disorder delusionals + George Will =EQ= The GOPer Base

          by vets74 on Wed Mar 02, 2011 at 06:28:42 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  I have been replacing my incandescents (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Leo in NJ, Betty Pinson

    one by one through out my household and would really like to change my ceiling mounted can light bulbs in the kitchen but as these are on a dimmer switch I am reluctant to do this. Seen to many videos of these catching on fire if changed.

    Is there a bulb that can be safely dimmed now that is environmentally friendly??

    It's important to keep moving matter what.

    by flatford39 on Wed Mar 02, 2011 at 02:32:24 PM PST

    •  Oh by the way the current bulbs are the (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      flood light style. Only 60 watts but that large style flood type.

      It's important to keep moving matter what.

      by flatford39 on Wed Mar 02, 2011 at 02:34:33 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I have cfl floods in all my outside lights now (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        badger, flatford39

        they are actually cheaper anymore than a basic floodlight and do last forever....take a bit to warm up in the winter though, much better in hot weather for instant light.

        Vaya con Dios Don Alejo
        I want to die a slave to principles. Not to men.
        Emiliano Zapata

        by buddabelly on Wed Mar 02, 2011 at 02:46:25 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I put the CFLs in my outside lights (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          lgmcp, Catesby

          that are on motion sensors and I took them out again. The warmup factor is a pain in the butt in the winter.

          They took so long to warm up and come to full brightness that they still hadn't reached that point when they went out. And - me and my guests had to negotiate the steps down from my driveway and up to my porch in the dark.

          Not an ideal situation.

          The modern conservative is engaged in one of man's oldest excercises in moral philosophy... the search for a superior moral justification for selfishness.

          by lcbo on Wed Mar 02, 2011 at 03:06:22 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  mine basically stay on so I gave up on motion (0+ / 0-)

            due to the critters.  I'm thinking of a timer setup though one connected to a photocell so I don't have to screw with it all the time.......and yea winter they suck to warm up and that's here in Tucson, i can't imagine anywhere actually cold.........even leaving them on all night though, I use less than just one bulb before or almost....

            I saved a lot by switching over....

            Vaya con Dios Don Alejo
            I want to die a slave to principles. Not to men.
            Emiliano Zapata

            by buddabelly on Wed Mar 02, 2011 at 03:21:52 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

    •  I believe there are dimmable fluorescents, (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      flatford39, buddabelly

      but have you considered replacing the dimmer with a simple switch? Do you need mood lighting in the kitchen?

      If you need advice on how to do this yourself (simple as long as you know how to shut off the breaker), ask in Saturday Morning Home Repair (9AM Eastern Time).

      •  Come on Leo...As a regular at SMHR you know (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        buddabelly, Catesby, docmidwest

        I know how to change the switch.

        The dimmers are there because the wife and I lie to cook "naked" and when you are in your 60's they kinda come in handy.

        It's important to keep moving matter what.

        by flatford39 on Wed Mar 02, 2011 at 03:00:33 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Yes there are dimmable CFLs (0+ / 0-)

        dimmable cfl

        Something like this one  is not only dimmable but is in the 5000k color spectrum, it is almost a bright, true white as opposed to traditional yellow bulbs or blue bulbs.

      •  I have dimmers virtually everywhere in PGL house, (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        using less current when not really needed, makes a warm, golden/orange light, can be used as nightlights at low settings. And incand' bulbs last wayyyy longer when used at less than full wattage.

        Hoping that LED's with similar dim-ability and warmer light become available. And that they will be affordable.

        No fan of CFL's here due to the nasty stuff they're made of.

        I have a dimmer on a double gooseneck wall mount with 15W halogens for reading in bed. Mrs Lippy and I love it - aim-able, dim-able, relatively low power consumption, warm color. No idea if/when a substitute LED will become available for the halogen socket configuration.

        And I do like the aesthetics of dimmed lights. Your living space can change radically from bright, lively, and socially interactive to quiet and intimate, and you can leave areas visible but not brightly lit, all with just a few fixtures.

        Fear is the mind-killer - Frank Herbert, Dune

        by p gorden lippy on Wed Mar 02, 2011 at 03:09:43 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  You can find dimmable fluorescents (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      elfling, buddabelly

      but I couldn't say where or how expensive they are.

      Also, in enclosed fixtures or other places where heat builds up, higher wattage CFLs won't last very long, even though they're much lower wattage than the incandescent they replace.

      I have a recessed ("eyeball") fixture in the bathroom where the CFL only lasts about a year (other places they last much longer). For recessed lighting, you might need to use lower wattage CFLs to get reasonable lifetimes.

      I also have CFLs in the track lighting in my office, which is a loft, and the track is on a cathedral ceiling. I used to use 18W or 20W CFLs, and they'd only last a month on average. I switched to much lower wattage, and they've been working for several years now.

      We've been using nearly all CFLs since 1990 or earlier, and the house we're in now (since 1996) we designed for all fluorescent lighting - CFLs, tubes and circular tubes.

      We choose to go to the Moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard. - John F Kennedy

      by badger on Wed Mar 02, 2011 at 03:23:41 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I bought most of mine at the Home Despot and (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        the manufacturer really stands behind the 5 year warranty,

        there's a number to call on the base of the bulb, read them the lot number and voila, they send you new bulbs in the mail 0 hassles...great company, I'm trying to think of brand name......n-vision iirc...

        great to deal with and never a hassle, i have about 4 burnt out....I wait till I get a few then call on all at once saves them shipping I figure.........

        Vaya con Dios Don Alejo
        I want to die a slave to principles. Not to men.
        Emiliano Zapata

        by buddabelly on Wed Mar 02, 2011 at 03:51:27 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Try halogen incandescents (0+ / 0-)

      They are incandescent bulbs so they work as normal on a dimmer, but they are just more efficient.  Not as efficient as CFLs, but they're at least 30% more efficient than conventional incandescent bulbs.  It's proven technology since halogen lamps have been in all sorts of things for years.  Lighting companies have just adapted it for use in household sockets.

  •  How many light bulbs does it (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    OLinda, darthstar, cameoanne, damfino

    take to screw an American consumer?

    (half a joke by half a wit).

  •  I hope they don't ban incandescents entirely (4+ / 0-)

    They are the only kind which will survive being in an oven. And sometimes you want the heat more than the light (rising bread, hatching chickens, preventing frost...)

    Moi, I use fluorescents exclusively except 1 lamp where they just won't fit. If I had to replace the fixture it would be no biggie. I only use it when getting in or out of bed.

  •  I DONATED $$$ TODAY (0+ / 0-)

    apparently some of those republican Senators only won by the skin of there teeth, one of them by only 400 votes.  Hope everyone will join me in the effort to contribute.

  •  eeesh ... I hate CFL bulbs (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    lcbo, Catesby, CA Berkeley WV

    or any kind of fluorescent lighting.

    But because it is the right thing to do, I use CFLs in some areas of my house. And then just make sure I turn off all my lights when not needed.

    In fact I often run around in my house in the complete dark  --- and I'd rather do that all the time than use CFLs, sheesh...

    I'm a bad citizen.

  •  We have some of these 4 foot "tubes" (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Leo in NJ

    Hey! These are actually Fluorescent.. Thought they were the old-fashioned long ones..

    Well, Not as bad as I thought, but any good way to replace these with anything?

  •  I use the Curly Fucking Lightbulbs (CFLs) (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    badger, Leo in NJ

    in my home, but I do like the warmth of a good incandescent bulb.  Still, the curly fuckers do make more sense in the long run...unless you're trying to use a classic EasyBake Oven...then you need an incandescent bulb.

    Once in a while you get shown the light, in the strangest of places if you look at it right.

    by darthstar on Wed Mar 02, 2011 at 02:48:34 PM PST

  •  LEDs, sure, but NO to CFLs (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    LordMike, pdxRita, lgmcp, Wood Dragon

    Most people on the autism spectrum, like myself, and others who aren't sensory-dull like most "normal" people, find florescent bulbs to be a horrific assault on the senses. I can't use CFLs in my bedroom or study/computer area, only in rooms where I has no deserve to spend quality time in like the kitchen or bathroom.

    Plus, in my experience of CFLs they're an absolute rip-off. They last a fraction of the package claims, and they really don't make much a difference in electricity usage (and yes, we've had our house checked by an electrician-twice--since we started giving CFLs try). And then there's the mercury issue. More polluting bang for your buck, I guess.

    I like LEDs, but until LEDs for ordinary household uses are more available where I live, I'm sticking to incandescent. I please don't tell me to order lightbulbs online. That's hardly an eco-friendly option to have lightbulbs shipped to you personally versus buying them from the store when I'm there to get other things as well.

    •  LEDs don't produce any light in lumens per watt (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      it's like reading by glowsticks.
      If you must use incandescents at least put in dimmer switches.

    •  Know how you feel (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      but I shopped around and found the GE low color temperature lamps.  Not the same as an incandescent, but quite tolerable..  (They do wreak havoc on color perception though).  I've also found that using the lowest possible wattage really helps.  

      Die energie der Welt ist constant; die Entropie der welt strebt einem Maximum zu. - Rudolf Clausius, 1865

      by xgy2 on Wed Mar 02, 2011 at 02:59:32 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  For some people, it's not the color. (5+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        lgmcp, buddabelly, codeman38, sneakers563, xgy2

        Or the intensity.

        It's that damn flicker. Just because some people can't perceive it doesn't mean everyone can't, even in the newest CFLs.

        Hoping and praying that the empty chairs and empty tables in th4e Middle East and Northern Africa when all is said and done are as few as possible.

        by Cassandra Waites on Wed Mar 02, 2011 at 03:04:46 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Again, it takes some shopping (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          lgmcp, codeman38

          and some Googling.  Yeah, I forgot about the flicker, but that is typically a characteristic of the cheaper designs (I can see it too - big time).  The cheapies also tend to use the blue phosphors.  Put the two together and you have one evil lamp.

          Die energie der Welt ist constant; die Entropie der welt strebt einem Maximum zu. - Rudolf Clausius, 1865

          by xgy2 on Wed Mar 02, 2011 at 03:09:58 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Problem is, the flicker is a feature, not a bug. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            It can be limited, but it's still tied to the technology used to produce light in the things.

            And it really doesn't help that in my area, the large wattage replacements are what's on the market, and the only brand in over 20 miles is what Walmart carries (because everyone else carries the same thing). Cheaper design? Try only design and only available in Blinding and More Blinding.

            Hoping and praying that the empty chairs and empty tables in th4e Middle East and Northern Africa when all is said and done are as few as possible.

            by Cassandra Waites on Wed Mar 02, 2011 at 03:16:20 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

  •  Screw them (in) (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    badger, PhilW

    My utility, NorthWestern, recently held an energy saving event and for an hour of my time I received free, 4 CFLs, a digital set-back thermostat, good quality weatherstripping for two exterior doors, shrink-wrap interior storm windows, a can of insulating foam and a DVD on how to install it all. They also gave away a CO detector, which though it saves no energy, was a nice plus.
    But some on the right see all this as a green commie plot. Build more nukes!
    Used to be a longer-lasting light bulb was an icon of American ingenuity.

  •  lightbulb (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    a gilas girl, cameoanne

    Nice picture, mcjoan. The front page has been looking really snazzy lately.

    The brilliant, liberal voice of Sam Seder is back! mp3 play, live stream, i-Tunes.

    by OLinda on Wed Mar 02, 2011 at 03:01:56 PM PST

  •  Plasma TV's and EV's (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    The Electric companies are making a killing.

    They sell tons of power to people with Plasma TV's.

    window airconditioners.

    Load demand is growing like mad.

    George Bush is Living proof of the axiom "Never send a boy to do a man's job" E -2.25 S -4.10

    by nathguy on Wed Mar 02, 2011 at 03:03:01 PM PST

  •  I am THAT little guy who just loves the warm glow (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    lgmcp, buddabelly, Cassandra Waites

    While I totally agree with this I actually NEED incandescent bulbs - I am THAT little guy who just loves the warm glow of HER incandescent bulb. (because of my eyesight)

    We have CFL's I will always need ncandescent bulbs to "balance" them - and am actually scared about the time when they will not be available.  I won't be able to read

    Bumper sticker seen on I-95; "Stop Socialism" my response: "Don't like socialism? GET OFF the Interstate highway!"

    by Clytemnestra on Wed Mar 02, 2011 at 03:06:04 PM PST

    •  I would try (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      a GE Reveal CFL. I have one and it seems a bit warmer than their standard yellow CFL bulbs.  I prefer bulbs in the 5000k range, these are very bright white.  I have a 100 watt equivalent 5000k bulb I use for projects like soldering headphones back together.

      •  It's actually not "bright" that I need (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        pgm 01

        it's a certain level ...  take our living room

        There is a CFL in one corner, 100 - a 60 in another corner
        and a 40 behind the seat I sit in.

        Take away any of these lights and it's too dark for me ... but a 75 in the 60 and it's too bright.

        I'm just weird I guess

        but I will give your suggestion a try


        Bumper sticker seen on I-95; "Stop Socialism" my response: "Don't like socialism? GET OFF the Interstate highway!"

        by Clytemnestra on Wed Mar 02, 2011 at 05:53:56 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  I'm opposed to and outright ban as well... (4+ / 0-)

    Hear me out before you attack...  I primarily use CFL's, but there are legitimate uses for incandescent bulbs, and the replacements are not equivalent.  CFL's are poor technology and LED's are way too expensive.  they both give off poor quality light and CFL's burn out surprisingly quickly and are not dimmable (the ones that ARE dimmable don't actually "dim" very well, either).  There are many light fixtures that do not accept either technology. And don't break one!  I've broken many a CFL in my day and it's scary 'cos of the phosphor in the glass (if you get any in a cut, it will not heal) and of course the mercury vapor isn't anything to scoff at.  There is no easy way to throw them away, either.  I have a big bag of dead CFL's (like I said, they do not last nearly as long as claimed) and I don't know how to get rid of them.

    What I do recommend and have always recommended is that incandescents be taxed to high heaven, making alternatives seem cheaper to the consumer.  That way the consumer has a choice.  Pay a penalty for incandescents or go with the environmentally friendly alternative.  Whenever you try to ban something, people instinctively fight the ban.  Remember how people were importing high flow toilets from Canada 'cos of a hi-flow toilet ban in the 90's?  Incandescent light bulbs do not pose a health or safety risk, so an outright ban is overreach, IMO.

    I should say that in my defense, I have upgraded 90% of my home's daily lighting to CFL's.  The energy savings have been enormous.  The quality of the light is pretty poor, IMO, but the tradeoff is worth it to me in energy savings. I have only kept incandescents in the bathroom 'cos CFL's make you look like death warmed over in the mirror when you are trying to get ready for the day.  I have also kept incandescents for little used lights 'cos it's not cost effective to replace lights that almost never get turned on.


    by LordMike on Wed Mar 02, 2011 at 03:09:35 PM PST

    •  Home Depot recycles CFLs (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      LordMike, buddabelly

      And I think some of the competitors do too.

      Michael Weissman UID 197542

      by docmidwest on Wed Mar 02, 2011 at 03:33:46 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  There is no ban ... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      on incandescents, only an (effective) ban on inefficient incandescents.  The 2007 law requires that lights be at least 25% more efficient.  It is technology-neutral.  Halogen incandescents are available right now that are 30% more efficient than legacy incandescents.  They costs more, sure, and they aren't as efficient as CFLs, but they completely rebut the criticisms about color accuracy, dimmability, outdoor use, etc...  It might be hard for halogen incandescents to meet the 2020 efficiency requirements, but that's pretty far down the road.  Who knows what science will have produced by then.

      •  They are also extremely hot (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        . . .and thus a potential fire hazard.  As such, nor are they suitable for many applications, like lamps with fabric shades, etc.  Or, at least, I would feel very uncomfortable using them that way.  

        I cannot stand CFLs, because I am very sensitive to their light, and the more so (see my comment way above) because of recent eye issues that have made that sensitivity even greater and have wreaked havoc with my color perception.  

        I have long been a proponent of using the least amount of light required, and making everything dimmable.  For the most part in my house I use small-wattage bulbs for ambient light, or keep light levels low with dimmers.  My incandescents last a VERY long time.  I do use halogen in the bathroom and kitchen (also on dimmers), but as stated above I would really be uncomfortable with them in lamps with fabric shades, or lamps that might be toppled over by errant children, cats, or wind.

  •  "Funded by Energy Companies"...huh? (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Joe Bob, Caj, badlands, buddabelly

    There is absolutely nothing in the article linked that shows energy comanies are funding the war against CFLs.  There is some innuendo, but nothing else. And in fact, it seems most electric comanies around the country are encouraging conservation, providing subsidies and even giving away CFLs.

    "Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities." --Voltaire

    by Gangster Octopus on Wed Mar 02, 2011 at 03:09:44 PM PST

  •  My Electirc COOP (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Joe Bob

    This post doesn't track with what I have experienced with my local electric coop. They seem to be bending over backwards to get customers to save energy. In fact, for $50 they will come to your home and do an energy audit, which shows homeowners where they are losing energy dollars. On top of that they will reimburse half of the recommended upgrades up to $500.

    I had this done in the fall and they gave me a complimentary box of energy saving items, weather stripping, shower heads, and several CFLs.

    I've seen a marked drop in my energy bill because of my electric company. Frankly, I think they want customers to save because they know they are running out of capacity.

  •  sorry to disagree (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    lgmcp, Catesby

    and I'm sure I'll get bashed for this but...

    I use some CFLs but they are absolute crap bulbs IMO, even the expensive ones. Yes they save energy but they are terrible for your eyes and there have been studies lately that they are really not good for you. Ever broken one in your house? I have. It's not a fun clean up because they contain mercury. LEDs are the way to go if you can get them. Full spectrum bulbs are the best.

    "Watch what you say or they'll be calling you a radical, a liberal, fanatical, criminal..."-7.75, -7.28

    by solesse413 on Wed Mar 02, 2011 at 03:28:40 PM PST

    •  I like CFLs ... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      and I don't worry about the breakage considering the miniscule amount of mercury involved.  I've never broken a CFL and I've probably taken in vastly more mercury from sushi.  As you point out though, there are efficient alternatives such as LEDs and halogen incandescents.  If I had dimmers in my house, I would use halogen incandescents on them.  

  •  So is there a ban or not? (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    lgmcp, Catesby, Sparkys Dad

    The link to the previous DKos story links to another story that mentions, in passing, that there's no ban, but everything I've heard says there basically is.

    All I know is I hate the light that comes out of CFLs and am starting to buy an extra box of 60 and 100 watt incandescent bulbs each time I'm in Home Depot. I don't mind using CFLs in places like the basement and garage, where the lights tend to be forgotten about and left on, but I'm partial to the warm glow (and the radiated heat, especially in winter) in my living space.

    •  There is no ban ... (0+ / 0-)

      on incandescent bulbs.  There is a requirement under Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 that bulbs be 30% more efficient than incandescent bulbs circa 2007.  Halogen incandescent bulbs can achieve more than 30% efficiency improvements.  You would be better off buying some halogen incandescent bulbs (and buying even better ones in coming years) rather than stockpiling inefficient bulbs that you might not even want to use a year from now.  

  •  Sorry, but I don't buy it at all. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    lgmcp, buddabelly, Catesby

    I've said all I'm going to say about this stuff already, in a diary called, Um, My Compact Fluorescent Bulb Is Hot. (Places and Times NOT to Conserve Electricity.)

    Power companies actually don't want to build powerplants, and I'm sure, with the car CULTure fantasies about how everyone can drive an electric car (coal powered of course) they're not very concerned about their revenue stream.

    Personally I would like to force power companies to build all new plants of, um, a certain type, unless they find a way to contain dangerous fossil fuel waste forever, but that's not going to happen.

    I also note that self proclaimed "environmentalists," who, ironically enough, know next to nothing about the environment, are working overtime to destroy the infrastructure in the only State in this country where running an incandescent bulb is actually cleaner (in winter) than running a high efficiency gas furnace.

    The CFL is another one of those "feel good" bits that consists in large part of handwaving and wishful thinking.

    Lighting is not a significant form of energy demand, and changing all the lightbulbs in the world which, as I pointed out in my diary long ago, will probably represent in the near term - because of the car CULTure - a net loss where climate change is concerned.

    The claim reads like a conspiracy theory.   I don't buy it, not for a New York Neon lit second.

    •  Agreed (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      buddabelly, NNadir

      The linked article has nothing to indicate electric companies are funding some sort of anti-CFL campaign. And as you point out, most energy comanies are in fact on board with CFLs.

      "Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities." --Voltaire

      by Gangster Octopus on Wed Mar 02, 2011 at 03:34:44 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Excellent point from your diary. (0+ / 0-)

      At any time of year when your furnace is running, the heat from an incandescent bulb is not waste heat.  You're already spending energy to heat the house, and every heat emission is contributing to the total.

      Linking to a news article is journalism in the same sense that putting a Big Mac on a paper plate is cooking.

      by Caj on Wed Mar 02, 2011 at 06:34:32 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Unless you have electric baseboard heat (0+ / 0-)

        though, you likely heat your home with a cheaper form of heating than electric resistance heat.  If this was really the argument as well, then everyone who complains could go through the house and switch to more efficient bulbs for summer use and then switch back in the winter.  Cheap wire filament bulbs exploit weaknesses in our primitive monkey brains.  People don't like to invest in things and we ignore costs that we can't measure.  We'd rather spend $0.25 for an inefficient bulb than $4.50 for a halogen incandescent since the savings over time of are largely hidden to us.

    •  So... (0+ / 0-)

      because it's not the biggest source of energy demand we shouldn't do anything about it.  I hope you realize what a lousy argument that is.  

      •  Well, if you must know, I favor reality over (0+ / 0-)


        Replacing every incandescent bulb in North America with a CFL (or for that matter an LED) is not an effective means of addressing climate change.

        The average American uses, calculated as average continuous power, between 11,000 and 12000 watts of energy.

        The vast majority of this power is devoted to the use of cars.    I often call for the phase out - ASAP - of the car CULTure, which includes lots of long drives to get lightbulbs at Walmart, but - as I pointed out in my last diary - Americans like to act that owning and driving a car is equally - and possibly more - important than air or water, as the state of our air and water shows.

        I think that's assinine.

        If we banned electric lighting in its entirety and insisted that everyone live by candlelight, it would only reduce electricity use by 8%.

        I have a hard time feeling all smug about that.

        I favor the electrification of the entire heating supply of the entire planet - save cogeneration where it can be practiced - and the substitution of all electricity generation by dangerous fossil fuels by nuclear power.

        That would be practical, and meaningful in the fight against the climate emergency which is both real and exigent.

        But instead we're going to hear glib stuff about CFLs and how they will save the world.

        They won't.

        Often, as shown, they will be worse for the environment in places like, say, Vermont (until dumb guys force the shut down of Vermont Yankee) and France.

        Have a nice evening reading by the light of your CFL.

        •  asdf (0+ / 0-)

          Well.  At least you admit you are making a bad argument.  

          Incremental improvements are valuable.  Better is better, even if it is minor.  Arguing that some other thing is more significant isn't an argument against making some other positive incremental improvements.  I don't think any sane person believes that more efficient lighting will "save the Earth".

          But keep making bad arguments and attributing irrational motives and beliefs to others.  

  •  Seriously? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    As far as the ‘power companies would stand to lose almost $26 billion’ angle of the linked article – it’s caca.

    Energy companies are pretty keen on anything that delays the day they have to build more generating capacity. Likewise, the lower peak demand is the less often they have to bring supplemental generating capacity online – which is often supplied by smaller plants with comparatively expensive fuel sources like diesel or fuel oil.

    As for GOPer’s like Michelle Bachmann and her lightbulb freedom act or whatever it is: Yes, she’s a corporate shill but the lightbulb thing is just political tribalism. It works like this: CFLs conserve energy, energy conservation is promoted by environmentalists, most environmentalists are Democrats, Democrats are bad, ergo, CFLs are bad.  

    Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend. Inside of a dog, it's too dark to read. - Groucho Marx

    by Joe Bob on Wed Mar 02, 2011 at 03:44:56 PM PST

  •  My only problem with the flourescent bulbs... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    buddabelly that they don't seem to work very well when the temperature is below freezing. Just saying.

    "Politics is like driving. To go backward put it in R. To go forward put it in D." - Tom Harkin

    by Tuttle on Wed Mar 02, 2011 at 03:46:02 PM PST

  •  fluorescent bulbs give me migraines (4+ / 0-)

    I start geting them whenever I am subject to the fluorescent light for hours at a time, The ceiling in my office of course is all rows of the dam things and I had the 8 of the closest removed, (so I am basically in the dark except for some lamps I put in with oldschool bulbs).

    For me it is nothing more then they cause physical issues for me, otherwise I love them in principle.

    •  I completely agree and sympathize (0+ / 0-)

      It's the combination of the flickering flourescents and flickering computer screen that does it to me.

      To believe that markets determine value is to believe that milk comes from plastic bottles. Bromley (1985)

      by sneakers563 on Wed Mar 02, 2011 at 05:23:06 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  A funny thing happened: the tech improved (5+ / 0-)

    What was banned wasn't incandescent light bulbs per se, but bulbs that used too many watts per unit brightness.

    A company in Santa Rosa, California, has developed new technology that makes it possible for incandescent bulbs to meet the standard.

    I was annoyed initially when the law passed and Bush signed it, (fluorescents aren't always a good solution; LEDs are not mature) but it turns out they were right and I was wrong.

    Now, I'm sure that the Republicans would love to strangle this innovative new company, located in heathen California. But you know, having passed the rule, turns out it's not so bad after all.

    Fry, don't be a hero! It's not covered by our health plan!

    by elfling on Wed Mar 02, 2011 at 04:07:17 PM PST

    •  The great thing (0+ / 0-)

      is that they are also continuing to improve it.  The article mentions that they can produce halogen incandescents that use 50% of the power per lumen of conventional incandescents.  I like CFLs, but I would certainly suggest that anyone who doesn't like them should give halogen incandescents a try.

  •  radio blowhards say flourescents come from china (0+ / 0-)

    so it's a commie giveaway -- didn't hear where the incandescents come from...

    but the message is going out over the radio and has been for a long time that the conversion is un amurcan.

    Progressives will lose all major messaging battles until they picket the limbaugh/hannity megastations and boycott those stations' local sponsors.

    by certainot on Wed Mar 02, 2011 at 04:49:31 PM PST

  •  Please don't come for the vacuum tubes next (0+ / 0-)

    I love the damn things.

    To believe that markets determine value is to believe that milk comes from plastic bottles. Bromley (1985)

    by sneakers563 on Wed Mar 02, 2011 at 05:24:00 PM PST

  •  CFLs give off a horrible light (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    lanius, cameoanne

    akin to a winter's day.  It's all blue and harsh.  I have one for my hallway, which is left on during the night.  It's dreadful.

    I shall keep my incandescents as long as I possibly can.  Mind you, I rarely leave my property, I run a sustainable farm, and I usually only have one light on in my house in the evening.  So neener, neener, neener.

    I find it ridiculous and hypocritical that people who use the computer and the internet (which requires a gazillion computers to be on all the time) are mocking people who prefer incandescents.

    •  Not hypocritical (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      There is better technology available today.  You can buy incandescents today that are 30% more efficient (70W produces the light of a 100W conventional incandescent).  What we mock is the attitude that Republicans have that we can't do better and that we shouldn't do better.  This is something that is difficult for pure market forces to solve because the electricity use of a single bulb is opaque to the user.  That's why so many people are still using old technology when better alternatives are available.  

      Beyond that, you really need to try some modern CFLs.  If your last use of CFLs was years ago, you will be impressed by the range of color temperatures now available.  

  •  How about taxing instead of banning? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    I know that probably won't get through the house, but a tax on incandescent bulbs that would make them equal or more expensive than CFL's would be all that's necessary to motivate people to buy them. The tax could be used to subsidize the cost of CFL's to make them much less expensive if bought in packages with 4 or more bulbs.  That would encourage adoption and help drive up demand for CFL's which should bring the cost down permanently.

    That would still allow the production of incandescents for all the special situations many have stated in the comments.  To make the energy co's go along, some of the tax could be diverted for them as grants to invest in renewable energy production or possibly as rewards for reducing coal and natural gas usage—whichever is more effective.

    "And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets..."

    by Back In Blue on Wed Mar 02, 2011 at 07:16:07 PM PST

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