As the nation prepares for the departure of the 100 watt incandescent light bulb and children across the nation mourn the subsequent demise of the Easy Bake Oven (it uses a 100 watt bulb for the heat), the light bulb industry prepares to make a killing off unproven technology. In January 2012 the 100 watt bulb will be banned in the US and other incandescent bulbs will follow suit being eliminated by 2014.
The Compact Fluorescent Bulb (CFL) has been around for a while as a replacement for the incandescent bulbs but they come with their own problems. The bulb costs about 11 times more than the incandescent bulb and has a small amount of mercury vapor inside. The amount should not pose a problem if the bulbs are broken in a house as long as some safety precautions are observed but in quantity the bulbs present problems for the waste stream. The bulbs that were supposed to save the environment are an environmental problem.
Next out of the gate are Light Emitting Diode (LED) bulbs. These are available in flashlights and other smaller bulbs (like Christmas lights) and they provide a crisp sharp beam of light. The problem is that any bulb for home use requires a number of LEDs to be placed together to provide adequate lighting. LEDs are finally available in the 100 watt size but there are problems with these as well. The crowded LEDs increase the amount of heat generated and forces manufacturers to put a lot of LEDs together, something that is less efficient.
The other problem with the bulb is that it costs $50.00. Proponents of this so called “green” energy would have us believe that the cost is offset by how long the bulbs last but this is misleading. The bulbs themselves might be good for up to 10,000 hours of use and that would seem reasonable for the price. This would be about 5.75 years of bulb use assuming a use of 5 hours per day. Not bad but considering the incandescent costs about 50 cents a bulb one can get 100 bulbs for the same price. Electricity use might figure in a bit but not enough to offset the price.
Another thing to consider is that the actual life of LEDs will be much shorter because they are only good for about 2000 clicks to on. So one would have to turn lights on and leave them on or turn them on and off and shorten the life of the bulb. Not a very efficient way of saving energy and certainly much more costly for the consumer.
I have some of the CFLs at my house. I use them in areas where the lights stay on for a long period of time (like my outside door lights). Since they consume less electricity I get my money’s worth and if they break they are outside where the mercury vapor is not a concern (adequate ventilation and open space reduce the amount of mercury vapor to very low levels). The important thing here is that I took the decision to use them because I wanted them and not because I was forced to do otherwise. I think that everyone should have a choice in what bulb they use.
But starting in January we will lose choices and we will continue to lose them as the nanny state government forces us to comply with its green agenda by legislating behavior. Keep in mind that if it was so wonderful they would not have to force you to do it through the use of laws. If it was good then people would do it on their own. But government is trying to influence behavior and compel us to do what it wants regardless of what we think is in our best interest.
And their intrusion will cost us thousands of dollars in new bulbs and eventually new appliances that will be able to use the bulbs mandated by government.
The best way to combat this is to stock up on incandescent bulbs right now. They are inexpensive and people should be buying them by the hundreds. Buying enough each week to build a stockpile will ensure that you have all the bulbs you want and need long after the government bans them. It will allow you to continue using cheap bulbs until better technology comes along that can compete with the cheap bulbs we will soon lose.
Start buying the 100 watt bulbs now because they go away the soonest. Then work your way down until you have enough to last a lifetime…
Of course there would be nothing stopping the government from sending the storm troopers to confiscate incandescent bulbs. I would not put it past the government to do this.
We use to be free but now they tell us what kind of bulbs we are allowed to use. In my book, that makes it a dictatorship…
Never surrender, never submit.