Skip to comments.Congress tries to turn off lights on bulb mandates
Posted on 07/11/2013 8:06:53 AM PDT by thackney
Texas Republican Michael Burgess just won another round in his fight against federal standards that could force consumers to abandon inefficient incandescent light bulbs for more expensive LED and fluorescent alternatives.
The House voted Wednesday to adopt an amendment by Burgess that would bar the Energy Department from using any funds to implement efficiency standards for light bulbs, six years after Congress first mandated the change.
The provision in a 2007 energy law was designed to encourage manufacturers to produce more energy efficient light bulbs; although it didnt rule out traditional incandescents, they would need a redesign to qualify under the new standards.
In response, manufacturers rolled out new bulbs that require less electricity, and over time, they have revamped them to have more aesthetic appeal.
LED and fluorescent models offer the promise of electricity bill savings over time and fewer lightbulb changes, since they have a longer lifespan. LED lights can last more than a decade. But some consumers criticize the quality of the light and the occasionally bulkier bodies of the newer alternatives, which may look garish poking out of chandeliers and other fixtures.
Burgess complained that the price of the replacements still hasnt dropped, with some models fetching as much as $50. The technology is still years off in making light bulbs that are compliant with the 2007 law and at a price point that the average American can afford, he said on the House floor.
He cast the 2007 mandate as Big Brother intruding into the living rooms and light fixtures of everyday Americans.
If the new energy-efficient light bulbs save money and if theyre better for the environment, we should trust our constituents to make the choice on their own toward these bulbs, he said. Let the market decide. We should not be forcing these light bulbs on the American people.
Burgess amendment was adopted by a voice vote, the same fate in the past two years. It was added to a broad spending bill that doles federal dollars to the Energy Department. The measure now heads to the Senate, which has its own competing version.
Rep. Marcy Kaptur, D-Ohio, noted that American lighting manufacturers have committed to abiding by the standards, even if the Energy Department is barred from enforcing them. As a result, she said, Burgess proposal ends up giving an edge to foreign manufacturers producing old-school incandescents.
The only benefit of this ill-informed rider is to allow foreign manufacturers who may not feel a similar obligation to import non-compliant light bulbs that will not only harm the investments made by U.S. companies, but place at risk the U.S. manufacturing jobs associated with making compliant bulbs, she said.
And Kaptur stressed that the incandescent light bulb lives on, in newer, more-efficient designs.
As a result of the 2007 law, manufacturers already are making a variety of new energy-saving bulbs for homes, including more efficient incandescent bulbs, she said on the House floor. These bulbs look like and turn on like the bulbs we have been using for decades, but are upwards of 28 to 33 percent more efficient. And thats good for everyone.
Previously, the design of incandescent light bulbs had changed little since it was first introduced more than a century ago.
Pass 5 bills like this every day. Force the democrats to be the party of “NO”.
Rep. Marcy Kaptur, D-Ohio
A dim bulb.
No thanks. I'll stick with the 1/3 priced incandescents.
Pass 5 bills like this every day.
We’re lucky if we get one bill a month like this. GOP is too busy squandering its majority status in the House to think about doing anything meaningful.
A little known fact is that when heating the home incandescent lights are much more efficient. The “wasted” energy produced is diverted simply into heat, which reduces proportionately the need for other energy to heat the building. Like other forms of electrical heat light bulbs are 100% efficient.
OTOH, when cooling the home the “waste” heat of the incandescent bulbs must be removed by the AC system, making the bulbs even less energy-efficient than usually proclaimed.
So incandescent bulbs are much more efficient on an annual basis in MN than FL.
The revenue falls.
Then taxes fall.
Then the power companies request permission to raise rates to compensate for the falling revenues.
The regulators will then grant the rate increase because of the falling tax revenues.
There you have it. We will be screwed once again.
In reality, LED and spiral fluorescent lamps ARE much more efficient than incandescant lamps, in terms of power consumed vs. lumens produced. LED’s are the ultimate conclusion for lighting, with low power consumption, little heat output, and very long life with proper design, exceeding virtually every other light source. The only hangup is color temperature, and up front cost. The first is being tackled as we speak, with LED’s that mimic daylight white, the second is scale of economy. Of course, these observations are purely from an engineering standpoint, without being viewed through a political lense.
Absolutely. It wasn’t inefficient when we were living in Alaska.
Today outside of Houston, Texas, that inefficiency is at least doubled as my AC has to run to take that heat back out of the house.
When it snows, there are more wrecks with the new curly light bulbs.
They do not put out enough heat to melt the snow, and you can not see the traffic lights.
CFLs, on the other hand, are crony capitalism at its finest. Phillips and other manufacturers basically bribed legislatures to mandate the use of these dangerous and inferior (though higher-margin) devices for a few years until the economics of LEDs closed their window of opportunity forever.
I socked up on the cheap yellow warm bulbs and use them in the cooler months, say October to ~ May. That way I wont run out soon.
The low wattage whitish bulbs are not bad for the warm sunny summer months here,
GWB signed that light bulb ban BTW.
I call BS. CFLs are pretty cheap. Not as cheap as incandescents, but they are cheap if you aren't looking for something fancy like dimmable, daylight 300 watt equivalent bulbs.
LEDs are dropping with 40 watt replacements under $10. Unfortunately 75 watt replacements are still out of my price range and I can't find any 100 to 150 watt replacement LEDs yet.
I love the LEDs I've put in so far, but they aren't bright enough yet.
The ban on incandescent light bulbs is a disrespect to Thomas A. Edison.
They should have never tried to take away our choice in buying bulbs. Liberalism is about taking away choices.
LEDs have for decades been able to produce any color temperature desired. If that were not the case no LED monitor or Led TV would even have been sold.
It only takes the manufacturer to introduce the right combination of RGB leds to produce the desired color temperature.
Replace our leaders, not our lightbulbs.
The LEDs themselves are certainly available.
I recently bought a bicycle head light for $38, shipped from China.
Durn thing is 1800 lumens, about the equivalent of a 100w incandescent, and a good deal brighter than some car headlights.
It runs for two hours at full brightness on a rechargeable battery roughly the equivalent in size of four AAs. Don't know how much energy consumption that equates to, but at the end of two hours continuous running it is only slightly warmer than ambient.
The LED itself is made by Cree. They are also very white in color.
Another, actually widely known, fact is that residential lighting consumes around 12% of all electrical usage.
The bulk of energy/electricity is used for space heating and cooling.
Better insulation would be more of a factor in reducing energy consumption than making it more expensive to buy light bulbs.
A couple years ago, before the mandate was to take effect, I went to (gasp) Walmart, and paid $0.88 per box of four incandescent light bulbs. Altogether, I bought about 75 boxes of 100 watt and 75 watt bulbs. So for the price of about six of the newfangled toxic bulbs, I'm set for life and beyond.
re: “The warnings are sobering. You must “leave and seal the room” if one is broken. You must find a recycler who accepts them. Throwing them away can land you in court in some jurisdictions. And convincing evidence is available that they are a real fire hazard when they eventually burn out.”
And you touched on the biggest issue I have with these new bulbs. Even if they are as cost efficient as they say, who is going to dispose of these bulbs the way the instructions say to? The vast majority WILL NOT. They will just toss them into the trash like we’ve always done.
Then, years down the road, we’ll have a new problem with the crap in these bulbs getting into the soil and the water table.
“GWB signed that light bulb ban BTW.”
Yeah, another reason to put him on the list of failed presidents! No More Bushes!
RGB LED’s work great for multi-color displays. The current technology is to use LED’s that emit in the UV region, and use that to excite phosphors on the surface of the LED chip, much the same way as a fluorescent lamp works. Look closely ay a white LED, and you can see the phosphor la layer (yellowish colored). I have a huge supply of white LED’s, the only reason I don’t use them is the temperature color. They are “cold white”, like snow. I’ll find a workaround for that though.
“CFLs are pretty cheap.”
And the light they produce is harmful to your eyes. And I really like the mandate for “the first light in your bathroom has to be CFL” here in CA. Get up to use the bathroom in the middle of the night and you have to wait for a minute for the bulb to generate enough light for you to see the toilet. Good news is that the canned lights I had to put in in a recent remodel can accommodate the “guts” from a similar fixture that uses incandescent bulbs. Just pissed me off to have to buy two fixtures to pass inspection.
I was happy to try the CFL alternative, and in some applications it was fine. I'm waiting for LEDs to become cooler and more affordable, which they will. In the meantime incandescent lighting is superior in certain places. So, as a prudent consumer, I'll happily go with the most appropriate product. If I'm allowed.
Social activists' egos are being stroked and politician's power is being increased by this ridiculous nonsense, and the earth is not being "saved".
Cree makes good stuff.
We've already seen a big drop in our electric bill, and between that and the cost of replacing halogen bulbs every two months, we expect to fully recoup our investment in less than 12 months - even at current LED prices (forget Home Depot - they aren't so high online). Incandescent lighting is already dead - and though government mandates are just dumb, there's really no need to bother overturning this one.
Well that is stupid. Bathroom lights are ones that should be turned on only while you're in the room, need to be quick to turn on and should be on a dimmer (shaving light is different from the "hit the target at 3 AM" light). Thus the bathroom is the absolute worst room for CFLs.
I have no objection to having LED and CFL bulbs on the market. I’ve tried CFLs, and abandoned them, because of poor performance and short lifespan (their supposed long life is predicated on usage patterns that don’t come close to the way we use light bulbs.)
OTOH, after the last time I had to replace my “long-life” CFLs, I spent quite a bit on LED bulbs, for those locations where I had to use a ladder to replace the bulbs, and I’ve been very happy with them. They have lasted, and the extra cost is easily outweighed by the convenience of not having to drag the extension ladder out of the garage.
But that I find LED bulbs appropriate for some uses, and am quite happy that they are available on the market, does not mean that I am at all happy to see the government mandating their use.
I stocked up on 100 watt incandescents while I could for my detatched, unheated garage. Nothing else I’ve found will come up to full brightness right away in the winter. If I put curlies in there I could be in Ohio by the time they warmed up to full brightness.
The last US incandescent light bulb manufacturing plant already closed due to this insane law, adding to the unemployment rolls. Now all light bulbs are imported. One more industry gone. If this bill is passed, the incandescent plants will not reopen. There is no indication factories will be built in the USA for the newer technologies as the Wall Street banks prefer to fund manufacturing projects overseas.
Once more the globalists and environmentalists have killed another US industry. Bush could have stopped it by casting a veto. However, he chose to support the greens and the Chinese manufacturers.
Engineers should also consider these facts:
Spiral fluorescent lamps must be disposed of by specially designated hazardous waste facilities. Costly additional expense and infrastructure in waste management is required to do this,
If a spiral fluorescent lamp is broken inside a home, it becomes a hazmat cleanup site, which the average citizen is not trained to do properly, and counties apparently don’t care to inform things like, if a bulb breaks on your carpet, it cannot be cleaned, it must be disposed of... ostensibly at the hazardous waste facility. No doubt users of these bulbs fail most of the time to take the spent bulbs to a proper facility, instead dropping them in the trash where they can end up polluting the environment and/or groundwater.
Where do you drop off your spent bulbs, just curious?
Engineers should also be aware of the effect on the human body of these lights. Fluorescent lamps deplete the human body of vitamin d. Engineers may be aware of the epidemic of vitamin d deficiency currently in our society, and direct correlations can be drawn.
In addition, the LED lamps damage retinas and can cause blindness after prolonged use. Also demonstrated by researchers in Europe.
also available at:
“Well that is stupid. Bathroom lights are ones that should be turned on only while you’re in the room,.... “
Well that’s the way it is with California building codes. In Kitchens and Bathrooms, the first light HAS to be fluorescent.
I just had a new roof put on my primary residence. The building inspector didn’t inspect at all ( I know, because I was home every time he showed up). Then he required the roofing company provide a hold harmless letter on their company letterhead saying that if I sued for some defect, that the town was not a party to the lawsuit even though they hadn’t performed any of the required inspections. Good news was that the roofer was a quality firm, and I did my own inspections.
Topsy the elephant probably couldn’t care less about respect for Edison.
I’m all for killing the light bulb ban, although it’s probably too late to prevent the Boxers and Markeys of the Congress from scoring billions on their investments in the CFL market immediately following their ban.
As a side note, there have been some neat advances in the manufacture of LED bulbs, both in flashlights and home lighting. I’ve decided to try out a few in hopes of brighter, more uniform lighting, endurance and energy savings. We’ll see...
I have a dear friend who when exposed to the light from CFL bulbs (even indirectly), it triggers photosensitivity seizures... it’s heartbreaking, but the best thing is to simply avoid the trigger. Related... and I have no clue ho2 common this is, but the strobing blue LEDs they use on modern lightbars on cop cars “bother” me... it’s hard to explain... it makes me feel nauseated... I guess like those “puke lights” they came out with to intentionally disorient people.
No hazmat procedures were ever needed to dispose of an incandescent bulb.
Again, how many people do you know who use CFL bulbs dispose of them properly?
Communists love creating environmental disasters because they accrue power ‘solving’ them.
From the Harvard Medical Review:
But all light is not created equal, says the Health Letter. Blue wavelengthswhich are beneficial during daylight hours because they boost attention, reaction times, and moodseem to be the most disruptive at night.
Studies have linked ...light at night to several types of cancer (including breast and prostate cancer), diabetes, heart disease, and obesity.
Use dim red lights for nightlights. Red light has the least power to shift circadian rhythm and suppress melatonin.
Avoid looking at brightly lit screens beginning two to three hours before bed.
If you work a night shift or use a lot of electronic devices at night, consider wearing blue-blocking glasses.
Expose yourself to lots of bright light during the day, which will boost your ability to sleep at night, as well as your mood and alertness during daylight.
You are correct! It is disinformation! There’s more mercury and heavy metals in the enviroment around you than is what is contained in the average lightbulb. Fluorescent lamps have been around since the 1930’s, and all of them have been dumping mercury into the enviroment since they’ve worn out, and they’ve been bathing you in UV radiation for just as long. The only difference between fluorescents and LED’s is the source of UV radiation. I look at energy usage from purely an engineering standpoint. If an LED lamp uses 4 watts, and a CFL uses 13 watts, and an incandescent lamp uses 100 watts to produce the same amount of light, which one is going to put the least amount of hurt on your energy budget.
I never met an engineer that didn’t care if his product was going to hurt the customer.
That’s the luddite view. Everything man made that you come into contact with on a daily basis has the ability to kill you, fast or slow. That’s the price to pay for technology. You cannot enjoy technological advancements and totally mitigate the risks involved. Lifespans in the industrialized world prove this out, that despite us introducing more known toxic compounds into the enviroment, we still somehow manage to live longer, with a better quality of life.