Skip to comments.A Bright Idea: Bring Back Incandescents
Posted on 01/16/2011 11:31:27 AM PST by Kaslin
Why is Paris known as the City of Lights ? Is it because the U.S. Congress banned Thomas Edisons incandescent light bulbs, so he had to take his invention offshore?
Well, not actually. Thomas Edison was an honoree at the 1889 Paris Universal Exposition and he did go up in the Eiffel Tower . The Italian government conferred a knighthood at that event on the man who gave the world a brighter idea.
No, Congress in the 1880s would not have been so foolish as to extinguish Edison s light bulb. But the liberal Congress in 2007 was so foolish. They passed (and, regrettably, President George W. Bush signed) the BULB Act. That cutesy acronym stood for the Better Use of Light Bulbs Act. By that act, incandescent light bulbs were to have been phased out by 2014.
The BULB Act was co-sponsored by Calif. Rep. Jane Harmon (D) and Michigan Rep. Fred Upton (R). Back in those halcyon days of green legislation, of cost-free environmentalism, few people noticed that one of America s greatest inventions was about to be banned by act of Congress.
Liberals were, quite literally, turning lights out on America --at least the incandescent kind. Edison s invention was being treated like asbestos and lead paint. But once consumers got wind of the coming ban, they began hoarding real light bulbs.
Soon, documented stories began circulating highlighting negative aspects of the new, eco-friendly compact fluorescent light (CFL) light bulbs. It was as if the Congress had tried to insert a CFLCanadian Football Leaguechampionship game in place of the Super Bowl.
Heritage Foundation researchers Kelsey Huber and Nicholas D. Loris alerted readers of Human Events that CFLs use high levels of mercury. They may last longer than real bulbs, but watch out if you break one or discard it. CFLs, Huber and Loris noted, can also cause migraines and aggravate epilepsy! What does this say about forcing them on health care providers?
Even the New York Times conceded that government nannying had failed to persuade consumers to shift from incandescents. The reason: they are cheap.
Many voters last fall were incandescent in their outrage of Congress meddling with the economy, with peoples way of lifeand livelihoods. U.S. factories that make incandescent bulbs were shutting down, laying off American workers, only to have China pick up the slack.
Rush Limbaugh took up the conservative cudgels. When Michigan Congressman Upton rode back into office on the Republican tide last fall, Rush pointed to the BULB Act as Exhibit A in the case against Uptons becoming chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee.
This would be a tone-deaf disaster if the Republican leadership lets Fred Upton ascend to the chairmanship of the House energy committee, Rush told his millions of listeners.
This is exactly the kind of nannysim, statism that was voted against and defeated [in the Midterm elections.]
Three House RepublicansJoel Barton ( Texas ), Marsha Blackburn ( Tenn. ), and Michael Burgess (Texas) went so far as to introduce legislation to repeal the BULB Act. Fred Upton not only co-sponsored the BULB Act, but he amassed a record of liberalism on social and economic issues. He even messed with Daylight Saving Time! Now, thats really liberal.
Mr. Upton managed to slip into the chairmans seat in the run-up to the 112th Congress, but only by signaling a new openness to changing the BULB Act. We have heard from the grassroots loud and clear, and will have a hearing early next Congress, Upton said. The last thing we wanted to do was infringe upon personal libertiesand this has been a good lesson that Congress does not always know best Well, if Mr. Upton didnt see the light, he surely felt the heat.
In banning the incandescent light bulb, Congress substituted its own judgment for the wishes of the American people. They specifically backhanded the American consumer.
They did something else, and this is perhaps the worst thing they did: They spurned the achievement of one of America s greatest geniuses. In 1914, when the lights went out all over Europe , the U.S. Patent Office announced that Thomas Alva Edison had patented a new idea at the rate of one every two weeks for nearly 40 years! No wonder the home-schooled Edison was called the wizard of Menlo Park .
Edison left a brilliant legacypatenting not only the incandescent light bulb, the phonograph, and the motion picture machinebut also giving Americans a confidence in their own native inventiveness. The world paid Edison an homage it will never pay to Nancy Pelosi.
Edison left some wise words for America , too. They can inspire us to climb out of the hole that many in government are digging for us:
"Be courageous! Whatever setbacks America has encountered, it has always emerged as a stronger and more prosperous nation....Be brave as your fathers before you. Have faith and go forward"
The danger from CFL’s overrated. Incandescents suck because they burn out frequently. With more expensive CFLs, you come out ahead on energy costs and and not having to change them on a frequent basis.
Halogens are good alternatives.
I'd instruct my lawyer to file a concurrent lawsuit against the Government and the manufacturers while also pleading extenuating, involuntary medical circumstances caused by MERCURY BULBS! [And, the weasel lawyer would be happy to do it]
I don't need the government telling me what lightbulbs I can and cannot use, I'll take incandescents any day of the week, I have no need to call the hazmat people if one should break, life is too short to be dealing with this nonsense, I think the government as more important things to consider.
Them little suckers put out lots of heat....gotta watch where you use them.
CFL have there merits but we just dont want to be forced to use them.
You can get incandescent light bulbs rated for 25,000 hours that are used by the hospitality industry. If you use them for an average of 7 hours a day theyll burn out in just a little under 10 years and cost about a buck or less per bulb depending on how many you buy.
Once you stock up all youll have to do is watch out for the light bulb police wholl be monitoring everyone who might be using those unauthorized, evil incandescents!
Agreed... if you watch where you put your fingers when you install the bulb, they’re a pretty good alternative to incandescents. They have a long life and they burn pretty bright.
I just noticed one of the 42W (150W equivalents) had burned out in my basement. It lasted a couple of years - like most of the incandescents I had down there before. Now, the dilemma, where/how to throw it away.....not a big question. It goes in the trash and to the land fill....I’m not going out of my way to accomodate the government. They can ride with the trashman to the dump if they want to. I didn’t ask for this.
That is true. Before; when I used Incandescent light bulbs, I had to replace them every 2 month
Vu1 Corporation is developing the ESL bulb (electron stimulated luminescence).
No toxic, vapor-form mercury like a CFL, the light spectrum of an incandescent, it’s dimmable, and lasts for about 10,000 hours.
Don’t halogens use a lot of power?
Throw em in the garbage... just watch out for the garbage police while you’re doing the dirty deed.
Except for the old carbon filament type bulbs; like this 109 year old light bulb.
I think I’ll just wrap them up in one of my grand daughter’s used poopy diapers......good luck to the inspector!...hahahhahaahhaahahahahaaaa
“I don’t need the government telling me what lightbulbs I can and cannot use”
Of course, that you would express such an ignorant opinion is proof positive that you need “experts” in Congress to help you sort through all those confusing choices and narrow them down to the one that will save mankind...
It’s surprising that members of Congress are not automatically conferred sainthood: they struggle night and day to make lives better for boobs who are too stupid to even appreciate what Congress is doing for them...
But fortunately, our Founders had the foresight to create a government “of the experts, by the experts and for the experts” etc., so congress-critters can plunge ahead knowing that Jefferson, Madison, Adams and Franklin etc. would admire their handiwork.
I think halogens are a FIRE HAZARD, because of the HEAT they generate.
They are probably banned as well, anyway.
I think halogens are a FIRE HAZARD, because of the HEAT they generate.
“With more expensive CFLs, you come out ahead on energy costs and and not having to change them on a frequent basis.”
You are welcome to buy them if you wish, just not impose your judgment on the rest of us. And remember to also invest in a hazmat suit so you can safely dispose of your mercury-containing bulbs.
For rooms in which one does not stay long and for which uses are infrequent (such as closets), CFLs absolutely suck because of the warm-up time. For spot lighting from a distance, where a reflector bulb is the correct application, CFLs suck because they do not have directional throw. LEDs on low-voltage DC are the way to go for lighting circuits, but it will be a few more years before they are cost effective. In any case, one should keep some incandescent bulbs on hand for emergencies, as they run on anything.
I’ve got a large sack of burned out CFLs awaiting the next very sporadically scheduled community household-hazmat collection. The sack dates back only about 4 years. While newer CFLs seem to be of better quality (and I was an early tester of the technology) they still seem to burn out at a rate that makes me question if they’re worth the electricity they supposedly have saved. Sometimes, however, the odd 20 year old CFL, first used when I lived elsewhere, is still faithfully lighting up.
A halogen lamp dissipates a little less actual heat than its incandescent cousin. Its chief fire danger is the surface temperature of a bare halogen capsule, which far exceeds that of an incandescent lamp. Halogens with an enclosed capsule and normal sized outer bulb mitigate this problem — they don’t get any “hotter” than the same wattage incandescent they replaced.
I have a closet full of incandescents, it’s going to be a hell of a long time before I start using those silly looking hazmat bulbs, if I run out of incandescents, I’ll use candles!
>>>But are they still hot....my experience with their predecessors is that they get hotter’n a b!tch.....<<<
Which is great as far as I’m concerned. I have an above-ground root cellar up here in Alaska. I dig a root can’t dig a cellar, since I hit permafrost about four feet down. So I built a shed with an open floor, covered it with 49 pickup loads of dirt, insulated the walls, and viola! A root cellar. Since I’m in Alaska I have to heat it in the winter.
I use a single 40 watt incandenscent light bulb. All that excess heat is just enough to keep the temperature above freezing. Right now it is -29.9 degrees outside. Inside the root cellar it is +36 degrees, just a wee bit too warm, but the potatoes, cabbage, turnips, carrots, and so forth are doing well.
That means I have an 8-by-8 foot walk-in fridge containing not only all my garden veggies but also butter, eggs, yogurt, and other refrigerated perishables from Fairbanks, which usually cost a lot of money at the local store. The idea has worked so well a lot of folks out here are looking at it as a way to lower food costs in a place where a dozen eggs runs about six bucks and milk costs about 10 dollars a gallon.
My monthly cost to run the light in the cellar is about three bucks. Electricity costs 59 cents a kilowatt hour. In some villages, electricity is up to 99 cents a kilowatt hour. Running a fridge up here costs us as much as a monthly electric bill in the Lower 48.
My point is that my beneficient federal overlords want to take away the simpliest and most accessible technology to do this. Yes, I can get heaters and thermostats and all sorts of other crap - but the easiest solution is an old lamp and a light bulb, something that even the poorest person out here can get.
Except for the light bulb, apparently.
Where is the light bulb clause in the Constitution, anyhow? I’d call them a bunch of lumbering, unthinking idiots whose ideas always have unforseen consequences, but I don’t want to add to the vitriol. LOL
The shaped end is, I think, designed to make it easier to fit the lamp where a normal incandescent used to go.
If you need the heat, you could compensate for that by using a much bigger CFL, or a group of them. The actual dissipated wattage is stated on the side of the base. It’ll be dazzling with light though, don’t know if that will affect the root veggies.
"light bulb clause in the Constitution?
..if it's not rejoinable to the Constitution ignore it, it's not enforceable to those who reserve their rights(just as any Corp. does, check it out).
If more did this (reserve their Constitutional rights), they would stop trying to Sovietize America.
I use an old fashioned 300 watt incandescent that looks like the on that appears over you head when you get a good idea.
In the winter it helps to add a few degrees to the room I'm in and I can see real good where everything's at.
Let’s send all burnt-out CFLs to Congress, and see how they deal with disposal.
Can LEDs be made for household lighting?
Yes, but it is expensive at the moment.
Without Incadickadoo bulbs millions of dogs will freeze!
It is the heater of choice for dog houses across the globe.
Why should he have to spend more?
The entire CFL push is ridiculous.
This is not about saving the planet.
This should be about freedom of choice.
“I think halogens are a FIRE HAZARD, because of the HEAT they generate.”
Halogens necessarily run hot. Because they run hot, quartz instead of ordinary glass is used for for the inner bulb, which tolerates the heat without softening.
It so happens that quartz is transparent to ultraviolet wavelengths. Because of the high operating temperature halogens generate significant amounts of UV that can present a skin cancer hazard. Therefore they should never be used with a broken outer envelope, or in the absence of the protective glass shield on some lamp types (such as desk lamps), for both fire and UV safety reasons.
And in a free country, you can make that choice for yourself.
But the danger from government intrusion is far underrated.
I’m all for a nationwide campaign to ship every burned out CFL to a congressman or senator so that they can ensure that it is properly disposed of.
But I use them down there anyway, that whitey white color spectrum is good for down there, also cheaper when accidentally left on.
I had one of those old bulbs. In the porch lamp of the pre-1906 home where I grew up, in San Francisco. The porch light was on every night. I think it was marked Marconi-Edison, or Edison Co. In the 1970s when my mom was about to sell the house, I removed the bulb for safekeeping. Unfortunately, my mom threw it out with other stuff, sigh. It had been burning for almost 80 years.
Who hasn’t ?
The ones that look somewhat like ordinary incandescent bulbs are a pretty good alternative to the banned ones. One problem I've noticed is that they put out a whiter light. I've put some in a chandelier with a dimmer. They dim, but not right down to a warm candle-light — so the ambiance isn't quite as good.
If Big Brother (or Big Nannie) allowed me to chose; I'd chose CFL bulbs for some applications, Halogens for some others, some LEDs — and Edison incandescents for the rest. I think I know better than government bureaucrats what's best for me.
That's probably true, if you live in the sun belt. If you live in the snow belt (including all of Canada); don't expect to save much. The lighting season overlaps with the heating season. Incandescent bulbs are 100% efficient radiant heaters. In the heating season, none of the energy goes to waste.
We’re on the same light-wave length there!