Compact Fluorescent Bulbs
A mandatory solution to a problem we don't even have

illustration by akdart
The environmentalists on the political left (the people who brought you 1.6 gallon toilets) have recently succeeded in getting ordinary light bulbs banned in the United States.  The federal ban on incandescent bulbs is a clear violation of the Tenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, but unfortunately there are few people in Washington (or anywhere else) who give that technicality a second thought.

The energy bill that will phase out incandescent bulbs was proudly signed into law by President Bush, whose action is exactly what one might have expected from President Al Gore or President John Kerry.

The articles listed below (and many more to be added later) set forth clear arguments against the use of Compact Fluorescent Bulbs, or CFLs, for a number of very practical reasons, both technical and political.  The big political push toward their mandatory adoption is based on the belief that the bulbs use less electricity to provide the same light output.  But the environmentalists are the very people standing in the way of new refineries, coal-fired power plants, and nuclear power plants.  In fact, there is no practical source of electricity that the environmentalists do not oppose.  They claim that they want America to achieve energy independence, but they oppose drilling for oil in Alaska.  Conservation is good, but increasing the supply of electric power is even better.

Fluorescent lighting advocates claim that electricity consumption will be reduced overnight when people switch to fluorescent lamps; however, with that in mind, people will naturally be more inclined to leave their lights on a lot more, since the new bulbs are so efficient.  That offsets the energy savings considerably.

"Wasted" energy is not wasted

Proponents of fluorescent lights are quick to point out that incandescent bulbs waste 90 percent of their input power as heat.  CFLs are not 100% efficient, either, but somehow that is never mentioned.  (Of course the light from a light bulb also turns into heat when it hits the walls and the floor, bringing the "wasted power" total to 100 percent, unless some of the light goes out the window, but I digress.)  A hair dryer uses a lot more power than a light bulb.  Some consume 1800 watts, and 100% of that power is "wasted" as heat.  Sometimes heat is a beneficial byproduct.

Here's the way I look at it:  In the winter, that "wasted" power contributes to the heat in the house, which makes the heater run less.  I have an all-electric house, and I figure it costs nothing to run a hair dryer or a computer or an electric blanket in the winter, because all those things are supplementing the output of my central electric heater.

Exaggerated life expectancy

CFLs don't last nine years.
I can tell you from my own experience that "9 year" CFLs don't last nine years.  A more accurate figure would be nine months.  Notice that the packaging says they will last 10,000 hours.  Simple arithmetic tells us that's only a little more than one year of continuous use.  (Since the life of a CFL is shortened by turning it on and off, continuous use results in the longest life.)  Incandescent bulbs have been known to operate for decades:  The world record is over 100 years.

If your CFL dies prematurely, the manufacturer will blame you for its failure.  (Must be something wrong with your wiring.  You must have turned it on and off too much.)  Even if the bulb is under warranty, and you send it back to the manufacturer for a replacement, you will spend more on shipping than the price of a new bulb.  Those shipping costs come out of your pocket, and they offset any "energy savings" you might have realized.

Grab your calculator

How much are you really saving?  Ordinary incandescent bulbs cost less than 19¢ apiece.  When coupled with the fact that CFLs don't last very long, it's easy to see that your "energy saving" amounts to approximately zero when you switch to fluorescent bulbs.

Equivalent light output?

CFLs are marketed with a number of half-baked promises.  The packaging may tell you, for example, that a CFL bulb that uses 23 watts and has the light output "equivalent" of a 100-watt bulb.  On the contrary, the light is not "equivalent" by any means.  Fluorescent bulbs emit a cold, harsh and unnatural glow, along with an audible hum and a small amount of ultraviolet light.  They don't work in cold weather, and some of them take two or three minutes to reach full brightness.  Most of all, they are far more expensive than incandescent bulbs, and the alleged savings are never realized because the bulbs do not last as long as the manufacturers claim.  So yes, except for about a dozen drawbacks, fluorescent lights are fine, and if the price of electricity triples, or if I'm forced to run on generator power, or if I want my home to look like a warehouse, I'll buy more of them.

The fruits of environmentalism

The CFL mandate is so irritating to me because the so-called "Energy Independence and Security Act" was passed in a futile effort to slow down global warming and reduce carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere.  Carbon dioxide (as you can read on another nearby page) is a nutrient, not a pollutant, and many rational people believe the global warming scare is just an elaborate hoax and a passing fad.

Isn't it a little odd that the environmentalists who are so gung-ho about CFLs are the same people who are so greatly concerned about mercury pollution from coal-fired power plants?  CFLs contain mercury.  They are already going into landfills, and have been for years.  Mercury isn't bio-degradable; it's just going to accumulate.  Someday there may be special disposal facilities for CFLs, but it's safe to assume that about half of the bulbs will still go straight into the trash with the household garbage.

The CFL mandate is also irritating because most of the pencil-pushing bureaucrats who came up with this law are living in enormous houses, each with a swimming pool, an irrigation system, a three-car garage, a jacuzzi and several huge TV sets, and these "limousine liberals" are the people who want the rest of us to save a few watts here and there, and a few gallons of water.

Other alternatives

If we must abandon the venerable incandescent bulb, a much better solution would be the use of super-bright LEDs.  Light-emitting diodes are much more energy efficient than even fluorescent bulbs, and although they are more expensive at the moment, the price of bright LEDs is dropping much faster than the price of CFLs.  There are few drop-in replacements for ordinary 120-volt bulbs at the moment, and prices are very high, because until now there has been no great demand for such a product.  But there are a few sources out there...
[1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6] [7] [8] [9]

Only very recently have LED "bulbs" shown up on store shelves, and unless you shop on the internet, the prices are still quite high, and most of the products I've seen are spotlights and accent lights rather than omnidirectional "bulbs."  Drop-in replacements for ordinary light bulbs are hard to find, but there is a company called Luminosity LED offering such a device already.  Again, the internet is the marketplace for merchandise on the leading edge of technology.

The Amazing LED.  It's always been true that lowered cost of a commodity results in greater use of the commodity.  Low cost gasoline, for example, has resulted in more miles being driven, which is why radical environmentalists want to increase gasoline taxes.  Five years ago, they touted natural gas as a bridge fuel to the future, but now that we have abundant natural gas, these same people have declared war on natural gas.  Right now, LEDs are the darling of radical environmentalists, but will they change their tune?

The light bulb that lasts 25 years.  It could be the breakthrough that finally has consumers warming to the energy-saving light bulb.  A version that brightens up instantly, costs just 88p a year to run and lasts up to 25 years has gone on sale in Britain for the first time.  The only catch is that the new LED bulb will cost £30.

60-watt LED bulb to break $15 mark, Lighting Science says.  Lighting Science Group and Dixon Technologies India today [8/29/2011] touted an LED light bulb equivalent to a 60-watt incandescent that they say will hit store shelves with a price below $15.  The omnidirectional LED bulb, in the traditional A19 shape of household incandescent light bulbs, will become available in India by the end of the year and worldwide, including in the U.S., early in 2012, the companies said.

Competition leads to major price cuts in LED light bulb market.  Intense sales competition is bringing down the price of LED light bulbs, which have long lifetimes and consume little energy compared to florescent and incandescent light bulbs commonly used in the past.

Bright forecast for LED lighting.  Because of their energy-frugal characteristics, LEDs (light-emitting diodes) have always had the potential to save commercial properties a significant amount of money on their electricity bills.  However, the initial expense of the lighting systems have made LEDs cost-prohibitive in many situations.  Not so anymore, according to Pike Research.

Are efficient LED bulbs worth the price?  At this point, LED bulbs are the hybrid cars of lighting.  They're cheaper to operate but cost more upfront than their less-efficient cousins.  There have been LED spotlights and smaller lights for years, but now people can buy LED bulbs that give out as much light as a 60-watt incandescent and are designed for use just about anywhere.  And rather than purchase them online or in a specialty store, they will be available at Home Depot, Lowes, and no doubt other familiar retail outlets next year.

For GE, Philips, Cree, LED Lighting Brightens Future.  It soon will be lights out for traditional incandescent bulbs.  And companies making LED lighting hope their products eventually will become the standard replacement.  But near term, light-emitting diodes are too expensive for mainstream lighting, despite their clear advantages in energy savings and impact on the environment, analysts say.

Five things you didn't know about LED lightbulbs.  If you've heard about residential LED lightbulbs, you probably know that they're energy-efficient, last a long time, and are pricier than other lightbulb technologies.  I've been using LED lights in my home for several months now, and overall the transition has been good.  As you consider your lighting options, here a few things that you might not know about LEDs.

If they "don't give off much light", what good are they?
Lemnis unwraps LED bulb under $5.  Lemnis Lighting introduces two no-frills LED bulbs — one priced under $5 and one under $7 — that don't give off much light but may tempt consumers to try efficient LEDs for general lighting.

The Editor says...
The product described in this article sounds more like a night light than a light bulb.  When I turn on a lamp, I want to see more than just where the light bulb is.

More LED bulbs.

If the federal bureaucrats wanted to save electricity, there are other ways to do it.  They could start by revoking the licenses of about half of the radio and TV stations -- the half that nobody watches or listens to.  A UHF-TV transmitter typically uses a quarter of a million watts of electricity, and many of them run 24 hours a day broadcasting infomercials.  Television in general is now just channel after channel of meaningless pap, all day and all night.  The FM and AM radio bands are also packed with stations but only a few of them are any good.  You know I'm right.



CFL Energy Misinformation.  Do CFLs really save energy?  It depends on where you live.  You certainly don't save it if you live in a northern state, where the heat from incandescents that is claimed to be "wasted" is worth more for heating your home than anything you save on CFL lighting. [...] The claims of energy efficiency, not only by Xcel but by others, are based on the commonly advertised CFL bulb life of 10,000 hours.  But PG&E, the largest electric utility in California, found bulb life is overstated by a whopping 49 percent!  Since PG&E serves millions of customers, its experience with bulb life represents a very large sample and is, therefore, probably accurate.  Using the realistic shorter bulb life, plus the fact CFLs could not be purchased locally for "a dollar or less," as advertised, plus the fact the heat lost from replacing incandescents is worth more than the energy saved from CFL lighting, and you can see the claim you can save $50 "every time you replace an inefficient incandescent bulb with a CFL" is utter nonsense.

Professors have stocked up on old-style bulbs to protect against skin cancer and blindness.  How would you view a man who's stockpiled a lifetime supply of old-fashioned lightbulbs because he believes low-energy bulbs could lead to blindness?  You might well dismiss him as dotty.  But the man in question, John Marshall, is no crank.  In fact, he's one of Britain's most eminent eye experts, the professor of ophthalmology at the University College London Institute of Ophthalmology.  So concerned is he that he has boxes stacked with old-fashioned incandescent lightbulbs at home.  'I bulk bought incandescent lightbulbs before the Government made it illegal to import them,' he says.

If You Like Your Light Bulb, You Can't Keep Your Light Bulb.  A recent study found only 28 percent of the public was aware of the 2007 law that unrealistically raised the minimum efficiency standards for light bulbs to the point where it effectively turned the 25 cent light bulb into contraband.  "In its place," reports CNS News, "alternative, costly and mercury-filled CFLs are manufactured in China, and incandescent factories in the US have been shuttered."  The last U.S. incandescent light bulb factory, in Winchester, Virginia, closed in September 2010, leaving 200 well-paid employees feeling they'd been "sold out by the government."

If you thought CFL's were ugly, wait til you see these things.
Energy regs come with $70M price tag.  The Obama administration is moving forward with tougher energy efficiency standards that would cost manufacturers more than $70 million, but save consumers billions of dollars in energy bills.  The Department of Energy (DOE) said the new requirements for metal halide lamp fixtures and external power supplies will cut energy waste, save families money on their utility bills and reduce pollution. [...] Metal halide lamp fixtures are big, bright lights that are commonly used at camp sites, parking lots, streets, warehouses, school gymnasiums and athletic facilities.

CFLs: More Fires, Product Recalls.  The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission recalled 1.86 million CFLs due to "700 reports of lamps where the glue failed."  The USCPC order stated:  "Hazard: The glue that attaches the glass outer envelope or globe to the body of the lamp can fail allowing the glass outer envelope to fail and strike persons and objects below, posing a laceration hazard to consumers."  The recall order involved Philips and Marathon CFLS, was issued August 11, 2011, and was the largest recall order on CFLs issued to date.

Thomas Edison's monument will no longer shine with Thomas Edison's light bulbs.  This summer, when the monument to Thomas Alva Edison on Christie Street [in Edison, NJ] reopens after two years of renovations, a small but symbolically significant change will take place.  The 14-foot-tall glass replica light bulb on top of the 118-foot-tall tower will no longer burn with an array of incandescent bulbs, Edison's signature invention.  The project calls for changing the lights to the new LED bulbs, a lighting-tech leap that came well after Edison's time.

Omnibus deal cuts EPA spending, ends light bulb ban.  Republicans won several energy and environment concessions in the $1.012 trillion fiscal 2014 spending bill House and Senate lawmakers unveiled late Monday [1/13/2014], though attempts to handicap a slew of Environmental Protection Agency regulations did not make it into the final version.  The package will end funding for the federal light bulb standard and soften policies that restrict public financing for construction of coal-fired power plants abroad, among other measures.

Lights Out For America's Favorite Light Bulb.  When industry and environmental groups claim that a regulation will solve all problems, consumers beware.  It's probably green cronyism in disguise.

The Progressive Agenda Crashes into Complexity.  There's some irony in the fact that ObamaCare is hitting the wall at the precise moment that the incandescent bulb is being yanked off the market by government fiat — but not as much as you might think.  Their origins were quite distinct in time — the bulb ban, buried within the "Energy Independence and Security Act," was passed in 2007, ObamaCare three years later.  Both were subject to phased implementation, so as to not alarm the peasants. [...] The bulb ban was engineered largely by Rep. Fred Upton (R, Mich.).  Upton was frightened enough by the early public response to promise that the ban would be rescinded — if he was reelected.  Of course, nothing of the sort happened.)

Industry, not environmentalists, killed traditional bulbs.  The 2007 Energy Bill, a stew of regulations and subsidies, set mandatory efficiency standards for most light bulbs.  Any bulbs that couldn't produce a given brightness at the specified energy input would be illegal.  That meant the 25-cent bulbs most Americans used in nearly every socket of their home would be outlawed.  People often assume green regulations like this represent the triumph of environmental activists trying to save the planet.  That's rarely the case, and it wasn't here.

New 'flat' light bulb that lasts 22 years is as bright as a traditional 60W one.  A new flat lightbulb, the world's first of its kind to go on sale, has been launched by Philips.  The company promises its SlimStyle LED bulb is more efficient, less likely to break than other bulbs and will last for 23 years.  The bulb has a round shape to the front but is flat when viewed from the side so it is less three-dimensional than we're used to.

Lights out for the incandescent light bulb as of Jan. 1, 2014.  When the ball drops on New Year's Eve, the year ends — and so does the ordinary lightbulb.  Jan. 1. marks the end of a seven-year effort to outlaw the ordinary lightbulb, thanks to a 2007 law that raised minimum efficiency standards for traditional incandescent bulbs far beyond what the technology can manage.  It's lights out for the traditional light bulb, in other words, which was essentially killed by that bill.

But, We Didn't Get to Keep Our Light Bulbs, Either.  The purpose of the law was, "To move the United States toward greater energy independence and security, to increase the production of clean renewable fuels, to protect consumers, to increase the efficiency of products, building, and vehicles, to promote research on and deploy greenhouse gas capture and storage options, and to improve the energy performance of the Federal Government, and for other purposes."  Part of the Federal Government's "move toward greater energy independence" was to phase out the manufacture and sale of the most popular light bulb used by every household in the nation, the 40W and 60W incandescent bulb.  In its place, alternative, costly and mercury-filled CFLs are manufactured in China, and incandescent factories in the US have been shuttered.

More Fluorescent Bulb Problems, Including Fires.  In my previous, comprehensive article on problems with the new compact fluorescent blubs (CFLs) Link, I did not include mention of fire danger.  This was because everything I read at that time indicated it was rare and occurred only with the first CFLs on the market.  Now I find that is not the case.  Two emails to me have described recent personal experiences with fires from CFLs.  Please note, in the second email, that when the incident was reported to the local fire department, the fireman "wasn't at all surprised and said that it was not an uncommon occurrence" and that "the Fire Marshall had issued reports about the dangers of these bulbs."

Edison Bulb Ban Means Lights Out On Freedom.  As of Wednesday [1/1/2014], the manufacture and import of 60- and 40-watt incandescent light bulbs will be illegal — one more setback in the fight against government interference into the daily lives of the American people.

Last Phase of Light Bulb Ban Takes Effect Jan. 1.  As Americans watch 2013 fade away, they must also bid a fond farewell to Thomas Edison's most famous invention courtesy of Uncle Sam.  Beginning January 1, Edison's classic incandescent light bulb will essentially be banned in the country that gave it birth — all to please environmental and corporate lobbyists.  Under the 2007 Energy Independence and Security Act, only bulbs that meet certain energy-efficiency standards may be manufactured in or imported into the United States.  Incandescent bulbs cannot possibly meet those standards, and so they are, for all intents and purposes, prohibited.

Don't Tread on My Light Bulbs.  The Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 — one of the most pork-filled bits of federal energy legislation ever passed by Congress — continues to haunt us.  That legislation, signed into law by George W. Bush, forced more ethanol into our motor-fuel supply.  And come New Year's Day, it will effectively eliminate a type of light bulb — the standard 40- and 60-watt incandescent — that consumers have been using since the days of Thomas Edison.

Traditional 40 and 60-watt light bulbs set to be banned from January 1.  Fans of the country's most popular light bulbs — the traditional 40 and 60-watt incandescent bulbs — are being encouraging to start stocking up as on January 1 it will become illegal for American businesses to either manufacture or import the old-style bulbs.  Possible alternatives to the old-style bulbs are halogen bulbs, compact fluorescent bulbs (CFL), LED bulbs and high efficiency incandescents — all are more energy efficient, but also more expensive.

The man who saved the lightbulb.  A modern day Edison has a bright idea:  a way to keep the incandescent bulb burning brightly, despite a government law set to go into effect New Year's Day that effectively outlaws the most commonly used lightbulbs.  Most bulbs, that is.  Not those made by lightbulb savior Larry Birnbaum.  "When the government decided to ban incandescent lightbulbs, they left a loophole in the law.  An opening," Birnbaum told FoxNews.com.  "What that was was rough service."

Cree Ushers In the End of the Incandescent Lightbulb.  Home Depot Home Depot has been selling 60w and 40w Cree [LED] bulbs for about $10.  That may seem like a lot for a lightbulb, but when you consider that these bulbs use 80% less energy and will keep working literally for decades, the value proposition makes complete sense.  I installed a handful of Cree's soft, warm light bulbs around the house a few months ago, and my wife hasn't noticed any difference.  Now Cree has reached another milestone with the introduction of a 75-watt replacement bulb.  At $24 per bulb, it's going to take awhile to catch on, but the thing uses just 13.5 watts to produce 1100 lumens of light.

The Editor says...
How does the writer know with any certainty that LED light bulbs "will keep working literally for decades," since they have been on the market only a few years?  The same optimistic claims were made about CFL bulbs and those claims turned out to be false.

It's the end of the light bulb as we know it.  In 2007, the US Congress under President George W. Bush passed the Energy Independence and Security Act.  Key among its provisions was a new series of regulations mandating the gradual phase-out of the manufacturing, importation, and sale of inefficient lighting.  We've already said goodbye to 75- and 100-watt incandescent light bulbs, and on January 1, 2014, we'll be bidding adieu to 40- and 60-watt bulbs as well.

The Planned Obsolescence of Incandescent Bulbs and Conservatives.  Back in 2010, the last major U.S. incandescent light bulb factory closed in Virginia and 200 workers lost their jobs.  And thanks to the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007, most incandescent light bulbs will be a thing of the past by 2014.

Energy-efficient lights a threat to sleep?  For years, Dr. Charles Czeisler has studied sleep.  The chief of the division of sleep medicine at Brigham and Women's Hospital knows that the invention of the light bulb has profoundly altered human life and biology.  But in a perspective piece published Wednesday [5/22/2013] in the journal Nature, Czeisler argues that the sleep deficiencies that have become so pervasive among adults and children may be threatened yet again by technological progress:  LEDs (light-emitting diodes) that consume far less energy than incandescent bulbs.

Energy-Efficient Lightbulbs May Have Dark Side When It Comes To Health.  Everybody knows that one good way to prevent a sunburn is to stay inside, where you're safe from the sun's ultraviolet rays.  Right?  Well, that may not be true anymore if your house is lit with compact fluorescent light bulbs.  Last month, researchers from the State University of New York at Stony Brook showed in a paper that tiny defects in the bulbs can let through UV light that can damage skin cells and lead to cancer.

Study: Enviro-light bulbs can cause cancer.  According to a recently released German study, the supposed "environmentally friendly" compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFL's), are reported to have "cancer causing chemicals" that are sent out when the light is switched on, reports London's Daily Telegraph.

Energy saving light bulbs 'contain cancer causing chemicals'.  Their report advises that the bulbs should not be left on for extended periods, particularly near someone's head, as they emit poisonous materials when switched on.  Peter Braun, who carried out the tests at the Berlin's Alab Laboratory, said:  "For such carcinogenic substances it is important they are kept as far away as possible from the human environment."  The bulbs are already widely used in the UK following EU direction to phase out traditional incandescent lighting by the end of this year.

Seven Inferior Products, Courtesy of the Green Movement.  [#2] Mercury-Filled Compact Fluorescent Light Bulbs:  We have learned a number of things in the last few years.  First, the new environmentally friendly light bulbs aren't.  When one breaks, mercury spills into your home environment.  And even if they don't shatter, they still spew out cancer-causing chemicals when you turn them on.  They are expensive.  The Green Movement tells us they last longer.  Poppycock.  I started writing down the installation date on the bulbs to see how long they really last.  And the longevity is comparable to the old-style bulbs, the ones that cost a third as much.

Study States OBAMA Bulbs Could Cause Cancer.  Big Government took away the good old incandescent light bulbs and replaced them with the much more expensive but "environmentally friendly" compact fluorescent light bulbs as a means of helping to "save the planet".  This was done despite the knowledge that the high mercury content of these newer bulbs posed a potential health risk to users if they were broken.

Global warming catches fire.  It's well-known that the fluorescent light bulbs being foisted on a reluctant public spread deadly mercury when dropped.  In March, the administration will be free to enforce a federally imposed ban on the manufacturing of warm, pleasing and affordable 100-watt light bulbs.  This will force more highly toxic substances into millions of American homes.

Lights Out: Government Making War on the Light Bulb?  Even though the old-fashioned incandescent bulb has not been completely banned, you might not be able to find them in your home improvement store much longer.

What Do Light Bulbs Have to do with the Commerce Clause?  It's time for us to insist that there is no basis in the US Constitution for home appliance regulations designed to control the consumption of electricity or water. ... The central issue is how the Commerce Clause, previously distorted and stretched to underwrite any and every conceivable interference in our daily lives, may have finally found its high water mark under the conservative Rehnquist Court.

Europe's Eco-Fascism On Display.  [Scroll down]  That sounds familiar, except here it's legislators who are unresponsive to the people who elect them.  One is not allowed to manufacture or import incandescent bulbs.  Supposedly, fines for that can range up to $70k (US).  Fortunately, there is a loophole in the bureaucratic rules allowing them to be sold for "industrial uses".  That will surely be closed. [...] This is what Progressives do:  Big Government that Knows Better Than You.

Top 10 Most Egregious Government Regulations.  [#3]  Lightbulb ban:  Unless Congress overturns a 2007 law, the incandescent lightbulb will be phased out in 2012, and fluorescent bulbs will be the only choice for consumers.  Instead of being able to buy a 39-cent bulb, Americans will be forced to pay $6 for the energy-efficient alternative, with its harsh bright light.  Do we really need Washington nanny-state legislators to decide what is "best" for us, right down to how we light our own homes?

The energy-efficient lightbulbs that keep us in the dark.  Poisonous, hazardous and too dim to read by, whose bright idea was the energy-saving bulb?

A Word on Incandescent Light Bulbs.  The incandescents are preferable for those lights that don't turn on often, or only stay on for a few minutes at a time.  Putting the more expensive CFLs in those sockets is wasteful, because the energy savings will never make up for the extra costs.  Also, the CFLs tend to turn on slowly; this only makes sense for the lamps that turn on and stay on for a long time.  There are also some cases where, in dealing with electronic signals, I want to avoid the electrical line noise generated by a nearby fluorescent bulb.  Some people prefer the color spectrum of incandescent bulbs for certain purposes, although I don't care about that point.

Editor's note:
The news items below are in reverse chronological order:  The newest material is at the top.

A Tiny Ray Of Common Sense Shines In Washington.  [Scroll down]  Democrats planned to achieve this goal by imposing efficiency standards on light bulbs that those incandescents would never meet.  The rules were supposed to be phased in, first hitting 100-watt bulbs in 2012, followed by 75-watt bulbs this year and the 60-watts in 2014.  The standards would have left consumers with little alternative but to buy more-expensive bulbs, such as halogens, compact fluorescents or LEDs, when their old incandescents burned out.  In addition, as we noted in this space last year, a second and far more stringent efficiency standard is set to kick in by 2020 that even today's compact fluorescents couldn't meet.

House blocks enforcement of incandescent light bulb ban, again.  The light-bulb related 'energy efficiency' provision of the the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007, which essentially promotes more expensive compact fluorescent light bulbs, seems destined to never see the light of day. [...] It's still regrettable, however, that businesses as well as consumers are stuck in this perpetual state of uncertainty [...]

LED Revolution.  The most important innovation in energy efficiency over the past ten years has been LED lighting.  LEDs achieve an 85% improvement in efficiency, when compared with a 100 watt incandescent bulb:  Or 40% when compared with a comparable compact fluorescent lamp (CFL).  The cost of LED lamps is dropping rapidly, and their life is far better than CFLs or incandescent bulbs.

Who's turned off by 'save the environment' light bulbs? Almost everybody.  I have this experience regularly with products labelled as "environmentally friendly":  they don't work as well as the products they're replacing.  My environmentally-friendly shower head was really just a shower head that made my shower less showery.  I'm told cars with large-capacity engines are much less fuel efficient, but I've noticed how much better they respond.  Even when the product touted as "green" works as well as its counterpart, the tradeoff is often a higher price.

Pro-Environment Light Bulb Labeling Turns Off Conservatives, Study Finds.  How many conservatives does it take to change a light bulb?  A more intriguing question might be, "How many conservatives can you persuade to switch to energy-efficient light bulbs?"  New research suggests that fewer will buy such bulbs when they're labeled as being good for the environment, largely because the issue of carbon emission reductions is so politically polarizing in the United States.

Study: Eco-Friendly Light Bulbs May Put Health At Risk.  Energy efficient bulbs are eco-friendly and can save you big bucks, but experts say that they could also have a dark side.  "When there is something in your house, you don't perceive any danger, you wouldn't get that close to an x-ray in a doctor's office," explained Miriam Rafailovich, Professor of Materials Science at Stony Brook University in New York.

Light bulb ban on horizon.  Words like "must," "shall," and "mandate" pepper the texts of laws like Obamacare.  The incandescent light-bulb ban, which goes into effect in March, is another case in point.  The bulbs aren't officially banned, just artificially obsolete.  As part of the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007, Congress mandated that light bulbs have 25 percent greater efficiency, phased in starting in 2012 and continuing until 2014.  The law also includes a slew of mandates on appliances and energy use in federal buildings.

New light bulbs made of glowing plastic.  A new, glowing plastic material could form bright, white, energy-efficient light bulbs in various shapes, researchers have found.  Using the material, researchers are able to make everything from bulbs like the ones people use in their houses to 2-foot-by-4-foot flat sheets that glow.

Rays of hope as Britain switches to new light bulbs and a grey autumn.  A month after the final stage of the European ban on traditional light bulbs coming into force, the full horror of the legislation has cast its strange, grey spell.  My home does not glow, the cheeks of the children are not rosy, the cheer has been cancelled.  The ban has been a long time coming.  First, 100-watt bulbs were phased out in 2009.  Then, last year, the 60-watt bulb was switched off.  In September came the final extinction of traditional lights, with 40-watt bulbs no longer allowed to be "placed on to the market".

Ikea stores plan to only sell LED lighting by 2016.  Two years after it began phasing out incandescent bulbs, Swedish retailer Ikea is taking another step and planning to only sell energy-efficient LED lighting by 2016.

Obama's No. 3 bundler profits from light-bulb regs, individual mandate.  President Obama's third most important fundraiser, Michael Kempner, founded a lobbying firm and was in 2010 named to the board of a high-tech lighting company that directly profits from Obama's green-energy policies. [...] Kempner and MWW occupy an interesting position relative to light-bulb regulations.  MWW is the lobbyist for Lighting Sciences Group, which is owned by Pegasus Capital.  Kempner is an "operating advisor" to Pegasus, and in 2010 was named to LSG's board.  Lighting Sciences Group bills itself as the leading supplier of advanced LED lighting.  Of course, light-bulb-efficiency regulations — defended by the Obama administration — drive business to the more expensive, but more efficient LED bulbs.

Retailers avoid ban on traditional light bulbs.  It is the final phase of the European Union's long campaign to ban traditional light bulbs.  First it outlawed the 100W version, then the 60W — to the frustration of many, who find the old-fashioned, incandescent bulbs cheaper and brighter than the energy-saving variety that are intended to replace them.  Now, from this week, a ban on all remaining traditional types, including the 40W bulb, is being phased in.

Official responsible for light bulb ban is a former communist.  The man responsible for the Europe-wide ban on traditional light bulbs can be revealed as a former Soviet Communist party member from Latvia.

With the competition out of the way...
Energy-saving light bulbs leap in price.  The cost of energy saving light bulbs is rising sharply ahead of the European Union ban on the traditional 60-watt bulbs.

Energy-efficient CFL bulbs cause skin damage, say researchers.  New research funded by the National Science Foundation has scientists warning consumers about the potentially harmful effects energy-saving CFL light bulbs can have on skin.  The warning comes based on a study conducted by Stony Brook University and New York State Stem Cell Science — published in the June issue of Photochemistry and Photobiology — which looked at whether and how the invisible UV rays CFL bulbs emit affect the skin.  Based on the research, scientists concluded that CFL light bulbs can be harmful to healthy skin cells.

Energy-saving light bulbs can fry your skin, study claims.  Energy-saving light bulbs might be good for the environment but they can fry your skin, a new study claims.  Researchers at Stony Brook University in New York State examined the impact of the efficient compact fluorescent bulbs — or CFL bulbs — on human skin cells prompted by a similar study undertaken in Europe.

House votes to block enforcement of energy efficient light bulb standards.  The House approved two amendments to a 2013 spending bill late Tuesday night [6/5/2012] that would prohibit the government from enforcing federal light bulb standards that Republicans say are too intrusive.  In a voice vote, the House approved an amendment to the Energy and Water spending bill for 2013 that would prevent the Department of Energy from spending money to enforce a 2007 law that sets bulb efficiency standards.  The law bans the sale of 100 watt incandescent bulbs and will ban the sale of 75 watt traditional bulbs in July 2013.

Apparently We're Too Stupid To Run Our Own Lives.  A young mother I know recently said, "When I saw the president on TV telling us how to wash our hands, I knew this country was coming to an end.  I'm 30 years old and I don't need the government to tell me how to wash up or what foods are good for me."  For that matter, I told her, how about those light bulbs we're supposed to buy — the ones that are more expensive; made in China and require a hazmat team to clean up if they break?

South Carolina Considers Reviving Incandescent Light Bulbs.  Federal energy policies designed to rid the nation of traditional incandescent light bulbs continue to encounter popular resistance, with South Carolina's legislature considering its own unique act of defiance.  Lawmakers in Columbia are pondering a proposed "Incandescent Light Bulb Freedom Act," a measure that would skirt Washington's heavy hand by allowing the traditional bulbs to be manufactured and sold in the Palmetto State provided they are labeled "Made in South Carolina."  By restricting the manufacture and sale of "Made in South Carolina" light bulbs to the Palmetto State, the bill's proponents hope to avoid any conflicts with the Constitution's broadly interpreted Interstate Commerce Clause.

The Editor says...
Good luck with that.  The Commerce Clause has been allowed to "regulate" numerous transactions that do not cross state lines.  [1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6] [7] Additionally, South Carolina would have the monetary incentive to export light bulbs to other states, or at least sell light bulbs to smugglers.  It is potentially a very large can of worms.

Republican to revive lightbulb war.  A House Republican is planning in the coming weeks to revive the GOP offensive against federal lightbulb efficiency standards.  Rep. Michael Burgess (R-Texas) will offer an amendment to Energy Department spending legislation that would block funding for implementation of the standards, the lawmaker's office told The Hill.  The standards have come under fire from conservatives in recent years.

Would you buy a $60 energy-efficient light bulb?  Light bulb manufacturer Philips is flipping the switch Sunday [4/22/2012] on its new super-duper energy-efficient LED light bulb; that's when the bulb will go on sale at various outlets, including Home Depot.

Introducing the $60, 20-year light bulb.  How much would you pay for an amazing, state-of-the-art light bulb?

Was $10 million government prize competition corrupted?  Something smells very bad in the Department of Energy's awarding of a ten million dollar prize to Philips Lighting.  The requirements of a competition the Department sponsored (without congressional authorization) for an LED bulb appear to have been lowered to enable a winner to be declared.  If propaganda, not technological progress was the goal of the prize, then the move makes sense.  Green enthusiasts desperately want technology to obey their wishes.  Any reminder that "green" LED technology actually isn't ready yet would be anathema to propagandists.  So a propagandist would not mind handing over 8 figures to a foreign owned company.

Time capsule's century-old light bulbs still work.  At least one of five century-old incandescent light bulbs still works after being pulled from the cornerstone of a Cleveland-area building along with a time capsule.

Oregon Lawmakers Target Mercury in Light Bulbs.  The Oregon state Senate has passed a bill limiting the amount of mercury allowed in compact fluorescent light bulbs that can be sold or distributed in the state. [...] The bill, SB 1512, creates very specific standards for compact fluorescent light bulbs, otherwise known as CFLs.  Mercury levels cannot exceed 4 milligrams for "screw-based compact fluorescent lamps less than 25 watts," and 5 milligrams for "compact fluorescent lamps equal to or more than 25 watts and less than 40 watts."  Consumers will be most affected by "the compact fluorescents with the swirly top," for which "the limit would be 4 milligrams per lamp," Abby Boudouris, a solid waste policy analyst with the state's Department of Environmental Quality, told Environment & Climate News.

Loose Bulbs.  The Department of Energy awarded lighting giant Philips the $10 million L Prize despite the fact that the winning energy-efficient bulb failed to meet several contest criteria requirements, according to documents obtained by the Washington Free Beacon.  Philips raised eyebrows when it debuted the winning bulb with a $50 price tag.  That is far beyond the $22 cost recommended by the department, which is now working with utility companies to cut back on the upfront cost through rebates.  Department documents, however, cast doubt on whether the expensive LED bulb was even worthy of the prize.

Secretary Chu's $10 Million Fiasco.  During a hearing last week of the Energy and Natural Resources Committee, Wyoming Senator John Barrasso (R) asked Energy Secretary Steven Chu a seemingly simple question:  "(D)o you think a $50 light bulb is affordable for American families?"  "No, absolutely not," Chu replied.  Well, if that's the case, why did Chu award a $10 million top prize for a $50 light bulb in his department's competition for an "affordable" light?

Chu: Not the Brightest Bulb in the Administration's Lamp.  During a recent committee hearing on Capitol Hill, Senator John Barrasso (R-WY) asked Energy Secretary Stephen Chu if he thought a $50 light bulb was "affordable" for American families.  "No, of course not," Chu answered.  Then why did Chu award $10 million to a company for winning a contest to design an "affordable" alternative to the ubiquitous 60 watt incandescent light bulb that would cost $50?

Just making the bulbs illegal, not banning them.  No, Barack Obama did not write or sign the light-bulb law, and so Mitt Romney was wrong to say "Obama's regulators" had "banned Thomas Edison's light bulb," Washington Post factchecker Glenn Kessler points out rightly today.  But Kessler then makes the odd claim that nobody has banned Edison's lightbulb — they just made it illegal to manufacture or import.

Regulators to NV Energy: Stop subsidizing low-energy light bulbs.  NV Energy must suspend or scale back some of its energy saving programs because they are not cost effective, regulators said today [3/15/2012].  The state Public Utilities Commission directed the utility to stop operating its weatherization program for low-income residents and to halt its subsidies of energy-efficient light bulbs.  Suspending those two programs will save ratepayers $3.8 million.

Obama spends $10 million to develop $50 light bulb.  The Obama administration created a $10 million L Prize to award the manufacturer who came up with an affordable and efficient light bulb.  One would think the marketplace would take care of that but our federal government no more believes in free enterprise than I believe in global warming.

Government-subsidized green light bulb carries costly price tag.  The U.S. government last year announced a $10 million award, dubbed the "L Prize," for any manufacturer that could create a "green" but affordable light bulb.  Energy Secretary Steven Chu said the prize would spur industry to offer the costly bulbs, known as LEDs, at prices "affordable for American families."  There was also a "Buy America" component.  Portions of the bulb would have to be made in the United States.

Dear Energy Chief Chu: You can keep your $50 lightbulb.  Just when the American government appeared to be maxed-out on the stupidity-meter, along comes Energy Secretary Steven Chu awarding $10 million [expletive] tax dollars for an "affordable green light-bulb" invention.  The problem?  It costs $50.00 a bulb for starters.  Courtesy of NewsMax, we see just how idiotic and completely out of touch with reality Barack Obama and his lunatic-Liberal appointees truly are.

$50 Light Bulb That Replaces A 25? Bulb Got A $10 Million Government 'Prize'.  Have you ever heard of the "L" Prize?  The Department of Energy's (DOE) "L" Prize challenged the lighting industry to develop high performance, energy-saving replacements for conventional light bulbs that will save American consumers and businesses money. ... But there is one slight problem with the winning light bulb — it costs $50, and that's not a typo.  That price seems a bit high, considering that the bulb it was designed to replace costs about 25¢.  Similar LED bulbs that did not win the "L" Prize are less than half the cost.  For example, EcoSmart offers an LED bulb, assembled in Mexico, for $23.97.  And another Philips LED bulb, made in China, sells for $24.97.  The "L" Prize has a domestic content requirement.

Energy chief: We aren't asking Americans to spend $50 for a light bulb.  Energy Secretary Steven Chu defended his department's investments in energy-efficient light bulbs Tuesday [3/13/2012] amid growing GOP criticism.

Now the EU takes dim view of halogen bulbs.  Britain faces a new round of lightbulb chaos with EU plans to ban halogen lights and force people to buy alternatives that are up to 12 times more expensive, experts warned yesterday [2/21/2012].  The EU could phase out low-voltage halogen bulbs by as early as next year even though millions are used in shops, offices and the home.

Obama's twisty light-bulb logic.  Trace amounts of mercury from coal-fired power-plant emissions affect a small number of Americans, chiefly those who live near the emissions sources.  At the same time, however, the Obama administration has been trying to force Americans to accept even greater mercury risks by insisting that traditional incandescent light bulbs be replaced with compact fluorescent lights (CFLs).  The mercury vapor in CFLs is at a much more dangerous concentration than anything coming out of power plants.

Obama Says He's 'Protecting Our Kids From Mercury' — While Mandating It In Their Homes.  Last night, Pres. Obama reaffirmed his determination to protect our country's children from the dangers of mercury, despite his vigorous defense of a mandate that all Americans put more of it into their homes.  "I will not back down from protecting our kids from mercury poisoning," Obama promised in last night's State Of The Union address.

How's That Government Meddling Workin' Out for Ya'?  Incandescent light bulbs aren't in such short supply yet — but they soon will be.  In its infinite wisdom, Congress decided to set standards for light bulbs that could not be met by the kinds based on the original Edison design and still widely in use throughout the nation.  Beginning January 2012, the 100-watt size was to be effectively banned, to be followed in subsequent years by bulbs of other wattages.  Yes, a last-minute bit of legislation withholds funding for enforcement of the ban; but it's too late to do any good.

Stockpile bulbs!  Call it the George Bush dim bulb law, a triumph of extreme government interventionism in the name of green energy.  The light from CFLs is bad, the cost is high and the savings can be found only if you hire 100 consultants to do the life-cycle math, and even then the science is shoddy.  But Washington and Ottawa (in 2014) will force every home to start buying the new expensive mercury-laced bulbs.  All part of mandates forced by George W. Bush's Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007.

Incandescent bulbs dimming despite GOP efforts on Hill.  New light-bulb efficiency standards kicked in Sunday [1/1/2012], despite a last-minute Republican move that prohibits the federal government from spending money on enforcement.  And while some Republicans have championed the anti-enforcement effort as a temporary death-sentence reprieve of the traditional incandescent bulb, others say the move largely is symbolic, as manufacturers long ago had planned to adhere to the new regulations by Jan. 1.

Incandescent light bulb phaseout begins Jan. 1.  The nation's light bulbs begin facing new efficiency and labeling standards starting Jan. 1, but don't expect old-fashioned incandescents to suddenly disappear from store shelves.  The congressionally mandated efficiency standards gradually phase out Thomas Edison's 131-year-old creation in favor of other light bulbs that use at least 25% less energy.

Light bulb ban NOT repealed.  We fell for it, too.  There has been no repeal of the light bulb ban.  The deal agreed to in Congress merely deprives the Department of Energy the funds to enforce the ban for 2012.  The ban is still on the books — so the DOE may very well get the money next year or the year after or who knows when.

The Editor says...
This goes back to the root of the economy's sluggishness since President Obama took office:  Uncertainty.  The manufacturers of light bulbs can't set up or dismantle a light bulb factory overnight.  Why would anyone get (back) into the light bulb business at this point, without some assurance that the bulbs will not be banned next year?  The is probably already a thriving black market for light bulbs in countries where they are already outlawed.

Vu1's new light bulbs 70% more efficient than incandescent bulbs.  The Vu1 uses a patented electron stimulated luminescence™ technology to generate light:  the interior surface of the bulb is coated with an RGB phosphorous coating that is "sprayed" with a broad-spectrum electron beam, much like the CRT console-style TV sets of yesteryear.  This results in a more pleasing, whiter light that's safe:  the vacuum inside the bulb literally contains nothing.

Fire hazard fears over compact fluorescent lamps.  Compact fluorescent lamps, which will gradually replace traditional incandescent bulbs, are a fire hazard that could burn down your home, experts have warned.  The lamps (CFLs) use electricity to heat an element in the lamp's base that leads the mercury vapor gas in the coils to emit light.  But when a CFL can no longer produce light, the electronics in its base will still try to function, sometimes leading to overheating, smoke and fire.

Liberal insanity on light bulbs.  These days, just before it becomes illegal to import regular bulbs (the law already caused all the U.S. factories to shut down) Republicans are trying to preserve consumer choice — we should be allowed to buy whatever bulbs others are willing to sell us.  The manufacturers don't like the idea of selling low-margin bulbs and they want the regulations to stay in place.

A Not-So-Bright Idea Placed on Hold.  It is encouraging that the ridiculous incandescent light bulb ban has been placed on temporary hold.  But that is just part of the story when it comes to the government's social engineering of energy usage.  The light bulb ban was certainly an annoying case that jolted everyone, got their attention, and generated much resistance, but here in California forced energy savings have been going on for quite some time.

Let There Be Light!  The 1,219-page, trillion-dollar omnibus spending bill that will fund the government through fiscal year 2012 appears to be the usual mix of compromise and compromised.  But out of the mire of horse-trading and half-measures there is at least one bright light:  bright light itself.  As we understand it, the omnibus contains a rider defunding Department of Energy efficiency standards that would have effectively killed the incandescent light bulb on January 1.

House votes to block enforcement of light bulb rules.  A spending bill needed to prevent a federal government shutdown would block enforcement of new energy-efficiency rules for light bulbs, letting old-style incandescent bulbs stay around a bit longer.  The provision was a high priority of congressional Republicans who have portrayed the rules as a symbol of regulatory excess.

Our Long National Light Bulb Nightmare Has Been Averted — For Now.  In a magnificent gift to the freedom-loving American people, the Republican House majority has successfully negotiated a delay to the implementation of the ill-conceived ban on the legal sale of 100-watt incandescent light bulbs, which was to have gone into effect two weeks from Sunday, January 1, 2012.  The new deadline for the ban is now September 30, 2012, just 38 days before the end of the Age of Obama, Deo volente.

The Editor says...
The Congress doesn't have the collective backbone to do away with it once and for all, but they're really good at putting things off until later, for political purposes, which is exactly what they have done.

Congress overturns incandescent light bulb ban.  Congressional negotiators struck a deal Thursday [12/15/2011] that overturns the new rules that were to have banned sales of traditional incandescent light bulbs beginning next year.  That agreement is tucked inside the massive 1,200-page spending bill that funds the government through the rest of this fiscal year, and which both houses of Congress will vote on Friday.  Mr. Obama is expected to sign the bill, which heads off a looming government shutdown.

Omnibus spending deal blocks funding for light bulb efficiency standards.  Omnibus spending legislation greenlighted by House and Senate negotiators Thursday night blocks Energy Department light bulb efficiency standards that have come under fire from conservatives in recent months.  The legislation, which would avert a government shutdown, prevents funding from being used for the implementation of certain Energy Department light bulb standards.  The standards would begin phasing in next year.

Gray dawn: green bulbs, black hole.  On New Year's Day, in addition to a hangover, America will wake up in the pale winter light to one grim consequence of the Bush administration's never-requited desire to be loved by the left:  the traditional 100-watt light bulb will be banned for sale in the United States.

When choices are limited 'people are going to start paying attention'.  With 100-watt incandescent light bulbs set to disappear from store shelves next year, questions remain about the fate of Edison's famed invention.  Texas Republican Rep. Michael Burgess has been fighting against implementation of the new efficiency standards laid out in the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007, which will gradually mandate tougher standards and phase out the older bulbs.

Light bulb ban creates public health risks.  On Jan. 1, less than one month from now, the government-mandated ban on the sale of tried-and-true 100 watt incandescent light bulb will go into effect.  As a result, consumers will have no choice but to buy alternative light bulbs such as compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs).  Therefore, it is time to take stock of the significant health hazard posed by the presence of mercury in those bulbs.

Confessions of a Light Bulb Addict.  I'm one of those crazed Americans who can't walk into Home Depot, Target or my local grocery store right now without wanting to grab one of those king-sized shopping carts and stuff it to the gunwales with 100-watt incandescent light bulbs.  Maybe it's the sheer thrill of buying bulbs that in just over a month, as of Jan. 1, 2012, will be banned for sale in America.  What fun, in this incandescent twilight, to acquire legally what the federal government will soon treat as contraband, should it appear in any American marketplace.

Time to stock up on light bulbs.  Within four weeks, it will be a crime to manufacture a 100-watt version of Thomas A. Edison's brilliant invention.  Thanks to a Democratic Congress and the signature of President George W. Bush in 2007, anti-industrial zealots at the Energy Department received authority to blot out one of the greatest achievements of the industrial age.  They're coming for our light bulbs.

A Heat Benefit.  Many do not understand this, while others choose to ignore it.  In temperate or cooler climates (most of the USA, nearly all of Europe, all of Canada, and the greater part of the industialized world), light bulb heat benefit far outweighs its detriment in working against air conditioning cooling.  When it is dark and lights get turned on, the overwhelming requirement is heating, not cooling.

The CFL — a fire hazard.  The compact fluorescent lamp is becoming more common in Swedish homes, with the phase out of the incandescent bulb.  But the lamp has proven to be a fire hazard in itself.  The problem with CFLs is that the plastic surrounding it easily burns at high temperatures.

CFL Analysis — Mercury.  Although the European Commission does not regard it as an immediate risk to the average user, CFLs contain small amounts of mercury and this is a risk, if lamps are broken and mercury escapes into the air and is inhaled (since mercury vapourises at room temperature).

Should There be a Ban on Incandescent Lamps?  Only a short while ago, I thought that the power factor issue was most important, then that a vast number of enclosed light fittings (probably hundreds of millions worldwide) cannot be used with CFLs was critical.  Now, it turns out that dimmers are a far bigger issue that first imagined.  What happens in houses where dimmers are fitted?  These must be removed completely, not simply set to maximum and left there.  Who's going to pay to have millions of dimmers worldwide removed by electricians?  You, the homeowner — that's who.

The Deception Behind Banning Light Bulbs:  [#4]  "But incandescents waste 90-95% of their energy as heat!"  Yes, they release 90-95% of their energy as heat:  But politicians never add that CFLs waste 80% of their energy as heat, or LEDs 70%!  Moreover, the CFL/LED heat release is internalized, to give a greater fire risk, particularly with CFLs.

Fluorescent Foolishness.  The familiar incandescent light bulb is on its way out, to be replaced by compact fluorescent light (CFL) bulbs.  The federal requirement for the changeover will be phased-in starting in 2012 and completed in 2014.  Some states have set earlier deadlines.  Does snuffing out usage of Thomas Edison's invention really demonstrate the politicians have a brighter idea than what consumers choose in the marketplace?  The propaganda that attempts to show this is the case omits important facts about costs, the bulbs themselves, ultraviolet damage, environmental issues, convenience, and — most important — safety.

The End of the Light Bulb as We Know It.  These ghastly light bulbs casting their ghoulish, glary light — all gussied up to appear to resemble the older, familiar bulbs — are the light bulb equivalent of a wolf in sheep's clothing.  I, for one, did not elect President Obama, nor did I insist that he select Steven Chu to tell me how to "put money back in" my pockets.  My pockets are my business, not his.  You look out for your pockets, Secretary Chu, and I'll look out for mine.  Where do you get off telling me and my fellow Americans, "these standards are not taking choices away"?  It's obvious you think we're idiots, but idiots of that magnitude?

Stores Stock New Bulbs for the Light Switch.  Turns out, changing a light bulb is harder than it seems.  New bulbs using halogen, compact-fluorescent and LED technologies have been sprouting up on store shelves recently.  The flurry of products is a result of legislation passed in 2007 that requires general-purpose bulbs, starting in January, to be at least 25% more efficient than those using standard incandescent technology invented by Thomas Edison in 1879.

Millions are clearing shelves of traditional light bulbs.  Millions of Britons are finally waking up to the fact that their beloved light bulb will disappear for good after 120 years.  Traditional 100-watt bulbs are vanishing from the High Street because of a controversial European Union decision.  Yesterday panic buyers were snapping up the remaining bulbs in a last-ditch attempt to stockpile the final supplies.  Hundreds of leading supermarkets and DIY chains — including Sainsbury's, Asda and Homebase — have already sold their last remaining bulbs after a surge in panic buying.

The communist countries are the ones that are most eagerly adopting CFLs.
(Incandescent) lights to go out in China.  China announced Friday [11/4/2011] it will phase out incandescent light bulbs within five years in an attempt to make the world's most polluting nation more energy efficient.

Senate Dems: Go green or go dark.  The Senate has a new twist on the congressional light bulb battle.  Rather than follow House Republican efforts to repeal energy efficiency standards, language in the Senate's "Minibus" appropriations bill would keep federal agencies in the dark unless they green their buildings.

The Editor says...
Green is not a verb.

American Corporate Investors Poised to Profit From 'Green' Light-Bulb Production.  As the Obama administration gets set to enforce a controversial federal law phasing out old-fashioned incandescent light bulbs next year, two large U.S. firms have positioned themselves to profit handsomely from the production of more environmentally friendly lighting — in China.  One reason for those profitable prospects is a financial commitment from the U.S. Treasury to a project that is being administered by the United Nations to ensure that China's fast-growing lighting industry is a bigger and bigger success.

Real Truth Behind Eu Con Over Energy-Saving Bulbs.  Banning the humble 60-watt light bulb to make way for so-called energy-saving ones and "help save the planet" was last night exposed as an elaborate EU con.  Tests show production and disposal of the new bulbs uses up more energy than traditional lights.  Energy-saving bulbs, known as compact fluorescent lamps, also pose health risks for an estimated two million people in Britain.

60-watt bulbs soar in price as ban nears.  Prices of both the 60-watt bulbs and their eco-friendly alternatives have risen by up to 65 percent and more hikes are expected to follow.  The Tory Energy spokesman in the European Parliament, Giles Chichester, accused makers of "exploiting a market opportunity".

The Editor says...
Everyone who runs a business is "exploiting a market opportunity".  So what?

Washington's War on Edison's Bulb Highlights Unintended Consequences.  If left unchallenged, January 1 will herald stricter standards that Congress specifically designed in 2007 to electrocute Edisons invention and dragoon Americans into using more energy-efficient alternatives.  Courtesy of our federal masters, Americans are enduring a parade of unforeseen consequences as the experts try to extinguish this landmark contribution to humanity.

Light Bulb Ban Forces Remodeling of Easy Bake Oven.  The famous toy, first introduced in 1963, once relied on a heated bulb to bake miniature treats.  However, the compact fluorescents, which are becoming the new standard for household use, are so energy efficient that they would be incapable of baking a brownie or any other baked good.  Therefore, the makers of the Easy Bake Oven have had to reform the product so as to not necessitate a light bulb.

Incandescent light bulbs won't go without fight.  The fate of the incandescent bulb, the oldest and most common of household electrical devices, has morphed into a political litmus test, one championed by conservative leaders from Rush Limbaugh to Republican presidential hopeful Michele Bachmann.

Obama launches bogus TV campaign to save CFL bulbs.  Can you really buy a flat screen TV with the money you supposedly save with CFL light bulbs?  The Department of Energy is sponsoring Ad Council ads to promote CFL light bulbs.  Coming on the heels of House Republican efforts to repeal the looming incandescent bulb ban, one of the ads features a couple throwing over a cliff stuff (like a flat screen TV) that they allegedly could have bought with the money saved by CFLs.

The left's brilliant lie.  Liberals want to take away your light bulbs, pickup trucks and family sedans, but they aren't honest enough to admit it.  On the House floor last week, Democrats insisted regulations prohibiting the sale of cheap sources of illumination beginning in January are about increasing consumer choice.

This CFL bulb almost burned my house down!  This caught on fire in my living room. ... I am just reporting this because NO one will listen to me.  These bulbs are dangerous, and it is absolutely ridiculous that they are going to be the only bulbs we can buy pretty soon.

House Votes to Ban Bulb Ban.  While nearly united Democratic opposition blocked a GOP attempt early last week to eliminate the impending ban on incandescent light bulbs — I guess they really do want to run our lives in every detail! — on Friday the House voted to defund enforcement of the ban.

House turns off light bulb standards by voice vote.  The House on Friday morning [7/15/2011] moved to block federal light bulb efficiency standards without even a roll call vote.  An amendment from Rep. Michael Burgess (R-Texas) defunding the Energy Department's standards for traditional incandescent light bulbs to be 30 percent more energy efficient starting next year was approved rather anticlimactically by voice vote.

House Republican revives effort to repeal light bulb standards.  Republicans aren't giving up their fight to repeal a slew of light bulb efficiency standards that conservative groups have targeted as an example of federal overreach.  Rep. Michael Burgess (R-Texas) has introduced an amendment to Energy and Water spending legislation that would repeal provisions in a 2007 energy law that require traditional incandescent light bulbs to be 30 percent more efficient starting in 2012.

House GOP fails to repeal light bulb efficiency requirement.  Republicans object to new rules to phase out incandescent bulbs, casting the standards as a symbol of regulatory overreach.  They may try again in the House, but are unlikely to succeed in the Democratic-controlled Senate.

Lighting Industry Tones Down Light Bulb Ban Support.  The lighting industry largely backed a 2007 move to phase out incandescent light bulbs.  But amid a consumer and political backlash, that support seems far more tepid now.

House turns out lights on Barton's bulb bill.  The House rejected a bill Tuesday aimed at repealing a slew of light bulb efficiency standards that conservatives have targeted as an egregious example of federal overreach.  The Better Use of Light Bulbs (BULB) Act, sponsored by Rep. Joe Barton (R-Texas), failed on a 233-193 vote, with a two-thirds majority needed for passage.

Lightbulb bill likely headed for defeat in House.  House Democrats on Monday indicated strong opposition to a controversial bill to repeal federal lightbulb standards, which could lead to the defeat of the measure in an expected Tuesday [7/12/2011] vote.  The Better Use of Light Bulbs Act, H.R. 2417 would end federal bulb standards passed in 2007 that Republicans have since held up as a prime example of federal overreach.

White House bashes GOP light bulb bill ahead of vote.  The White House on Monday [7/11/2011] attacked GOP legislation that would repeal light bulb efficiency standards contained in a 2007 energy law, alleging it would harm consumers and the economy.

The CFL Fraud.  A compact fluorescent light (CFL) on the ceiling burst and started a fire in a home in Hornell, N.Y. December 23, 2010.  "Those are the lights everybody's been telling us to use," said Joe Gerych, Steuben County Fire Inspector.  "It blew up like a bomb.  It spattered all over."  Fire Chief Mike Robbins said the blaze destroyed the room where the fire started and everything in it, and the rest of the house suffered smoke and water damage.  The Arkport Village Fire Department as well as the North Hornell Fire Department required about 15 minutes to put out the fire.

Dangers of CFLs Even Greater Than Previously Known.  The Big Government advocates are as ignorant of history as they are of economics.  How did Edison's carbon-filament bulb lead to the worldwide popularity of incandescent lights for well over a century?  Was it because government shoveled subsidies of taxpayer money to Edison to develop it and make it economic?  Or because government passed laws requiring people to buy those bulbs?  No, Edison developed the bulb on his own, and it had to prove itself to consumers.  It had to be better for them — in their judgment, not that of politicians — than the competition from kerosene lamps or Welsbach gas burners.

Energy chief defends light bulb standards.  Energy Secretary Steven Chu on Friday [7/8/2011] defended a series of light bulb efficiency standards that are coming under attack from House Republicans.  The standards, Chu said on a conference call, do not ban traditional incandescent bulbs, as many Republicans have alleged.  Instead, they require that the bulbs become more energy efficient.

The Editor says...
As usual, the political left has difficulty with the truth.  If light bulbs are required to be more efficient than incandescent bulbs, that automatically makes incandescent bulbs illegal.  The larger question is this:  Why are socialists and environmentalists so preoccupied with energy efficiency?  I can make the light bulbs in my house more energy efficient by turning them off when they are not needed.  If there is a shortage of electricity in this country, the solution is greater generating capacity, not the suppression of household consumption, and certainly not the restriction of the free market.

Hands off our bulbs.  It's a complex story that looks like a simple one.  The simple version goes like this:  Four years ago, The People Who Know Better Than You decided Americans should no longer be allowed to purchase an incandescent light bulb.

Upton flip-flops on the light bulb ban.  A law phasing out incandescent light bulbs beginning in 2012 has prompted some states to challenge the reach of federal government.  Pennsylvania and South Carolina have legislation pending to exempt their states from the regulations.  And Texas has already passed a bill purporting to nullify the government regulations within their state.  Arizona's Republican governor, Jan Brewer, vetoed a similar bill last year.

'President Bachmann will allow you to buy any light bulb you want'.  Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) took aim Friday at a law mandating more energy efficient light bulbs, vowing to overturn the requirement if elected president.

Hidden dangers of the federal mercury mandate.  Consider Washington's still-unfolding ban on Thomas Alva Edison's incandescent light bulb.  If it's left unchallenged, Jan. 1 will herald stricter standards that Congress designed in 2007 specifically to electrocute Edison's invention and dragoon Americans into using more energy-efficient alternatives.  Courtesy of our federal masters, Americans are enduring a parade of unforeseen consequences as "the experts" try to extinguish Edison's landmark contribution to humanity.

Texas aglow with effort to save the incandescent bulb.  Texas has become the first state seeking to skirt a federal law that phases out old-fashioned incandescent light bulbs in favor of more efficient lamps — a move that has emerged as a shining example of Republicans' resolve to strike down what many view as excessive federal regulation.

House to vote on GOP legislation repealing lightbulb effiency standards.  House Republicans introduced legislation Wednesday [7/6/2011] they hope to bring to the floor next week that would repeal a light bulb efficiency law.  The legislation, sponsored by Rep. Joe Barton (R-Texas), would repeal sections of a 2007 energy law that require traditional incandescent light bulbs to be 30 percent more energy efficient beginning in 2012.

House vote on incandescent lights planned.  House Republicans are finally ready to make good on their promise to stay the execution of incandescent light bulbs.  After months of fiery rhetoric from the likes of Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh, GOP sponsors of the legislation confirmed they're on track for a floor vote Monday on a bill that stops the federally mandated transition to more eco-friendly home lighting.

Upton 'Close' to Agreement on Legislation Repealing 2007 Light Bulb Ban.  House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-Mich.) says that he is "close" to an agreement with sponsors of legislation that would repeal the 2007 ban on the ordinary incandescent light bulb.

Texas Tells Feds: Shove Your Light Bulb Ban.  The measure, sent to Gov. Rick Perry for consideration, lets any incandescent light bulb manufactured in Texas — and sold in that state — avoid the authority of the federal government or the repeal of the 2007 energy independence act that starts phasing out some incandescent light bulbs next year.

Perry takes on the feds.  Beginning in January, Department of Energy bureaucrats will use regulations to strip incandescent lightbulbs from store shelves so that they will be replaced with expensive, inferior and toxic substitutes.  This will happen everywhere in the country — except the Lone Star State, thanks to Mr. Perry's June 17 signature on the Light Bulb Freedom of Choice Act.  This law invokes the 10th Amendment right for Texas to regulate its intrastate commerce.  Incandescent bulbs that bear the stamp "Made in Texas" and do not cross state lines will escape the federal grasp.

Republicans Flicker On Light Bulb Ban Repeal.  Some of us still cling to a quaint notion that federal legislation ought to pass constitutional muster while fixing a problem serious enough to fix and do so while providing more benefits than the costs to implement.  The light bulb ban fails to achieve all three:  [1] it is unconstitutional;  [2] is a solution without a problem; and  [3] bears costs far in excess of any benefits.  The light bulb ban was inspired by environmental and energy conservation zealots spooked by the global warming lobby.

LED Lighting Prices to 'Plummet' By 2015.  Incandescent bulbs are being phased out in Europe.  In the U.S., efficiency policies will eliminate the 100-watt bulb in 2012.  LED makers stand to gain a bigger share of the $40 billion a year global lighting market.  Bulb companies including General Electric Co. (GE) and Koninklijke Philips Electronics NV (PHIA) are producing LEDs, and Salzman said startups that are developing low-cost LEDs will take a slice of the market.

Freedom Light Bulb.  Light bulbs don't burn coal, and they don't release CO2 emissions.  If there is a problem -- deal with the problem.  Energy efficiency is always welcome, and as far as electricity is concerned, it is relevantly and significantly dealt with by appropriate electricity generation, distribution, and consumption policies, to any extent required.  It is not relevantly and significantly dealt with by running around people's homes telling them what products they can or can't use.

Light Bulb Clarity: New Electric Politics.  Simple light bulbs are safe and popular products.  They don't burn coal and they don't release CO2 gas.  [The] need to force consumers to save energy that they themselves pay for is itself unjustified by any society energy shortage, particularly for electricity generation, such that any shortage of finite oil/coal/gas sources simply increases their price and leads to the reduced usage of such energy anyway -- without political interference.

The Light Bulb Goes On About the GOP Congressional Leadership.  Once the light bulb represented ideas; today, its shoddy, government-mandated replacement, the compact fluorescent lamp (CFL), has come to represent everything that is wrong with the GOP leadership in Congress. ... If the Republican Party can't make a stand at the government telling us what kind of light bulbs to use, what good is it?  Evidently none, because it won't take that stand.

The light bulb police.  Are you stockpiling incandescent light bulbs for the coming ban on January 1, 2012?  I am.  You should.  What the government is ordering you to buy — flourescent light bulbs — contain hazardous materials that, if broken, threaten you and your family.  Not only that, but the government ordered bulbs are less illuminating and give some people headaches — like my Zsu-Zsu who gets terrible migraines from flourescents.  It's time to start pressuring Republicans to sign on to a bill that would stop this nanny state nonsense before it starts.

Americans deserve their choice of illumination.  On January 1, 2012, seven months from this week, Washington will effectively ban the sale of conventional 100 watt incandescent light bulbs that Americans have used nearly since the days of Thomas Edison.  Instead we will all be required to buy compact fluorescent lights, or CFLs.  We'd like to believe that when the government decrees what kind of light bulbs you can screw into the lamp in your own bedroom, even liberals would be nervous about the nanny state.

Need a Light Bulb? Uncle Sam Gets to Choose.  If you want to know why so many Americans feel alienated from their government, you need only go to Target and check out the light bulb aisle. ... "I'm deeply, deeply disappointed with CFL bulbs," [law professor Glenn Reynolds] wrote last month on his blog.  "I replaced pretty much every regular bulb in the house with CFLs, but they've been failing at about the same rate as ordinary long-life bulbs, despite the promises of multiyear service.  And I can't tell any difference in my electric bill.

The Dangers of CFLs Even Greater Than Previously Known.  The politicians who passed the law phasing out incandescents wanted a trophy they could hold up to the voting public and say, "See, we gave you something better than what a free market could give you.  We advanced society."  Instead of a trophy of success, they have a monument to the failure of their ideology and their ignorance of economics.  Politics is no substitute for economics.  It can only produce an uneconomic result:  if the result were economic, it wouldn't require government coercion.

NYT columnist on lightbulb law:  Lobbyists like it, so it must be fine.  Gail Collins has a light-hearted column in the New York Times gently condescending to those who don't like the federal government prohibiting them from buying the kind of light bulbs they want to buy.  She dismisses this "Hysteria over the government taking away our right to buy inefficient light bulbs" as being "just for political show."  Surely nobody is actually upset about a law that has no constitutional justification, and that takes away an affordable option from consumers, and that contributed to hundreds of people in Ohio, Kentucky, and Virginia losing their jobs.

The general public likes cheap and simple incandescent bulbs.  So, naturally...
Obama touts energy-efficient light bulbs.  President Obama said Monday [6/13/2011] that advanced lighting technology is an essential component of his administration's push to make commercial buildings more energy efficient.

Obama rubs elbows with regulatory robber barons.  President Obama on Monday [6/13/2011] was scheduled to give a pep talk for American manufacturing at a factory in Durham, N.C., where Cree Inc. makes LED light bulbs.  Cree embodies Obama-era capitalism:  profiting from government grants, political connections, revolving-door lobbyists and regulations that force people to buy your product.

Government's Light Bulb Ban Is Just Plain Destructive.  In 2007, Congress passed an energy bill that placed stringent efficiency requirements on ordinary incandescent bulbs in an attempt to phase them out beginning in 2012 and have them completely gone by 2014.  The goal of the program is to replace incandescent bulbs with more expensive but more energy-efficient bulbs, the most popular currently being CFLs.  Politicians used a distorted view of "creative destruction" mixed with global warming concerns to sell the regulation.  They said it would create jobs, save consumers money, increase domestic security, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.  But the politicians, as they typically do, failed to see the unintended consequences of this program.

"Green" Products and Free Market Conflicts.  Despite the reasonable argument against energy waste when comparing new bulbs to traditional incandescent ones, the government decides to strong-arm the American consumer with an upcoming ban on 100-watt incandescent light bulbs even though the nearest LED alternative light bulb is reported to come in at a cost of $50 apiece.  This is ridiculous.  The "green" compact fluorescent light bulb brought about by the current environmental push is even worse.  Why?  They are not only expensive, they are dangerous!

Study: Enviro-light bulbs can cause cancer.  As a result of the environmental movement's panic over global warming, Congress and the White House passed 2007 energy legislation that would begin the phasing out of the incandescent light bulb between 2012 and 2014.  Environmentalists argued that incandescent lights use more electricity than CFL's, so Thomas Edison's greatest achievement was considered too "inefficient" and costly.  However, lawmakers on both federal and state levels are waging a fight against the incandescent light bulb ban...

Unrecycled new light bulbs release mercury into the environment.  Energy-efficient CFLs are increasingly popular but few people recycle the bulbs.  As a result, U.S. landfills are releasing more than 4 tons of mercury annually into the atmosphere and storm water runoff, a study says.

Energy saving light bulbs 'contain cancer causing chemicals'.  Fears have been reignited about the safety of energy saving light bulbs after a group of scientists warned that they contain cancer causing chemicals.  Their report advises that the bulbs should not be left on for extended periods, particularly near someone's head, as they emit poisonous materials when switched on.

Lawmakers take dim view of new light bulbs.  With incandescent bulbs being phased out under federal law in favor of energy-efficient compact fluorescents, legislators want to exempt South Carolina from the measure, saying Washington has no business telling the state how to light its closets and countertops.

Light-bulb rights showdown.  Ever since then-President George W. Bush signed into law the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007, the clock has been ticking on Thomas Edison's venerable incandescent.  Unless Congress acts before Jan. 1, 2012, federal bureaucrats will begin their campaign to foist the mostly Chinese-made, compact fluorescent bulbs on a public that has shown no interest in buying them on the free market.

The CFL Fraud.  A compact fluorescent light (CFL) on the ceiling burst and started a fire in a home in Hornell, N.Y. December 23, 2010.  "Those are the lights everybody's been telling us to use," said Joe Gerych, Steuben County Fire Inspector.  "It blew up like a bomb.  It spattered all over."  Fire Chief Mike Robbins said the blaze destroyed the room where the fire started and everything in it, and the rest of the house suffered smoke and water damage.

Fluorescent Foolishness.  The familiar incandescent light bulb is on its way out, to be replaced by compact fluorescent light (CFL) bulbs.  The federal requirement for the changeover will be phased-in starting in 2012 and completed in 2014.  Some states have set earlier deadlines.  Does snuffing out usage of Thomas Edison's invention really demonstrate the politicians have a brighter idea than what consumers choose in the marketplace?  The propaganda that attempts to show this is the case omits important facts about costs, the bulbs themselves, ultraviolet damage, environmental issues, convenience, and — most important — safety.

More Fluorescent Bulb Problems, including Fires.  In my previous, comprehensive article on problems with the new compact fluorescent blubs (CFLs) Link, I did not include mention of fire danger.  This was because everything I read at that time indicated it was rare and occurred only with the first CFLs on the market.  Now I find that is not the case.  Two emails to me have described recent personal experiences with fires from CFLs.

BULB Act Will Restore Incandescent Light Bulbs.  This light bulb-banning law was another one of those good intentions that some people don't think is turning out so good.  They don't like the light given off by the compact fluorescent light bulbs, which are being made to replace incandescent bulbs.  They say their wallets don't like the new bulbs because they cost more, which makes saving money on energy a wash.  The EPA doesn't like the new bulbs because the amount of mercury in one bulb is enough to contaminate up to 6,000 gallons of water beyond safe drinking levels.  Freedom Action, a political-advocacy group recently launched a campaign to repeal the ban on traditional incandescent bulbs.

Leave Our Bulbs Alone.  It is one of the magical moments in American history:  On Sept. 4, 1882, Thomas Edison threw a ceremonial switch at the offices of J. P. Morgan in New York City, and there was light.  The nearby Pearl Street Station power plant provided the electricity for light bulbs to switch on throughout the immediate area.  The New York Times had 52 of the bulbs and reported they provided light "soft, mellow, and graceful to the eye ... without a particle of flicker to make the head ache."

Republicans Try to Block New Light Bulb Restrictions.  Is the traditional 100-watt incandescent light bulb about to go the way of the Tyrannosaurus Rex?  Some Republicans on Capitol Hill hope not.  They want to overturn the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007, signed by then-President George W. Bush.  The law requires all 100-watt incandescent light bulbs to be almost 30-percent more energy efficient by Jan. 1, 2012.

Fox News Panel Furious With (President Bush) Law Phasing Out 100w Incandescent Bulb.  With the impending phase-out of traditional light bulbs in favor of energy efficient bulbs, Bret Baier asked the Fox News All Star Panel for their thoughts and they were not happy in the least.  Charles Krauthammer and Fred Barnes were each upset with the "nanny state gone amok," but at least had humorous reactions to the potential need to hoard old bulbs.

Save Edison's light bulb.  Tea Partyers lit the latest American grass-roots fire at a national convention in Phoenix three weeks ago.  It reached luminescence last weekend when a YouTube video of Sen. Rand Paul, Kentucky Republican, went viral.  Now Americans everywhere are demanding that Congress repeal the pending ban on incandescent light bulbs.  Unfortunately, the light bulb still hasn't switched on in the heads of congressional leaders, who have not made repeal enough of a priority.  It ought to be easy procedurally, and good politics, too, to zip the simple repeal to the president's desk sooner rather than later.

Expert Warns of Health Risks Associated With New Light Bulbs.  A lighting expert who has overseen lighting projects including the Statue of Liberty and the Petronas Towers expressed concerns on Capitol Hill Thursday [3/10/2011] about the safety of certain types of new light bulbs. Appearing before the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, Howard M. Brandston spoke in favor of the "Better Use of Light Bulbs Act" — a measure which would overturn elements of a 2007 law mandating that traditional incandescent light bulbs be phased out over the next few years.

Light, Liberty And...  Before there was ObamaCare and its mandate to buy health insurance as a condition of citizenship, there was the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007, one of the first things Democrats took up on taking power in the 2006 elections.  The legislation sought to save the Earth and make us energy-independent by mandating that the incandescent bulb — arguably Edison's greatest invention, created without government "investment" — be eventually replaced by compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs).

Light bulb law faces challenge in Congress.  Amid battles over health care, the federal budget and the soaring deficit, another fight is brewing on Capitol Hill this week — over light bulbs.

Light-bulb banning begins.  The cost of illuminating your home is about to go up significantly.  Most Americans take for granted that when they flip a switch, darkness immediately gives way to a warm, natural light.  That's no longer possible in California, where a regulation that took effect Jan. 1 only allows the sale of harsh, cold compact fluorescents above a certain wattage.  Unless the new Congress takes action, the same rules will apply to the rest of the country, beginning next year.

The bewildering bulbs that cost up to four times as much.  It used to be so straightforward.  If a 40-watt bulb blew, you bought an identical one.  It was the same with 60W and 100W bulbs — they all looked and cost about the same.  Looking at a shelf of lightbulbs today you can only be bewildered by the vast array of bulbs of different shapes and sizes, power and prices on display.  A Mail on Sunday survey has revealed it is now almost impossible to buy a direct replacement for the old-style pearl lightbulb in any of Britain's major retailers.

Light bulb goes off for Easy-Bake Oven's new idea.  Millions of young chefs have used the toy to make tasty baked treats.  It was made possible by the oven's heating element, a common 100-watt incandescent light bulb.  But starting next year, manufacture of such bulbs will be outlawed.

Rep. Sandifer says let there be choices on light bulbs.  State Rep. Bill Sandifer is taking on a federal law that will make 100-watt incandescent light bulbs unavailable by January.  Sandifer, an Oconee Republican, is trying to attract manufacturers that would be willing to make the Thomas Edison-style bulbs in South Carolina.

Bachmann to Democrats: Don't tell Americans what light bulbs to buy.  Minnesota Republican Rep. Michele Bachmann on Tuesday reintroduced the "Light Bulb Freedom of Choice Act," a bill to repeal a 2007 law mandating that incandescent light bulbs be phased out.  "The government has no business telling an individual what kind of light bulb to buy," she said in a news release Wednesday [3/2/2011].

SC State Reps Have More Than Their Heads Screwed on Properly.  [South Carolina State Representatives] Bill Sandifer and Dwight Loftis, have authored and submitted a bill that would allow for the manufacture and purchase of incandescent bulbs in South Carolina.

Bill to repeal bulb ban introduced.  Rep. Joe Barton (R-TX) introduced a bill to repeal the 2007 law that bans incandescent bulbs starting in 2012.

CFLs burn out in California?  California utility PG&E Corp. has just learned something about CFLs — they don't work as well as touted.  According to a report in today's Wall Street Journal, PG&E's $92 million rebate program for CFL usage during 2006-2008 saved 73% less energy than originally projected by PG&E.

EPA's Mercurial Hypocrisy.  How cynical is the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency about the potential mercury hazard of compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs)?  Last week the EPA issued new guidance for the clean-up of mercury-containing CFLs.

Another Dud from the Dim-Bulb Greens.  The incandescent light bulb ban is this decade's version of the old 55 m.p.h. speed limit, and sooner or later Congress needs to be pressed into repealing this idiocy.  Along with mailing in tea bags to members of Congress, we should send them our compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs) for proper disposal in hazardous-waste landfills, since they contain mercury.  An unsurprising irony of our time:  We're going to sock it to industry with new air-quality regulations to reduce airborne mercury, but we're going to subject everyone to increased mercury risk in their homes by forcing them to use CFL bulbs.

Bring Back the Incandescent Lightbulb.  The banning of the incandescent light bulb meant that General Electric, the largest maker of light bulbs, had to close all their plants in the US.  The last factory closed in Winchester, VA. in September of last year.  The jobs are now all in China.  They're the largest makers of the compact fluorescent bulbs, CFLs.  They're not made here, in part, because they're too hazardous.

Government Electric: Light bulbs.  The profit margins on incandescents are small.  Margins are higher on compact fluorescents and LED bulbs.  Also the regulation provided the political and PR cover for GE to close its incandescent factories in Ohio, Kentucky, and Virginia — the CFLs are made in China.

We certainly hear a lot about General Electric these days.

The New Old Bulb.  While European light-makers are finding ways around Europe's outright ban on incandescent bulbs, U.S. makers have a larger loophole, given the fact that the U.S. "ban the bulb" legislation takes effect incrementally:  new energy-efficiency standards will apply to 100-watt bulbs next year, and to 40-watt bulbs by 2014.  The upshot is that U.S. consumers will still have access to incandescents — though more expensive access.

Let There Be Light.  In the beginning, Congress banned the incandescent light bulb.  And the people were without rest.  Seventy-two percent believed the government had no right to dictate their lighting choices.  And darkness covered the nation, as the ban's effective date, Jan. 1, 2012, drew near.

Low energy lightbulbs 'could harm 40,000'.  Low energy light bulbs could exacerbate the health conditions of up to 40,000 people across Britain, a minister has said.  Anne Milton, the public health minister, made the admission after Labour MP Mark Tami asked if the Department of Health had made an assessment of their effects on people with sensitive eye conditions.

Let There Be Light Bulb Choice.  The [light bulb] ban merely scratches the surface of government's intrusion into individual choice with regards to energy efficiency.  Congress and the administration have told us for years that they'll save us money with more stringent energy efficiency standards for motors, refrigerators, freezers, air conditioners, clothes washers and dryers, dishwashers, water heaters, among others.  It's time to turn off the lights on these intrusions on free enterprise.

Dim future for incandescent bulb.  The brightest bulb in most homes for more than a century is fading toward darkness this year as California turns out the light on the century-old incandescent.

Why Is Congress Requiring Poison Light Bulbs?  Isn't it perverse that Congress is requiring the abolition of perfectly good incandescent light bulbs, and their replacement by fluorescent lights that contain mercury, one of the deadliest substances known to mankind?  (Mercury, as you likely know, is what made hatters mad.)  How does requiring the introduction of poison into every home in the United States improve the environment, the stated purpose of the legislation?

Outwitting Lethal Government Policies.  [Scroll down]  Incandescent bulbs are going for a buck or two a package these days.  You won't be able to get them for love or money a couple years down the line.  Or do you like the idea of being ordered to fill your home with fragile glass objects requiring an eight-hour decontamination procedure if broken?

The Mercury Threat — Again.  One of the remarkable things about human achievement is how it resonates, continuing to be influential long after its first impact, even after its creator's life is ended.  A case in point can be found in the work of W. Eugene Smith. ... What do Smith's photographs have to tell us today?  Quite a bit, actually, and more than you might think of photos four decades old.  Because we've come full circle as far as pollution goes.  At the time, the task was to separate people from dangerous pollutants such as mercury.  But today, mercury in threatening amounts is being returned to the home environment in the form of pigtail fluorescent bulbs, supposedly to fulfill the same environmental imperative as at Minamata.  Although the circumstances have changed, the basics remain the same:  the arrogance and indifference of politicians, the bullheadedness of special interests.

Consumers Get Screwed on Light Bulb Deal.  The Wall Street Journal points out that California public utilities are paying out $548 million over the next seven years in order to subsidize the purchase of CFL's.  The hope is that this program will creatively destroy of the incandescent light bulb and save energy.  The nightmare is that this program has only done the former.  This program unnaturally lowered the price of one CFL from $4 to $1.30.  The prevailing logic in Sacramento was that the $548 million used to subsidize the purchase of CFL's would be recouped on the back end with energy savings, but that hasn't been the case.

The New Light Bulbs Lose a Little Shine.  California's utilities are spending $548 million over seven years to subsidize consumer purchases of compact fluorescent lamps.  But the benefits are turning out to be less than expected.  One reason is that bulbs have gotten so cheap that Californians buy more than they need and sock them away for future use.  Another reason is that the bulbs are burning out faster than expected.

The Editor says...
Think about it.  Where are the utilities getting that money?

Rush for last UK lightbulbs.  Customers are besieging stores to get their hands on incandescent light bulbs before they disappear forever.  The EU is banning sales of the familiar tungsten bulb — in use for more than 100 years — from September.  But with nearly nine months to the deadline, supermarkets and other hardware retailers are expected to run out of supplies in weeks.

A Bright Idea:  Rescue the Incandescents.  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 stands 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 an act of Congress.

Light-bulb banning begins.  The cost of illuminating your home is about to go up significantly.  Most Americans take for granted that when they flip a switch, darkness immediately gives way to a warm, natural light.  That's no longer possible in California, where a regulation that took effect Jan. 1 only allows the sale of harsh, cold compact fluorescents above a certain wattage.  Unless the new Congress takes action, the same rules will apply to the rest of the country, beginning next year.

California banning 100-watt incandescent light bulbs.  The state of liberal bastion, California, will start phasing out the 100-watt incandescent light bulb on Jan. 1, 2011.  By the beginning of the year 2012, it will be gone from sale in stores.  Specialty lights that use less than 40 watts and more than 150 watts, and three-way bulbs are exempt, but will later be required to use less energy.

Bootleg Lightbulbs Coming to California.  Old reliable, the 100-watt light bulb — safe, cheap, and bright enough to read, write, cook, shave, and put on your makeup by, will be gone January 1.  The California Energy Commission in September 2010 published its 226-page Appliance Efficiency Regulations, whereby the 100-watt incandescent light bulb will be outlawed at midnight on December 31, 2010.  Californians with self-imposed rationing, running out of both energy and common sense, have declared that consuming electrical power is a social vice.  Electric power must be curbed, along with banning Dr. Pepper and Happy Meals.  And it's not just light bulbs.  These appliance standards will regulate and ban hundreds of products including...

Upton's Light Bulb Ban Poses Health Risks.  On Wednesday, January 5, a moment will come to fruition that the majority of Americans have been waiting for since the nightmare of the 111th Congress first crawled out of the swamp.  The Era of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi mercifully comes to an end as Pelosi is forced to surrender the gavel.  C-SPAN could have its highest viewership in history.  Also set to take the gavel at the powerful House Energy and Commerce Committee will be Rep. Fred Upton (RINO-Mich.), a man the new Republican leadership is trying to pass off as a born-again conservative.

Eco-bulb cost to treble.  The price of energy-saving light bulbs will treble as the final supplies of traditional bulbs dry up, industry experts have warned.  The Government has ordered energy companies to scrap the subsidies that have kept the price of eco-bulbs artificially low for the last few years.  At the same time, manufacturers are increasing wholesale prices to take advantage of the European ban on 'energy guzzling' old-style bulbs.

German man fails in lightbulb campaign.  A German man has failed in an attempt to circumvent the EU ban on 100 watt incandescent lightbulbs by rebranding the product as Heatballs.  An EU wide ban on the importation and sale of the powerful bulbs was imposed last year on environmental grounds.  Customs will now seize and destroy 40,000 bulbs imported by Siegfried Rotthäuser must be destroyed.

Upset about Big Brother's Ban on Incandescent Bulbs? Buy a Heatball!  After the European Union banned conventional incandescent bulbs, [Siegfried] Rotthaeuser's entrepreneurial spirit was sparked.  He started selling another product:  heatballs.  What's a heatball?  According to this Teutonic Knight of Freedom and Light, it is a "small heating device" that compensates for the loss of heat a home experiences when conventional light bulbs are swapped for more energy efficient ones.

Upton flips a switch on CFL bulbs.  Three years after he led the charge to require consumers to ditch their comfortable old incandescent lights in favor of those twisty CFL bulbs, Rep. Fred Upton now wants to be the man to help undo that law as the next chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee.

Rage against the dying of light (bulbs).  The idea of soon having no illumination choice other than those twisty light bulbs has left me a little bit nuts.  So now part of my Saturday routine is making the rounds of various stores and loading my pickup with packages of incandescent bulbs.  It's an obsession I bet I share with others who dread the day a year from now when the old-fashioned bulbs become extinct by federal fiat, and all that's left are the smug compact fluorescent lights.

Co-Author of Incandescent-Bulb Ban Seeks Energy Committee Chair.  Rep. Fred Upton (R-Mich.) may have some explaining to do to fellow GOP colleagues as he seeks the chairmanship of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, given the incoming wave of new conservatives who may not appreciate some aspects of Upton's voting record.  Upton joined with Rep. Jane Harman (D.-Calif.) in 2007 to co-author the legislation that effectively banned indoor incandescent light bulbs in the United States.

Eco-bulbs 'a health hazard for babies and pregnant women'.  Energy-saving light bulbs were at the centre of a fresh health scare last night after researchers claimed they can release potentially harmful amounts of mercury if broken.  Levels of toxic vapour around smashed eco-bulbs were up to 20 times higher than the safe guideline limit for an indoor area, the study said.

Let There be Lightbulbs.  In retrospect, it was a premonition of the Obama era: Late in 2007, Congress banned incandescent lightbulbs, by a vote of 86 to eight in the Senate and 314 to 100 in the House.  President Bush signed the bill in his late, get-me-back-to-Texas phase.  Let's hope it's a better premonition that Congress may now be having second thoughts.

GE's Really Big, Bad Ideas.  Why would General Electric abandon the incandescent light bulb? In 1890 Thomas Edison established General Electric after having achieved fame with it and other inventions.  Not only will this iconic invention no longer be manufactured in the United States by next year, but the government has ruled that it cannot even be purchased here.  That is a level of stupidity that defines much of U.S. manufacturing and energy policy these days and explains why so many jobs have been out-sourced to other nations.

General Electric moves production from its lamp plant in Virginia to China.  Nestled in the orchards of the Shenandoah Valley in Virginia, Winchester has seen its share of economic changes.  Last month, a confluence of clean energy regulation and high manufacturing costs forced the closure of General Electric's Winchester lamp plant with the loss of 200 jobs.  The manufacturing group concluded US workers were too costly and lacked the necessary skills to make the new, curled energy-efficient bulbs.  Production, like so much of the clean energy industry, is shifting abroad, notably to China...

Will The Light Bulb Ban Inspire a Conversion?  Why is the incandescent light bulb ban such a lightning rod for Tea Party-inspired remorse from big government Republicans?  Simple:  it's a liberty-stealing assault on our privacy and common sense, outrageously expensive, and doesn't solve any of the problems it's intended to fix.  That's only for starters.  The most egregious feature is that the ban makes fools of the American people who willingly succumb to such nonsense from Washington, D.C.

The Light Bulb Switchover: In the Dark.  Anyone who has priced CFLs knows they're not cheap.  Supposedly they're worth the extra money because they'll last longer.  That's cold comfort, though, given the dull, unnatural glow that these bulbs throw off.  Worse, CFLs are full of mercury.  If one breaks — and who hasn't dropped a light bulb now and then? — you have an elaborate clean-up process ahead of you.

Compact Fluorescent Light Bulbs:  Proceed with Caution.  The modern breed of environmentalist tends to have a statist faith in government.  Average citizens cannot be trusted with economic decisions that require balancing immediate costs and long-term benefits.  Consumers therefore need wise government to mandate the use of CFLs, through legislation like the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 or through taxpayer-funded giveaway programs.  Many people, however, don't like curlicue light bulbs, and not because these people are uninformed, shortsighted, or on the payroll of Big Carbon.  The list of objections is long, but here are a few...

How many congressmen does it take to screw in a light bulb?  If not disposed of properly, CFL light bulbs, which Congress is pushing as a preferable and energy efficient alternative to incandescent bulbs, may poison you, contaminate your food and water supply, destroy the environment and kill your children.  If light bulbs were regulated like cigarettes, this is what it might say on the side of the box of "environmentally friendly" bulbs that you just picked up at Target.

Dim Idea.  [Scroll down]  By 2014, according to an absurd and indefensible act of Congress — and this one passed in 2007, so it's not Obama's fault for once — the kind of light bulbs that we all prefer — you know, the bright ones, the ones that actually illuminate rooms and objects — will be essentially banned and replaced by those awful Dairy Queen looking things, the compact-fluorescent bulbs that bathe the world in a gauzy, dirty, yellow haze.  It's sick-room lighting, state-mental-hospital illumination — the kind of lights they used in East Germany to keep everyone sad and downcast.

Turning Off the (Incandescent) Light of Liberty.  What if the government banned air conditioning?  What if flat-screen televisions were determined to use too much electricity and were ordered phased out of production?  What if the use of all plastic grocery bags were banned?  What if the incandescent light bulb, one of the greatest inventions of Thomas Edison in the 1870s was banned?  Oh wait, it has been banned!

GE backed regulations that killed GE jobs in U.S.  [Scroll down]  Indeed, the regulations allow GE to manufacture light bulbs for sale in the United States until 2014 for lower wattages (2012 for 100-watt bulbs).  Then there are the growing markets in India and China, where more people have electricity every day, and where no such regulations exist.  So GE is still making traditional incandescents — but in Monterrey, Mexico, instead of Winchester.

Shoppers 'panic buying' old 75W bulbs before EU ban comes into force.  Shoppers across Europe are panic buying the last remaining stocks of old fashioned 75W light bulbs before the traditional household items are banned in the EU next week.

It's time for the light bulb to go on.  Representatives Joe Barton, Michael Burgess, and Marsha Blackburn have just introduced the Better Use of Light Bulbs Act (or BULB).  The legislation would repeal the de facto ban on the incandescent light bulb contained in Subtitle B of Title III of the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007.

Congress' light bulb ban is creating jobs (in China).  Tight credit, reduced spending, and a host of symptoms of the poor economy have pummeled businesses large and small, and workers are feeling it with 9.6 percent unemployment.  Unable to find credit to expand or even endure bad times and unable to find customers willing to spend, companies are forced to lay off workers.  Two hundred employees of a plant in Winchester, Va., will soon join the millions of American unemployed.

Thomas Edison, You're Under Arrest.  A light bulb factory closes in Virginia as mandated fluorescents are made in China.  It's now a crime to make or ship for sale 75-watt incandescent bulbs in the European Union.  Welcome to green hell.

Banning the Incandescent Light Bulb.  If consumers prefer incandescent bulbs to florescent ones, why the ban?  The answer is simple, writes economist Don Boudreaux:  "Any legislation forcing Americans to switch from using one type of bulb to another is inevitably the product of a horrid mix of interest-group politics with reckless symbolism designed to placate an electorate that increasingly believes that the sky is falling."  In other words, Congress said it would act to reduce carbon dioxide emissions.  So lobbyists for interested businesses jumped on the opportunity to force consumers to use their more expensive products.

The Incandescent Bulb Ban:  Another Regulatory Overreach.  The government solution to replace incandescent bulbs is to regulate them out of the marketplace and forcefully restrict consumer choice.  The Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 placed stringent efficiency requirements on incandescent bulbs in an attempt to phase them out between 2012 and 2014 and replace them with more expensive but more energy-efficient bulbs, the most popular being compact fluorescent bulbs (CFLs).

On jobs, Obama giveth, and Obama taketh away.  These were "green" regulations that then-Sen. Obama supported in the 2007 energy bill — as did GE.  The company, you see, makes more profit off the more efficient compact fluorescent bulbs, because the company can charge more, but also because it makes those bulbs in China, with cheaper labor costs and fewer environmental regulations.  So, Obama and GE teamed up, pushed Big Government environmental regs and killed nearly 500 jobs in Lexington, Winchester, and another glass factory in Niles, Ohio.

Dim-Bulb Dems Doom Edison's Baby.  [Scroll down]  Let us note that General Electric has been in Barack Obama's corner from day one and has positioned itself to be a prime beneficiary of the massive green scheming of America that Obama and his allies in Congress are perpetrating across our nation (via taxpayer money, subsidies, loans, mandates, rules, and regulations — an EPA in overdrive).  And Obama deserves a chunk of the blame:  General Electric jumped on board the CFL bandwagon — and threw its workers off it without a ticket to get back on.  American unions and government rules just did not make it feasible (i.e., profitable) to manufacture CFLs in America.  Now most are made by Chinese companies, to which we are sending our green dollars in more ways than one.

Light-bulb grabbers at it again.  Congress ordered these changes in 2007 as part of its decision to force the dim, overpriced, mercury-filled product on a public that so far has refused to embrace it willingly.  Beginning Jan. 1, 2012, bureaucratic rules will phase in, and 100-watt versions of Thomas Edison's venerable invention will be first on the contraband list.  Sylvania, the largest light-bulb company in North America, found in a telephone survey last year that three-quarters of Americans have no idea that Congress is coming for their light bulbs.  If you like a safe, warm glow with your lighting, now would be a good time to start stocking up on incandescents.

The Scientific Socialism of Today.  A certain kind of mind believes that human beings exist as objects to be experimented upon as society is perfected by the privileged class — a utopia engineered by elites.  There's a reason why Engels called it Scientific Socialism. ... To be fair, Congress didn't actually ban incandescent light bulbs; they merely set new, higher, and more energy-efficiency standards — standards so high that no incandescent bulb could possibly meet them.

This really takes the cake...
FirstEnergy to give away 3.75 million low-energy light bulbs.  FirstEnergy Corp. is getting ready to leave two high-efficiency light bulbs on your doorstep.  But they're not a gift.  The utility will charge average users 60 cents a month extra on their electric bills for the next three years — $21.60 all together.  That covers the cost of the bulbs ($3.50 each), their delivery and the delivery of the power consumers would have used if they didn't have them.

The Editor asks...
Are you obligated to pay for merchandise you didn't order?  And if they're charging you for the electricity you would have used, how much have you saved?

Lightbulb bill aimed at asserting state rights.  Frank Antenori's idea is as bright as a 100-watt lightbulb.  And it's lighting up conversations at the Capitol over states' rights and the role of the federal government.

Declaration of incandescence.  As American as the grand slam, the Mustang convertible and the constitutional republic, Thomas Alva Edison's incandescent light bulb is among this nation's most enduring gifts to mankind.  Granted U.S. Patent No. 223,898 on January 27, 1880 (after enduring some 1,200 experiments), Edison's "Electric Lamp" essentially made night optional for most earthlings. Days stopped ending at sunset.  Simple, convenient and cheap, Edison's greatest invention also was far safer than the flammable kerosene lamp it replaced.  Today's federal government, naturally, had to hammer something that has hummed along nicely for 130 years.

72% Don't Want Feds Changing Their Light Bulbs.  Washington's got another bright idea that most Americans don't like.  Just 18% of adults think it's the government's job to tell Americans what kind of light bulb they use, according to a new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey.  Seventy-two percent (72%) say it's none of the government's business, and 10% are not sure.

America's Dim Bulbs.  Europe's ban on the incandescent light bulb began phasing in this month, and the U.S. will soon follow.  Is Thomas Edison to blame for global warming?  And why are we exporting green jobs?

Official responsible for light bulb ban is a former communist.  The man responsible for the Europe-wide ban on traditional light bulbs can be revealed as a former Soviet Communist party member from Latvia.  Andris Piebalgs, 51, the European Commissioner for Energy, leads the team which drafted the controversial regulations that will see all incandescent bulbs phased out by 2012.  Far from being a faceless bureaucrat, Mr Piebalgs has waged a public war against opponents of the ban, mocking their stance and accusing them of being "resistant to change".

The Light Bulb Liars.  What if in 2025 a husband and wife decide they want to use old-fashioned incandescent bulbs in the sanctuary of their home?  Will the light-bulb left defend their right to privacy and freedom of choice?  Don't count on it.  Many Americans may not know it yet, but the federal government has already effectively banned the type of light bulb most of us use today.

Bush Bans Light Bulbs, Gas Guzzling Cars.  President Bush signed an energy bill on Wednesday that bans traditional incandescent light bulbs and requires automakers to produce more energy-efficient vehicles.  The bill, titled the Energy Independence and Security Act, calls for higher fuel standards for cars and light trucks, mandates higher ethanol production and begins a phase out of incandescent light bulbs by 2012 because they burn too much energy.

The End of the Light Bulb as We Know It.  The incandescent light bulb, one of the most venerable inventions of its era but deemed too inefficient for our own, will be phased off the U.S. market beginning in 2012 under the new energy law just approved by Congress.  Although this will reduce electricity costs and minimize new bulb purchases in every household in America, you may be feeling in the dark about the loss of your old, relatively reliable source of light.

Crimes of Incandescence.  It is fitting that the light bulb — in addition to illuminating homes, workplaces, and streets — has become a symbol of a bright idea.  If we see one shining above a cartoon character's head, we immediately know that he or she has had a flash of inspiration.  Nothing says "good thinking" quite like one of these little wonders of the modern world, which have helped to liberate mankind from the oppression of darkness.  It is also fitting, then, that environmentalists have declared war on these symbols of sensibleness.

Lights out for the bulb.  Light bulb makers have revamped some plants, shuttered others and invested enormous sums of money in preparation for a technological shift that they believe will revolutionize the industry.  Yet the fact that the incandescent bulb, which has remained largely unchanged for more than a century, is about to become obsolete is lost on the vast majority of the public.  The phase-out of the iconic light bulb begins in three years as part of the energy bill signed in 2007.

Energy-saving bulbs 'get dimmer'.  Energy-efficient light bulbs lose on average 22% of their brightness over their lifetime, a study has found.  In some cases they emit just 60% as much light as traditional models which are being phased out of shops, it says.  The study in Engineering and Technology magazine concluded that consumers were being misled by the bulbs' packaging.

Pelosi Calls Press Conference to Unveil $140,000 Light Fixtures in House Cafeteria.  House Speaker Nancy Pelosi called a Capitol Hill press conference Wednesday [4/21/2010] to unveil new light fixtures in the House cafeteria.  The light fixtures cost $140,000 and will take almost 10 years to pay off in saved energy.

When the Lights Go Down, It Ain't Pretty.  So how did the fixtures' cost drop so quickly and so dramatically?  Because they were made by Durham, N.C.-based Cree Inc., a company whose LED lighting products are heavily subsidized by the government.

Incandescent stupidity:  Washington outlaws 100-watt lightbulbs.  You know the energy bill that Congress passed and President Bush signed into law today?  Tucked into the legislation is a provision that mandates the phase-out of the 125-year-old incandescent bulb in the next four to 12 years in favor of a new generation of trendy, supposedly energy-efficient Gorebulbs.  First, Australia.  Then the EU.  And now us.

Dubious Ways to 'Save the Planet'.  Last week The New York Times front page carried this headline:  "The Bulb That Saved the Planet May Be a Little Less Than Billed."  The story recounted some Americans' misadventures with the new light bulbs that almost all Americans — all but those who are filling their closets with supplies of today's incandescent bulbs — will have to use after the phaseout of today's bulbs in 2014.

EU 100-watt bulb sale ban starts.  Old-style 100-watt light bulbs will be banned in Europe's shops from next week in favour of new energy-saving models, with consumer groups giving the move a guarded welcome.  From September 1, 100-watt versions of the old incandescent bulbs will be banned from Europe's shops and other bulbs with lower wattage will follow in the ensuing years, under a system agreed by EU experts last December.

The Compact Fluorescent — An Instrument of Tyranny!  All we have to protect ourselves from the charlatan, the con man, a special interest group, or the government, is our intellect, our knowledge, logic and common sense.  That's it. ... So let's apply our intellect, knowledge, logic and common sense to the assertion that man's emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2) are contributing to the alleged crisis of run-away global warming.  Probably, the most illuminating piece of knowledge to the argument is the history of the Earth itself.

Why eco-light bulbs aren't what they seem.  [Are CFLs] as bright, long-lasting and energy efficient as is often claimed?  The traditional incandescent bulb is on the way out.  European law means people will be encouraged to use longer-lasting, energy-efficient lights instead.  But many remain unconvinced that the common alternative — compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs) — are up to the job.

Energy saving light bulbs offer dim future.  Soon they will be the only kind of light bulb allowed, but now officials in Brussels have admitted that energy-saving bulbs are not as bright as the old-fashioned kind they are replacing.  From tomorrow [9/1/2009] a Europe-wide ban on traditional incandescent bulbs will begin to be rolled out, with a ban on 100W bulbs and old-style frosted or pearled bulbs.

The thinking on climate is frozen solid.  Here's how it is down our way.  The oil tank that powers our central heating is running worryingly low, but for days fuel lorries have been unable to navigate the frozen track that links us to the nearest main road.  We would have gained much welcome heat from incandescent light bulbs, but as those have been banned by the government as part of the "fight against climate change", no such luck.  On the good side, the absence of delivered newspapers — even the faithful paperboy has given up the unequal struggle to reach us — means I won't be getting any more headaches from attempting to read newsprint under the inadequate light shed by "low-energy" bulbs.

Congress' Light Bulb Law:  Not So Bright.  Thank goodness I'm not imagining it.  Others also have big problems with the new-fangled light bulbs Congress is forcing on us.  My eyes are straining from bulbs that aren't as bright.  What IS lighter is my wallet, because the new bulbs cost so much more.

Save the Light Bulb!  Even without taking into account people's preferences, CFLs, which can be an excellent choice for some applications, are simply not an equivalent technology to incandescents in all applications.  For example, if you have dimmers used for home theater or general ambience, you must buy a compatible dimmable CFL, which costs more, and even then it may not work as desired on your dimmers. ... What's more, CFLs work best in light fixtures designed for CFLs, and may not fit, provide desired service life, or distribute light in the same pleasing pattern as incandescents.

Obama's Death Panels to Unravel Lightbulb Savings.  The US Congress, now despised by nearly 60% of the voting public, in 2007 via The Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 labeled incandescent lightbulbs contraband, joining the likes of heroin, automatic assault rifles, bazookas and untaxed cigarettes, beginning with outlawing the dreaded 100 Watt lightbulb in 2012.

Is EU is Going Too Green with Light Bulb Ban?  There must have been a twitch in the universe on Wednesday evening [9/2/2009] as NBC Nightly News anchor Brian Williams — who has a history of highlighting concerns of interest to the environmentalist left — actually ran a story highlighting complaints by some Europeans that the "going green" movement is going too far as the European Union is banning the use of old-fashioned lightbulbs...

How GE's green lobbying is killing U.S. factory jobs.  'Government did us in," says Dwayne Madigan, whose job will terminate when General Electric closes one its factory next July.  Madigan makes a product that will soon be illegal to sell in the U.S.:  a regular incandescent bulb.  Two years ago, his employer, GE, lobbied in favor of the law that will outlaw the bulbs.  Madigan's colleagues, waiting for their evening shift to begin, all know that GE is replacing the incandescent for now with compact fluorescents bulbs, which GE manufactures in China.

Energy-Saving Bulbs to Light Up the Future.  Not everyone is singing the praises of the little bulbs that could.  The German ecological product review "Oekotest" put 16 models through a rigorous set of tests and came to a sobering conclusion:  Most energy saving light bulbs aren't as bright as they should be.  According to the magazine, the light quality was poor, sometimes flickered and didn't last as long as manufacturers claimed.  The lamps were also found to contain poisonous mercury.  In the end, "Oekotest" said energy-saving lamps were hardly recommendable.

Eco-friendly light bulbs flip switch on problems.  An energy-efficiency measure is turning into a ticking green time bomb.  The federal government plans to require consumers over the next several years to replace incandescent light bulbs with more expensive but more energy-efficient and longer-lasting compact fluorescent bulbs (CFLs).  But improper disposal of the mercury-powered bulbs poses an environmental hazard, and the federal government has given little guidance to consumers.

The Latest Political Crusade:  CFL Light Bulbs and Airline Safety.  The latest political crusade is the crusade to replace ordinary light bulbs with the new CFL light bulb that is supposed to save electricity, reducing the need for fossil fuels and helping the fight against global warming.  Since crusaders seldom stop to weigh the cost of what they are advocating, it is especially important that the rest of us do so before we get swept along by rhetoric and emotions.

In England:
Ten days left to buy traditional lightbulbs.  Traditional lightbulbs will disappear from our shops in just ten days.  All conventional pearl, incandescent lightbulbs are being banned by the European Union to slash energy bills and carbon dioxide emissions.

The Editor says...
In case you were wondering, here's where I stand:  My energy bill is my problem, not the government's, and carbon dioxide is not a problem at all.

Customers buy up traditional light bulbs before switch to low energy alternatives.  Shopkeepers say customers are "panic-buying" armfuls of the 100 watt bulbs, which are becoming increasingly scarce since many supermarkets agreed to phase them out ahead of the end-of-August deadline.  The ban on sales is supported by the [British] government, which wants consumers to switch to low energy compact fluorescent lights (CFLs) to help meet its climate change targets.

Germans Hoarding Traditional Light Bulbs.  The unpopularity of the energy-saving compact fluorescent bulbs that will replace [incandescents] is leading consumers and retailers to start hoarding the traditional bulbs. ... Hardware stores and home-improvement chains in Germany are seeing massive increases in the sales of the traditional bulbs.  Obi reports a 27 percent growth in sales over the same period a year ago.  Hornbach has seen its frosted-glass light bulb sales increase by 40-112 percent.  When it comes to 100-watt bulbs, Max Bahr has seen an 80 percent jump in sales, while the figure has been 150 percent for its competitor Praktiker.

Windfarms?  We might as well use hamsters on treadmills.  The 'Man-made Climate Change' fanatics are applauded and praised, even as they force us to abandon perfectly sensible electric lights, and instead subject ourselves to strange, flickering substitutes, simultaneously worse and more costly than the ones they replace.  There is worse to come.  The same people wish to compel us to rely for our power on windmills, million upon million of them, as if we had never discovered more efficient and reliable ways of generating electricity.

The Wishful Thinking of Greenie Dreams.  CFL low-energy light bulbs are significantly more expensive to produce, and between 3 and 10 times as much to buy, as the standard tungsten-filament bulbs Harman wants scrapped.  That is, if they work at all.  In addition, CFLs need much more ventilation (top and bottom). ... Worst of all, low-energy bulbs are made using toxic materials.  Chief among them is mercury, a substance that, ironically, the EU banned from its own landfill sites.  For the EU nations, special recycling arrangements will have to be made to dispose of CFLs, incurring a further cost.

Sheer lumenacy:  EU to replace watts with continental 'lumens'.  Lightbulbs are to lose their wattage markings, thanks to new European Union rules.  It has decided to replace the energy measurement, named after 19th Century Scottish scientist James Watt, with wording revealing the power in 'lumens' — the amount of light a bulb gives out.  The change will be introduced from September next year.

Time to Laugh at Obama and Company.  How many Americans does it take to screw in a light bulb?  According to President-elect Barack Obama, 2.5 million.  Obama has a new plan, he says, to save or create at least 2.5 million jobs.  "We need to upgrade our federal buildings by replacing old heating systems and installing efficient light bulbs," Obama said.  "That won't just save you, the American taxpayer, billions of dollars each year.  It will put people back to work."  This is inherently hilarious.  The president-elect of the United States actually believes that screwing in energy-efficient light bulbs will save or create millions of jobs.

White House announces new lighting standards.  Aiming to keep the focus on climate change legislation, President Barack Obama put a plug in for administration efforts to make lamps and lighting equipment use less energy.

Obama Reinvents The Lightbulb.  There truly is nothing sacred to this administration.  They believe they can do everything better (they aren't excluding much), and they'll take yet another American success story and screw with it.

CFL's Are a Dim Idea.  In December 2007 President Bush signed an energy bill that included a provision to phase out the use of incandescent light bulbs by 2014.  For Al Gore and fellow environmentalists this was huge victory in their war on global warming and the greenhouse gases that they see as destroying our planet.  But all is not well in enviro-bulb land according to an article in last Saturday's New York Times.  Buyers are finding that the energy saving bulbs aren't living up to their claims and are leaving a lot of customers to wonder what went wrong.

Are Fluorescents Really the Way to Go?  The European Union began the process on Monday [12/8/2008] of moving away from the incandescent light bulb.  But the energy-efficient alternatives may not be all they're cracked up to be.  They contain harmful substances and disposal is difficult.

Do New Bulbs Save Energy if They Don't Work?  It sounds like such a simple thing to do:  buy some new light bulbs, screw them in, save the planet.  But a lot of people these days are finding the new compact fluorescent bulbs anything but simple.  Consumers who are trying them say they sometimes fail to work, or wear out early.  At best, people discover that using the bulbs requires learning a long list of dos and don'ts.

Bachmann is pro-choice on bulbs.  How many members of Congress does it take to change a light bulb? Americans may soon find out, courtesy of a contrarian piece of legislation introduced this month by Rep. Michele Bachmann of Minnesota. … Bachmann, a first-term Republican, is challenging the nation's embrace of energy-efficient compact fluorescent lights, saying the government has no business telling consumers what kind of light bulbs they can buy.

The Light Bulb and the Road to Serfdom.  Who are the "socialists of both parties" in America?  Well, I say if the shoe fits, wear it!  More importantly, who are the champions for freedom, and will they prevail?  One freedom lover is Freshman U.S. Representative Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) who filed the "Light Bulb Freedom of Choice Act" with the in-your-face audacity that inspires freedom lovers everywhere.  Proposing "pro-choice" in lighting, Bachmann's bill calls for rolling back the incandescent light bulb ban contained in the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007.

Fluorescent lights are green, until they burn out.  People like to complain about the new fluorescent light bulbs.  The light isn't warm and friendly, the spiral bulbs don't fit their fixtures, and they don't last as long as claimed.  But the biggest gripe I've heard is how hard it is to unload these bulbs, and that you have to pay for the privilege.  Incandescent light bulbs are easy:  buy, burn and toss.  But not so with compact fluorescent lights (CFLs).

Looming Lightbulb Liability:  The speeding freight train carrying toxic waste liability for makers, sellers and purchasers of compact fluorescent lightbulbs, or CFLs, was only faintly audible in the distance last spring when this column first warned of it.  Now we're beginning to see that environmentalist-stoked train speed toward its victims, whom President Bush and Congress just finished tying to the tracks.

Tyranny update:  Last December, President Bush signed an energy bill that will ban the sale of Edison's incandescent bulb, starting with the 100-watt bulb in 2012 and ending with the 40-watt bulb by 2014. … There's less resistance if liberty is taken away a little bit at a time.

Bush sees the light.  It's taken more than a month, but small-government types are making a big fuss over an energy bill President Bush signed on Dec. 19 that effectively tells Americans what kind of light bulbs they are allowed to use -- not, apparently, incandescent ones.  Starting in 2012, incandescents will be phased out, casualties of what critics say is a comfy win-win relationship between the environmental lobby, big business and big-government conservatives.

In Defense of Incandescence:  Let us now praise incandescence.  Not just the word but the phenomenon, the warm radiance of glowing coals, the soft flare of tungsten filament fire.  Let us praise it because its beauty is suddenly under siege.  For certain grimly utilitarian environmentalists, aesthetic beauty is not an especially important environmental value.  Beauty's glass slipper can't compete with the environmentalists' tiny carbon footprint.

Green boondoggle:  Greens loves CFLs because they use less energy than incandescent bulbs and last for years.  OK, so they cause eye strain, and most can't be used with dimmer switches and the ones that can flicker annoyingly, and they've been known to short out and give off toxic fumes, and they're potential fire hazards, and they contain mercury.  But overall, the greens say, CFLs are good soldiers in the war against global warming.  And you don't want to be for global warming, do you?

Low-energy light bulbs can cause rashes and swelling to sensitive skin, warn experts.  The phasing out of traditional light bulbs could cause misery for thousands who have light-sensitive skin disorders, medical experts warned yesterday.  Dr Robert Sarkany said some low-energy bulbs gave vulnerable people painful rashes and swelling.  He backed calls by patient groups for the Government to give medical exemptions for those at risk.

It's lights out for traditional light bulbs.  Turn out the lights on traditional incandescent bulbs.  A little-noticed provision of the energy bill, which is expected to become law, phases out the 125-year-old bulb in the next four to 12 years in favor of a new generation of energy-efficient lights that will cost consumers more but return their investment in a few months.

Bright Bulbs, Dim Wits.  I recently bought my first energy-saving compact fluorescent bulb. ... The bulb, however, wasn't quite what I expected.  When I first turned it on, it was pretty dim.  I figured I'd bought a dud, until I realized that it needed a few minutes to warm up.  Incandescent bulbs don't need to warm up.

Bye Bye, Light Bulb.  Why worry about making a product so good people feel they have to have it, when you can instead get the government to tell them they have no choice? … If Microsoft could get a law passed requiring users to upgrade Windows, they'd probably go for it, too.  Same with Detroit — "Buy a hybrid, or else!" would probably suit them fine.  But do remember this the next time a company goes to Washington to save the world:  They'll end up doing it at your expense.

To revel in the glow of choice is to court glare of the eco-correct.  Oh, I wish I liked fluorescents — they bring your electricity bill down to $1.95 per year, you get to shake a fist at OPEC, and those curly pig-tail tubes look cool.  But I detest the light.

The bulb hoarders:  The government wants your old-fashioned energy-hungry incandescent tungsten light bulb gone, and gone soon.  But some people are willing to go to great lengths to hang onto the lights they love.

Traditional lightbulbs banned by EU.  The high energy filament bulbs are being phased out in order to improve energy efficiency and meet climate change targets.  The switchover, which will affect all of the European Union's 500 million citizens, was first ordered at a Brussels summit last year as part of an ambitious energy policy to fight climate change.

NYT Surprisingly Attacks Climate Friendly Light Bulb.  There's potentially a larger issue here that these bulbs, and the lack of foresight regarding them, is emblematic of:  capriciously concocted and implemented solutions often cause more problems than they solve.  This is one of the cornerstones of anti-climate alarmism.  In fact, the voices around the world begging governments not to overreact to the hysterical prognostications of folks like Gore do so in an attempt to prevent their nations from enacting policies that not only won't cure this mythical malady, but also might result in potentially more devastating and costly problems down the road.

Does Turning Fluorescent Lights Off Use More Energy Than Leaving Them On?  It's almost always beneficial to shut off fluorescents when leaving the room — the start-up energy is offset by the power saved in even the briefest outages.  But what about the wear and tear on the bulb itself?  Being too switch-happy reduces the operating life of the lamp, and given that newer fluorescents are still a few times more expensive than old-fashioned incandescents, it makes sense to forestall burnouts.  There are also real environmental impacts of their production and disposal to consider.

Looking at Fluorescent Bulbs in Different Light:  It is not just customers who face risks.  Undoubtedly many people will simply dispose of used compact fluorescent light bulbs in the trash.  As John Skinner, executive director of the Solid Waste Association of North American, the group representing those who handle the trash, warned:  "The problem with the bulbs is that they'll break before they get to the landfill.  They'll break in containers, or they'll break in a dumpster or they'll break in the trucks.  Workers may be exposed to very high levels of mercury when that happens."

Warning:  Vacate room when CFL bulb breaks.  The warning comes a month before the British government begins its phase-out of tungsten bulbs, scheduled to be completed in 2011.  The switchover to CFL bulbs will save at least five million tons of carbon dioxide emissions every year, the government said.  Health experts warned this week that people with certain skin ailments will suffer from the new eco-friendly bulbs which cause conditions such as eczema to flare up.  Additionally, the bulbs have been linked to migraine headaches in some people.  The Environment Agency's latest advice focuses on the 6 to 8 milligrams of toxic mercury in each bulb.

The CFL Bulb Is Not Environmentally Friendly.  [Scroll down]  Each bulb contains a small amount of mercury.  You know, the element that greenies get hysterical over when even miniscule traces show up in tuna or other seafood.  They insist that coal-fired electrical plants must be shut down because they produce relatively small amounts of mercury.  Yet, many of the same activists are advocating that billions of traditional incandescent light bulbs be replaced with mercury-containing CFLs. ... And what happens when one breaks a CFL in the home, office, hospital, or school classroom?

Mercury leaks found as new bulbs break.  Compact fluorescent lamps — those spiral, energy-efficient bulbs popular as a device to combat global warming — can pose a small risk of mercury poisoning to infants, young children, and pregnant women if they break, two reports concluded yesterday [2/25/2008]. … For the Maine study, researchers shattered 65 compact fluorescents to test air quality and cleanup methods.

How many government officials does it take to replace ALL your light bulbs?  [Scroll down]  Here is the government's official advice about what to do if [a Compact Fluorescent bulb] accidentally breaks:  everyone must immediately leave the house by some other route, turn off all heating and air conditioning, air out the house for at least 15 minutes, then clean up the glass and put it in a sealed container (they suggest a mason jar).  Next you must throw away any clothing or bedding that may have touched any of the broken glass.  Finally, the "next several times you vacuum," you still have to open windows and shut off all ventilation.

Fluorescent vs. incandescent?  Environmentalists can't decide.  Al Gore says switching from incandescent light bulbs to compact fluorescents can help save the planet from global warming.  California, Canada and the European Union are so persuaded he's right, the three governments are in the process of banning the sale of incandescent light bulbs, following the trailblazing paths of Fidel Castro in Cuba and Hugo Chavez in Venezuela.

Chavez giving low-income Houstonians light bulbs.  Free light bulbs for low-income residents aren't unusual in these days of high electric bills in Texas.  Free light bulbs courtesy of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez are another story.  Citgo Petroleum, the Houston-based refiner owned by the Venezuelan government, will distribute 460,000 compact fluorescent light bulbs to consumers in 11 U.S. cities in the coming months.

Hugo Chavez Orders Venezuelan Army to Change Country's Light Bulbs.  How many people does it take to change a light bulb?  In Venezuela, it apparently takes an army.

Congress bans incandescent bulbs.  In addition to raising auto fuel efficiency standards 40 percent, an energy bill passed by Congress yesterday bans the incandescent light bulb by 2014.  President Bush signed the 822-page measure into law today after it was sent up Pennsylvania Avenue in a Toyota Prius hybrid vehicle.  The House passed the bill by a 314-100 vote after approval by the Senate last week.

The Myth of Compact Florescent Light Bulb Headaches.  Modern, electronically ballasted CFLs refresh themselves at between 10,000 and 40,000 cycles per second, rates too fast for the human eye or brain to detect. … But Magda Havas, an Environmental & Resource Studies Ph.D. at Canada's Trent University, says that some CFLs emit radio frequency radiation that can cause fatigue, dizziness, ringing in the ears, eyestrain, even migraines.

Light-bulb ban craze exceeds disposal plans.  While CFLs arguably use less energy and last longer than incandescents, there is one serious environmental drawback -- the presence of small amounts of highly toxic mercury in each and every bulb.  This poses problems for consumers when breakage occurs and for disposal when bulbs eventually do burn out.  Most consumers, even those already using the CFLs, do not realize the long-term dangers the bulbs pose to the environment and the health of human beings.

Shining a light on hazards of fluorescent bulbs:  When fluorescent bulbs first hit store shelves several years ago, consumers complained about the loud noise they made, their harsh light, their bluish color, their clunky shape and the long time it took for them to warm up.  Since then, the bulbs — known as CFLs — have been revamped, and strict government guidelines have alleviated most of those problems.  But while the bulbs are extremely energy-efficient, one problem hasn't gone away:  All CFLs contain mercury, a neurotoxin that can cause kidney and brain damage.

The Editor says...
Was it "strict government guidelines" that made the manufacturers improve the product, or the fact that nobody would buy expensive bulbs with all those drawbacks?

Consumers in dark over risks of new light bulbs.  There is no problem disposing of incandescents when their life is over.  You can throw them in the trash can and they won't hurt the garbage collector.  They won't leech deadly compounds into the air or water.  They won't kill people working in the landfills.  The same cannot be said about the mercury-containing CFLs.  They bear disposal warnings on the packaging.

Not a bright idea.  I've been working in the political realm for decades now.  And every time some politician or activist cooks up a new cause, a new regulation or tax, I wonder if anything could be more absurd than this.  Now I have to wonder again.  This is a truly stupid idea.

A Lightbulb Tea Party?  Another kick-in-the-teeth to consumers is the new mandate to phase-out incandescent lightbulbs in favor of compact fluorescent lightbulbs (CFLs).  The 100-watt incandescent light bulb will be the first to go in 2012.  It's bad enough that the federal government wants to dictate what sort of lighting we can have in our own homes, but it expects us to pay up for mercury-containing CFLs (up to $5 for a CFL vs. $0.75 for a standard incandescent bulb) which are inferior in quality and function, and which require special handling and disposal procedures.

CFL Bulbs Have One Hitch:  Toxic Mercury.  The Environmental Protection Agency and some large business, including Wal-Mart, are aggressively promoting the sale of compact fluorescent light bulbs as a way to save energy and fight global warming.  They want Americans to buy many millions of them over the coming years.  But the bulbs contain small amounts of mercury, a neurotoxin, and the companies and federal government haven't come up with effective ways to get Americans to recycle them.

Better bulbs are a bright idea — mandate is not.  Not every good idea needs to become a government mandate … and it's irksome to see lawmakers interfere in mundane consumer choices.  With new technologies offering more and better choices to bulb buyers, they don't need Congress' opinion about what to put in the shopping cart.

Mercury in Energy-Saving Bulbs Worries Scientists.  Mercury is poisonous, but it's also a necessary part of most compact fluorescent bulbs, the kind that environmentalists and some governments are pushing as a way to cut energy use.  With an estimated 150 million CFLs sold in the United States in 2006 and with Wal-Mart alone hoping to sell 100 million this year, some scientists and environmentalists are worried that most are ending up in garbage dumps.

The Candle Mandate.  [Scroll down] Reading with these CFLS can be hard.  Maybe you'll need two or three instead of one when you sit down with your newspaper.  They cost maybe five times more than what your light bulb today costs.  They are going to be too big for a lot of your lamps and chandeliers, meaning you'll have to scoot to the store for new ones.  A biggie is that they contain mercury, which is poisonous. … Even if you never break a CFL, you're not allowed to just throw used ones away with your trash.  Because of the mercury, you will have to dispose of them in some special way.

Nuclear energy:  Power play.  Maryland's Allegheny Energy recently mailed two compact fluorescent light bulbs to each of its customers.  Imagine the indignation when those customers noticed a $12 charge for the unsolicited mailing.  Despite promises that the bulbs would save money, help the environment and prevent blackouts, Allegheny's customers were peeved.

More unsolicited bulbs:
The wasteful avalanche of 12 million light bulbs.  Twelve million low-energy light bulbs were posted to households over Christmas by an energy company as part of its legal obligation to cut carbon emissions, despite government advice that many would never be used.  Npower sent out the packages last month to escape a ban on issuing unsolicited bulbs, which came into force yesterday [1/1/2010].

Free energy saving bulbs 'cost £45'.  Each household has ended up paying £45 for the free energy saving light bulbs that have been sent to them by their electricity supplier, according to a leading watchdog.

Please Don't Mandate Compact Flourescent Lamps!  There are a number of reports of fires caused by CFLs near the end of their life.  Consumers have been advised to discard CFLs if they notice browning at the base of the bulb.  However, this reduced the useful life of the bulb (therefore increasing the cost) and most consumers will not inspect bulbs that are operating normally.  CFLs produce ultraviolet light, which is converted to visible light by a phosphor coating.  Some ultraviolet light is released from the bulb, but little information is being made available about the amount of UV light released by a CFL.  CFLs produce less light as they age.  CFLs are not well-suited for use in areas where they are turned on and off frequently.

Light bulbs spark safety fears.  The safety of energy-saving light bulbs is under review over concerns the low-cost green alternative may emit potentially harmful ultraviolet radiation.  Health Canada launched the study in December to test compact fluorescent bulbs to see if they emit ultraviolet radiation.

The energy-saving light bulbs that could leave you red-faced... from UV radiation.  They are being foisted on us as a way of saving energy.  But it seems some eco-friendly light bulbs may not be as good for us as we thought.  According to Government scientists, many of the bulbs emit more than the guideline rate of harmful ultraviolet radiation.

CFL Light Bulbs In Texas — Not The Brightest Idea?  Some of the mercury emitted from landfills — in the form of vaporous methyl-mercury — can get into the food chain more readily than inorganic elemental mercury released directly from a broken bulb or even coal-fired power plants, according to government scientist Steve Lindberg.  "Disposal of any mercury-contaminated material in landfills is absolutely alarming to me," said Lindberg, emeritus fellow of the U.S. Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory.

A bunch of dim bulbs in Washington.  A great many unkind things have been said about our current Congress — many of them merited.  But nothing this august body has done this session has more exemplified its meddling ineptitude than its decision to phase out incandescent light bulbs, of all things, beginning in 2012. … One thing is clear:  When light bulbs are outlawed, only outlaws will have light bulbs.

GE Promises New Incandescents Will Rival Energy Efficiency of Those Trendy CFLs.  GE is working to improve the incandescent light bulb in ways that GE says "potentially will elevate the energy efficiency of this 125-year-old technology to levels comparable to compact fluorescent lamps (CFL), delivering significant environmental benefits." … GE calls the bulbs "high efficiency incandescent" or HEI, and says it would replace traditional 40- to 100-watt household incandescent light bulbs, the most popular lamp type used by consumers today.

The View from the Island:  In a mere few years, you will no longer be able to decide for yourself what type of lighting you wish to enjoy in your own home; the Government has made that decision for you.  Do you like the warmth and intimacy of the golden hue of a SoftGlow bulb in your living room?  Tough!  Do you find fluorescent light to be flat and harsh?  Tough!  Does the sub-perceptual "flickering" give you headaches?  Tough!  Does the high price of CFLs strike you as being a waste of your hard-earned money?  Tough again!

Man's fear over light bulb change.  A man who claims low energy light bulbs leave his eyes severely irritated is worried about phasing out older bulbs.  Adrian Nielsen, 63, from Swansea, says his eyes became bloodshot, watery and uncomfortable after fitting energy-efficient bulbs throughout his home.  He fears other people could have similar problems.

Labour peer set to make a fortune out of eco-bulbs.  A former Labour Cabinet Minister is expecting to make a fortune from the Government's controversial decision to phase out traditional light bulbs and replace them with a low-energy version.  Lord Barnett, who was Treasury Chief Secretary in the Seventies and later vice-chairman of the BBC, is a major investor in a company that stands to reap massive profits as the new-style bulbs are recycled.

Say 'Bye Bye' to the Edison Light Bulb.  Congress just loves to micromanage our lives.  Now they are determining the kinds of light bulbs we should use.  One of the provisions in the energy bill that taxpayers are starting to read about is the mandate that bans the incandescent bulb by 2012.


Frame on loan from "I was Framed!"
Research has shown that Thomas Edison once undertook and then abandoned work on Compact Fluorescent bulbs more than a century ago.

This is an original compilation, Copyright © 2014 by Andrew K. Dart

The nasty little surprise hidden in the new energy bill:  On December 19, President Bush signed an energy bill that will, among many, many other things, force you to buy a new kind of light bulb.  He did this because environmental enthusiasts don't like the light bulbs you're using now.  He and they reason, therefore, that you shouldn't be allowed to have them.  So now you can't.

Somewhere, Mr. Edison Gently Weeps.  [Scroll down] But for those bugged by nitpicking flexings of government muscle, the most irritating provision [of the energy bill] may well be the bill's banning of incandescent bulbs.  The bulbs aren't banned outright.  Rather, beginning in 2012 a set of increasingly stringent lumen-per-watt standards will eliminate conventional incandescents.  100-watters will be the first to go.  In their place we'll have to use compact fluorescent lights (CFLs) or other new-fangled lights.

No Toilets Left Behind:  A bill that should have been flushed.  There shouldn't be any mystery why these laws fail.  They all involve Congress trying to force the public into using something the marketplace has rejected.  If newfangled toilets or increased ethanol usage actually made sense, they would catch on without heavy-handed government mandates.  Ditto the required modifications to appliances.  More often than not, this kind of government interference with the free market works to the detriment of consumers.  Washington may think it is passing energy bills, but all it's really doing is proving the law of unintended consequences.

Congress Conjures Up an Energy Deficit.  Does the new "energy bill" permit for drilling and extraction of the millions, perhaps billions, of barrels of oil in Alaska's ANWR?  No.  Does the new bill encourage the exploration for oil and natural gas off the nation's continental shelf on our vast east and west coasts?  No.  Did it give the oil companies any tax breaks to build the billion-dollar refineries the nation needs?  No.  Did it encourage the building of nuclear plants?  No.

Greenhouse Affect:  The ink is still moist on Capitol Hill's latest energy bill and, as if on cue, a scientific avalanche is demolishing its assumptions.  To wit, trendy climate-change policies like ethanol and other biofuels are actually worse for the environment than fossil fuels.  Then again, Washington's energy neuroses are more political than practical, so it's easy for the Solons and greens to ignore what would usually be called evidence.

Energy-saving light bulbs blamed for migraines.  The energy-saving light bulbs that will be made compulsory in homes in a few years can trigger migraines, campaigners have claimed.  The Migraine Action Association (MAA) said some of its members alleged the fluorescent bulbs had led to attacks of the powerful headaches.  By 2011, Britain will be the first European country to phase out traditional bulbs as part of a strategy to reduce carbon dioxide emissions.

Environmentally friendly light bulbs 'can damage your skin', doctors warn.  New energy-saving bulbs produce a more intense light which can cause eruptions of existing skin problems, like eczema, and even lead to skin cancer, they claim.  The revelation comes after health experts warned the fluorescent bulbs, which are to become compulsory in homes within four years, could trigger migraines and cause dizziness and discomfort to people with epilepsy.

The Dangers of Those Energy-Saving Light Bulbs:  It's listed as the top thing you can do by Al Gore's Web site on climate change to reduce your carbon impact at home — replacing a regular incandescent light bulb with a compact fluorescent light bulb (CFL).  But Gore doesn't warn you about what could happen if you improperly dispose of them or even accidentally break one.

Warning About Energy-Efficient Light Bulbs.  The EPA, the government's own environment watchdog agency, is stepping up a campaign about saving energy safely.  That's because the energy-efficient fluorescent light bulbs, or CFLs, contain mercury — a small amount.  Here's what you have to do if you break one of these new bulbs.  First, open a window and leave the room for 15 minutes. …

The Editor says...
There goes all the energy you saved — out the window!  In addition, turning a CFL on and off frequently shortens its life, which is why the government's Energy Star program suggests you leave them on for at least 15 minutes at a time.*  Of course, if you only needed the light on for a minute, there goes the environmental benefit down the drain.  And sure, CFLs contain mercury, but you can drive across town to the Ikea store to have them recycled.  Of course, if you have to travel across the county to get to the Ikea store, that's a lot of driving, and away goes the environmental benefit again.

Australia pulls plug on old bulbs.  Australia has announced plans to ban incandescent light bulbs and replace them with more energy efficient fluorescent bulbs.  The environment minister said the move could cut the country's greenhouse gas emissions by 4 million tonnes by 2012.  "It's a little thing but it's a massive change," Malcolm Turnbull said.  The decision will make Australia the first country to ban the light bulbs, although the idea has also been proposed in the US state of California.

Subsidy for bulbs 'wasted'.  The flawed scheme to cut greenhouse gas abatements by giving away lightbulbs has squandered an estimated $60 million of NSW taxpayers' money, the State Opposition says. ... It was claimed initially that as many as 80 percent of the lightbulbs given away were installed.  But later surveys found most households never installed them, and that only four out of 10 of the lightbulbs were ever used.  As a result, the Government has significantly overstated the greenhouse gas emissions saved under the abatement scheme.

New Zealand switches off old light bulbs.  New Zealand has decided to disconnect the traditional light bulb from its power socket.  Starting 2009, the New Zealand government has decided to ban traditional light bulbs, in favour of energy-saving alternatives, according to a statement by New Zealand's energy minister David Parker.

New Zealand bans bulbs.  New Zealand will ban traditional light bulb sales from October 2009 to cut greenhouse gas emissions and save up to half a billion dollars in energy costs over 12 years, the government said Tuesday [6/17/2008].

Light Bulbs, Gas Changing as U.S. Energy Bill Passes.  The light bulbs in almost every U.S. home and the gasoline in many cars will be altered by energy legislation that the U.S. House of Representatives passed today.  President George W. Bush plans to sign the bill tomorrow.  The measure, approved 314-100, slashes U.S. energy use 8 percent by 2030, environmentalists say.  It contains the first new vehicle fuel economy law in 32 years and mandates a fourfold increase in the use of biofuels.  The bill, already approved by the Senate, phases out incandescent light bulbs, which have been in use for a century, and places the first limits on the amount of water used in new washing machines and dishwashers.

Reid:  Banning Incandescent Bulb Appropriate Federal Act.  Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D.-Nev.) told Cybercast News Service yesterday [12/19/2007] that a provision in the new energy law that will effectively ban the use of the incandescent light bulb in the United States by 2020 was an appropriate exercise of federal power.

Energy law pulls plug on Edison's light bulb.  The light bulb Thomas Edison invented 125 years ago is getting more than a make-over.  The government is pulling the plug on it.  The landmark energy bill President George W. Bush signed into law on Wednesday [12/19/2007] will require lighting to use up to 30 percent less energy, which will basically phase out the traditional light bulb because it won't be able to meet the new efficiency standards.

USA Today Reporter ignores environmental and financial downsides of high-tech light bulbs.  The light bulb provision phases out traditional bulbs by gradually increasing efficiency requirements through 2020.  Conveniently for manufacturers like Philips, which has been pushing for legislation that would phase out incandescent bulbs (and level the playing field among competitors while giving Philips the public relations credit), the compact fluorescent bulbs (CFLs) already meet the 2020 requirement.

The Light Bulb Over Hillary's Head:  If Thomas Edison's invention of the incandescent light bulb is the perfect symbol of how an entrepreneur can exploit American freedom to create a product that changes the world, then Sen. Hillary Clinton's plan to rid this nation of incandescent bulbs may be the perfect symbol of how Americans can lose their freedom to a government bent on changing the world.  Yes, Mrs. Clinton has it in for incandescent light bulbs. ... The statist transformation Mrs. Clinton envisions would not only abolish Mr. Edison's light bulb, but put out the light of freedom by which such inventions are made.

Stock up on light bulbs now.  You hear that argument all over — that mandating the bulbs will really be good for customers because it'll save them money and time and, for all we know, lumps in the gravy.  Why, they're miracles, if only you slobs knew what was good for you, which is why they must be mandated, because you're too dim to recognize why a $4 bulb with weird light quality is better for you than a 50-cent bulb with normal, bright light.  In short, you can't figure out what's in your own interest.

Light Bulb Lunacy.  How much money does it take to screw in a compact fluorescent lightbulb?  About $4.28 for the bulb and labor — unless you break the bulb.  Then you, like Brandy Bridges of Ellsworth, Maine, could be looking at a cost of about $2,004.28, which doesn't include the costs of frayed nerves and risks to health.

Costly savings.  In response to the urging that we all replace our incandescent bulbs with compact fluorescent bulbs — and thus save the planet — I have in recent months been changing from incandescent to fluorescent bulbs.  My experiences have not been what I expected.  So far, after only months (in one case weeks), four of the CFL bulbs have burned out.  I e-mailed the manufacturer and got a response admonishing me that, among other things, my wiring might be the cause of the premature failure.  I had no problem with the wiring previously.

The Battle of the Bulb:  Compact fluorescent bulbs may use fewer kilowatts, thus using less electricity, but that doesn't necessarily make them the most environmentally friendly choice.  Right now, CFLs are not manufactured in the US, but in China, where environmental manufacturing policies would make Greenpeace activists choke. ... Banning the incandescent light bulb is simply the latest in a long list of ways for big government advocates for regulating the minutiae of your everyday living.

The Three Amigos of Climate Change.  Hugo Chavez, Fidel Castro and Malcolm Turnbull have all championed the idea of banning incandescent light bulbs in favour of fluorescent ones. ... But at least the communists gave fluorescent bulbs away for free. ... In Cuba, Castro has enforced his light bulb giveaway by using thousands of students, euphemistically called "social workers", to enter people's homes, whether they like it or not, and change the bulbs.  At the same time, they take an inventory of electrical appliances in the home.

NBC Promotes Toxic Chinese Light Bulbs.  The Alliance for Climate Protection, which is part of Al Gore's Live Earth campaign, tells people that by using compact fluorescent light (CFL) bulbs, they can save energy, save money and live longer.  But they fail to mention that the bulbs are made in communist China and are potentially hazardous to human health.

Somebody should turn the lights on.  Behind global warming guru Al Gore is global warming guru mastermind Maurice Strong. … The latest ambition of this deadly duo is to ban the incandescent light bulb worldwide … Problem is Gore and his shadow don't intend to stop with banning the incandescent light bulb. … Gore's shadow Strong is a self-professed depopulationist.

How many politicians does it take to change a light bulb?  [Australian] Federal Environment Minister Malcolm Turnbull is announcing today [2/20/2007] that conventional, incandescent light bulbs are to be phased out over the next three years and replaced with energy-saving globes.  [This is followed by a list of known issues with Compact Fluorescent Bulbs.]

Compact Fluoro Lights.  In a sad world first, the Australian government has decided to burnish its Green credentials by banning ordinary light globes.  In three years time, Australians will be able to buy compact fluorescents only.  The idea is that the fluoros use electricity more efficiently.  That much is true.  But the drawbacks of the fluoros are many.

Fluorescent lighting is an incandescent issue.  In California, an estimated 73 million incandescent light bulbs and 6 million compact fluorescents are sold each year, the state Energy Commission said.  Slightly more than half of California homes had at least one compact fluorescent bulb in 2005.  The average house has 40 bulbs, with about 10 percent of those being compact fluorescents.

Fluorescent Bulbs Must Be Disposed Of Properly.  While experts agree compact fluorescents are safe to use, and the EPA even recommends them over traditional bulbs, the bulbs contain about 5 milligrams of the heavy metal -- roughly equivalent to the tip of a ball point pen.  Last February, California state legislators concerned about soil and groundwater contamination passed a law requiring mandatory recycling of all fluorescent bulbs.  That means you can no longer just throw them away when they burn out or break.

Bill to Ban Regular Light Bulbs Introduced in House.  A Democratic lawmaker has introduced a bill that would ban the sale of traditional incandescent light bulbs — which are less energy-efficient, prompting claims that they contribute to "global warming" — one day after a colleague told a press conference that legislating a ban would be a "last choice."

The Federal Light Bulb Police Squad Has Been Established.  Apparently the dim bulbs in Congress (2 watts, max) are upset at being so easily shown up so they have decided to outlaw the competition.

Ban the Bulb?  CFL lightbulbs have been around for well over a decade.  Only recently have they come in enough varieties and flavors to capture about 10% of the available sockets.  But they are still at least 5 times more expensive than regular incandescents, which if replaced in their entirety would cost consumers an extra $4 to 5 billion at the cash register. … And guess where the extra purchase prices for these CFLs will wind up?  In the pockets of Chinese manufacturers, because not a single CFL is produced in the US.

Elsewhere in the energy bill...
Were We Asleep?  We've committed ourselves to a specific volume of liquid fuels that automobiles might not even need 15 years from now, and with a financing deficit of hundreds of billions of dollars. This approach is wrong in every imaginable way.

Wal-Mart Puts Some Muscle Behind Power-Sipping Bulbs.  As a way to cut energy use, it could not be simpler.  Unscrew a light bulb that uses a lot of electricity and replace it with one that uses much less.  While it sounds like a promising idea, it turns out that the long-lasting, swirl-shaped light bulbs known as compact fluorescent lamps are to the nation's energy problem what vegetables are to its obesity epidemic:  a near perfect answer, if only Americans could be persuaded to swallow them.

Wal-Mart's move is not about light bulbs.  It is all about public relations:

Shining the Light on Wal-Mart's Corporate Social Responsibility Blind Spot.  Wal-Mart's emphasis on fluorescent lighting illuminates a much deeper problem.  First, it illustrates the company doesn't understand the nature of its battle or the motivation of its adversaries.  For the Left and its socialism leanings, Wal-Mart is a symbol of capitalism and free enterprise.  This represents a mortal threat to labor unions and aspiring liberal politicians who value economic equality through wealth redistribution.

Leftists criticize Wal-Mart for lots of other reasons as well.

Philips Lighting CEO Says Industry at "Tipping Point" on Energy-Saving Bulbs.  European light bulb makers are close to an agreement in principle to work together on phasing out energy-wasting incandescent bulbs for the consumer market, the chief executive of Royal Philips Electronics NV's lighting division said Monday.

Green Light Districts:  So the environmentalists have decided that light bulbs are the latest indicator of civilizational decline.  Compared to "sustainable" sources, conventional incandescent lighting uses too much electricity, and hence is responsible for emitting greenhouse gases and global warming.  The only solution is for government to ban incorrect bulbs.

Fluorescent lights giving pupils headaches.  Children are increasingly being put at risk of headaches because of the amount of fluorescent lighting in schools, researchers claim.  Eight in 10 classrooms in England are fitted with excessively bright and flickering lights which have been linked to eye strain and loss of concentration, a Cambridge University study says today.  It claims the problem has been exacerbated by the use of computerised whiteboards and poor classroom design.

Energy-saving lightbulbs branded a health hazard.  New energy-efficient lightbulbs could pose a threat to the elderly and to people with less-than-perfect eyesight, it was claimed yesterday [10/8/2007].  The Labour peer Baroness Hollis of Heigham told the House of Lords the bulbs took much longer than standard ones to light up fully and were potentially dangerous on stairs and landings.

Go 20 Years Without Changing a Light Bulb.  LEDs, while more pricey than compact fluorescent lights, are growing in popularity, in part because advanced semiconductor technology has made them much brighter than in the past and because they are viewed by some as greener than other lighting on the market.

[You could theoretically build your own LED lights, if you have some experience with electronic construction, but you'd have to be motivated by more than frugality.  More information about individual super-bright LEDS for the do-it-yourself experimenter can be found here.]

CFLs are just an intermediate step between incandescent bulbs and LED fixtures.
Green Promise Seen in Switch to LED Lighting.  LED lighting was once relegated to basketball scoreboards, cellphone consoles, traffic lights and colored Christmas lights.  But as a result of rapid developments in the technology, it is now poised to become common on streets and in buildings, as well as in homes and offices.  Some American cities, including Ann Arbor, Mich., and Raleigh, N.C., are using the lights to illuminate streets and parking garages, and dozens more are exploring the technology.

LED bulbs in the home:  So far, so good.  I more or less ditched incandescent bulbs for more efficient compact fluorescents in my house years ago.  But at this point, I'm awfully close to ditching CFLs for the latest in lighting technology:  LEDs.

New Laser Treatment Could Make Incandescent Bulbs as Efficient as Fluorescent.  Thanks to a bit of ingenuity, Chunlei Guo, associate professor of optics at the University of Rochester, and his assistant Anatoliy Vorobyev have been able to squeeze out fluorescent-like energy performance from an incandescent light bulb.  The breakthrough boils down to a laser treatment of the bulb's tungsten filament, a processing step which could one day become a standard in the light bulb industry.

Somewhat relevant:
Hidden Inflection Points.  I love the story of the light bulb.  We often credit Edison for its invention, but few know that his famous practical, inexpensive incandescent bulb was essentially an iteration of another light bulb invented a year earlier by a British scientist by the name of Joseph Swan.  And even fewer people may realize that by the time Edison "invented" them in the late 1870s, electrically powered light bulbs had been in slow, steady development for decades.  Better still: only a few months after Edison received his patent, he'd already moved on to the next iteration, which increased the bulb's life a thousand-fold.  The story of Edison and his light bulb isn't just a story of invention; it's about the invariable trajectory of progress.

5 Ways Liberals Misjudge the American People:  [Scroll down slowly]  Why would anyone need a SUV or a gun?  You don't REALLY need those things.  Also, liberals know what your salary should be, how your children should be taught, and what words you should be allowed to use without hurting anyone else's feelings.  Oh, you want to pick your own lightbulb?  Nonsense:  You might do it wrong!  Let liberals tell you which one you need.  There's just something about liberalism that turns most of its practitioners, no matter how dumb or incompetent they may be, into finger wagging professors who want to lecture the rest of the country about how to live their lives.

Behold the noodle of tyranny
In conclusion...
When you buy compact fluorescent light bulbs, you are importing mercury and exporting jobs to China.  If CFLs are so great, why do they have to be mandated by the federal government?  Why not let the consumer decide what he or she wants?  Consumers have clearly demonstrated already that CFLs are not what they want.  The incandescent bulb is being phased out because it is considered inefficient.  Isn't ironic that our overgrown federal government is setting standards for efficiency?




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Updated May 15, 2014.

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