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Incandescent Bulbs Get a Reprieve

Soulskill posted about a year ago | from the every-comment-must-contain-the-words-'free-market' dept.

Government 767

An anonymous reader writes "A new budget deal reached today by the U.S. Congress walks back the energy efficiency standards that would have forced the phase out of incandescent bulbs. 'These ideas were first enacted during the Bush administration, via the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007. Incandescent bulbs were unable to meet the standards, so they would eventually be forced off the market in favor of LEDs and compact fluorescent bulbs. But Republicans have since soured on the bill, viewing it as an intrusion on the market and attempting to identify it with President Obama. Recent Congresses have tried many times to repeal the standards, but these have all been blocked. However, U.S. budgets are often used as a vehicle to get policies enacted that couldn't pass otherwise, since having an actual budget is considered too valuable to hold up over relatively minor disputes. The repeal of these standards got attached to the budget and will be passed into law with it.'"

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Freakin' Riders. (3, Insightful)

jerpyro (926071) | about a year ago | (#45957819)

I'm not sure whether to be happy about this or not. We need energy efficiency, but I still hate CFLs :)

Re:Freakin' Riders. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45957929)

Well, Bush signed it into law and now Obama is repealing it. Does that affect your opinion?

Re:Freakin' Riders. (5, Insightful)

lgw (121541) | about a year ago | (#45958023)

Not mine - Dems and Pubs are both asshats. Any change that reduces the intrusion of government into my daily habits is a good change, regardless of party.

Re:Freakin' Riders. (4, Informative)

Sponge Bath (413667) | about a year ago | (#45958211)

Well, Bush signed it into law and now Obama is repealing it. Does that affect your opinion?

Probably not. Obamaphone is the moniker applied to the assistance program started by Reagan and expanded by Bush. The origin of a program does not seem to matter.

Re:Freakin' Riders. (1)

icebike (68054) | about a year ago | (#45958221)

Well, Bush signed it into law and now Obama is repealing it. Does that affect your opinion?

Well that's not the way TFA or the summary reads, but its probably closer to the truth then the obviously biased TFA.

Eliminating incandescent bulbs is nobody's priority anymore, because CFCs are getting cheap enough that that they sell themselves, even to poor people who don't have a lot of money to spend on expensive bulbs, and the market penetration is almost universal, except for those situations where CFCs still don't work well.

I suspect that the same price trajectory will be followed by LED bulbs, and the problem will solve itself. (It always was going to do this anyway, as just taking longer than some people wanted).

My power company gave me free CFCs several years ago. They gave them to everyone who would take them. It was cheaper than running another gas plant for even a few days.

Re:Freakin' Riders. (4, Informative)

jandrese (485) | about a year ago | (#45958295)

Eliminating incandescent bulbs is nobody's priority anymore, because CFCs are getting cheap enough that that they sell themselves, even to poor people who don't have a lot of money to spend on expensive bulbs, and the market penetration is almost universal, except for those situations where CFCs still don't work well.

I think you mean CFLs.

Poor people still won't buy them, because the incandescent ones will still be cheaper. It's one example of why it's so expensive to be poor.

Re:Freakin' Riders. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45958233)

"But Republicans have since soured on the bill, viewing it as an intrusion on the market and attempting to identify it with President Obama."

Really? Obama is repealing it?

Re:Freakin' Riders. (4, Interesting)

roc97007 (608802) | about a year ago | (#45957931)

I really suspect that generations from now, the human race will look back at CFLs and say WHAT were we THINKING?

Re:Freakin' Riders. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45957975)

Like vacuum tubes instead of transistors?

Re:Freakin' Riders. (1)

icebike (68054) | about a year ago | (#45958279)

Like vacuum tubes instead of transistors?

Vacuum tubes are still used in several applications, and they didn't include mercury.

Re:Freakin' Riders. (2)

roc97007 (608802) | about a year ago | (#45958291)

Like vacuum tubes instead of transistors?

Not really. Vacuum tubes were a viable solution at the time and have uses even today. (I was reading just the other day that a vacuum tube will still handle higher voltages than semiconductors. Or something like that.)

Specifically, I meant trading one type of pollution for a different, potentially longer lasting type of pollution.

Re:Freakin' Riders. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45958067)

They will become hipster-trendy in the future, sort of like an art deco ice cream cone.

Re:Freakin' Riders. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45958107)

Probably something along the lines of "If you take a T4 tube and coil it up you can fit it complete with electronic ballast/starter in a roughly bulb-shaped envelope."

Re:Freakin' Riders. (5, Interesting)

Bing Tsher E (943915) | about a year ago | (#45958141)

More like: they thought it was a good thing to ban a simple glass tube with a filament in it and replace it with a circuit board with electrolytic capacitors and a glass tube with mercury vapor in it?

Re:Freakin' Riders. (1)

hawguy (1600213) | about a year ago | (#45958285)

More like: they thought it was a good thing to ban a simple glass tube with a filament in it and replace it with a circuit board with electrolytic capacitors and a glass tube with mercury vapor in it?

More like, they thought it was a good idea to create light by heating a piece of metal until it glows? How did they find power for their hoverboards when they wasted all that energy with inefficient lighting?

Re:Freakin' Riders. (4, Insightful)

gurps_npc (621217) | about a year ago | (#45958239)

Unlikely.

Most children already do it the other way around - they say "incandescent bulbs - WHAT were we THINKING?

They make no sense and CFL's make a ton of sense.

Simple way to tell who's right and who's wrong - look at which side is lying. CFL side repeatedly tells the truth, while the incandescent people repeatedly lie about things like price and pollution.

Re:Freakin' Riders. (2)

roc97007 (608802) | about a year ago | (#45958325)

Enh. If you say so. Save this article, it'll be interesting to see if you feel the same in a few years. Former CFL proponents are already starting to admit that CFLs have problems now that LEDs are becoming more common.

Re:Freakin' Riders. (3, Interesting)

Shados (741919) | about a year ago | (#45957959)

I used to like CFL, but disposing of them in an environment friendly manner is a pain, and since they stop working way before they're supposed to, you have to deal with that a little too often for my taste.

I recently bought a place (fairly large loft, so it uses track lighting...maybe 30-35 bulbs), and about 1/3rd of the bulbs needed to be replaced. They're a pain to change, so I went ahead and got LEDs... they weren't much more expensive than CFL.

Unless I get surprises like I did with CFL originally (and from reading around, I shouldn't...), they're so much better. Light looks more natural, use less energy, equivalent bulbs are brighter, they're harder to break, and they're more reliable... Pretty cheap now too.

Re:Freakin' Riders. (2)

noh8rz10 (2716597) | about a year ago | (#45958015)

I don't like LEDs because they last 20+ years... I don't need to make that big an investment in my lighting future!

Re:Freakin' Riders. (3, Funny)

Ralph Spoilsport (673134) | about a year ago | (#45958235)

So, pass them on to your children. And would you hurry up and die already.

Re:Freakin' Riders. (1)

lgw (121541) | about a year ago | (#45958263)

They're getting cheap though, especially the Cree bulbs (at least, in my Home Depot).

The light color isn't quite right - not enough red, so it looks a bit too yellow. I guess that's inherent in "high efficiency", the lack of red, but still: close, but not perfect. Still, they're naturally dimmable, seem quite robust unlike the CFLs I've had detonate on me, come on fast, and are "good enough" for most things.

But I still want a couple of bulbs I can dim to firelight orange-red for watching the occasional movie or just setting the mood. I'm glad I still have that option.

Re:Freakin' Riders. (1)

icebike (68054) | about a year ago | (#45958331)

Well, as soon as you get your own house or condo your mind will change.
Admittedly, its hard to justify LEDs when you plan to be moving in a few months.

Re:Freakin' Riders. (1)

Richy_T (111409) | about a year ago | (#45958287)

I'm starting to slowly switch in LEDs now. I don't want to do it all at once as price is bound to drop and quality improve with time.

I tried to get into CFL early. My first bulb went out after a week and I've had varying success in my more recent endeavors but it has been clear for a long time that CFLs simply do not cut it. LED or another technology was always going to be king and we didn't need stupid government ramming stuff down our throats.

Likely we will even see a revolution in lighting. When you don't actually need to conform to the bulb paradigm, that opens up a lot of new options.

Re:Freakin' Riders. (4, Insightful)

NewWorldDan (899800) | about a year ago | (#45957961)

It's something that wouldn't have passed in the first place if it had been a stand alone bill. So while the problem may also be the cure, the damage may already be done. There may now be enough of a disruption to supply that incandescents are dead anyway.

Either way, I've got my stockpile and most of my house is converted to LEDs which I'm very happy with. CFLs still suck and should be banned.

Re:Freakin' Riders. (-1, Troll)

MrBigInThePants (624986) | about a year ago | (#45957983)

You should not.

The human race has failed yet again at increasing its long term survival chances due to it valuing short term gain more highly.

In this case it is doubly stupid since CFLs save you money as well...

Re:Freakin' Riders. (2)

Wamoc (1263324) | about a year ago | (#45958119)

In this case it is doubly stupid since CFLs save you money as well...

Not always. I have some fixtures in my house that if I put a CFL in it will burn out in a week or two, but putting a good old incandescent bulb in there will last a year or two. That light is used for about 5 minutes a day, so I save a lot of money by putting in incandescents. Just because on paper something can save you money, doesn't mean that in practice it does. Those figures are from perfect condition labs, not how people actually use them.

Re:Freakin' Riders. (1)

hawguy (1600213) | about a year ago | (#45958339)

In this case it is doubly stupid since CFLs save you money as well...

Not always. I have some fixtures in my house that if I put a CFL in it will burn out in a week or two, but putting a good old incandescent bulb in there will last a year or two. That light is used for about 5 minutes a day, so I save a lot of money by putting in incandescents. Just because on paper something can save you money, doesn't mean that in practice it does. Those figures are from perfect condition labs, not how people actually use them.

Seems unlikely, unless it's your oven light or on a piece of electrical equipment with a big enough motor to cause vibrations and large power spikes. Not even a small enclosed fixture will kill a CFL in 35 minutes.

Re:Freakin' Riders. (2)

tompaulco (629533) | about a year ago | (#45958255)

How do CFLs save you money? They cost 10 times as much, don't last any longer, and the only real savings is the energy cost over the short life of the bulb. The energy savings is not enough to justify the extra cost. Then you can't just throw them in the trash, they have to be recycled. The wikipedia article for CFL reads like an advertisement. But I've used probably 30 or more CFLs and I can tell you, the lifespan is not there, and therefore, neither are the savings.

Re:Freakin' Riders. (1)

Richy_T (111409) | about a year ago | (#45958313)

LED will smush CFLs stupid face in the dirt.

And then give it a wedgie.

Re:Freakin' Riders. (1)

Ralph Spoilsport (673134) | about a year ago | (#45958219)

Use LEDs. I do. They're FINE.

Re:Freakin' Riders. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45958355)

I'd rather waste power than fill our landfills with mercury. CFLs should have been banned except for commercial use. The average idiot is too lazy to recycle them properly. On top of that, I've had CFLs split open when they die, which put mercury into the air. Sucks.

Wattage? (2)

XanC (644172) | about a year ago | (#45957825)

Does this go all the way back to the 100W bulbs that were banned a while back? Or only the recent banning of >40W?

Re:Wattage? (4, Interesting)

roc97007 (608802) | about a year ago | (#45958077)

Does this go all the way back to the 100W bulbs that were banned a while back? Or only the recent banning of >40W?

I'll let you in on a little secret: 100W incandescent bulbs are still available. The ban had a loophole for "hard usage incandescents" used in (for instance) outside industrial applications. They're available on Amazon, cost about $2.50 each, and last significantly longer than commercial incandescents. Now that the longevity of CFLs have been value-engineered to worthlessness, I'm switching back to "hard usage" incandescents as my CFLs burn out. I'm interested in LEDs, but I suspect that by the time the price drops significantly, they will also have lost much of their longevity advantage.

Re:Wattage? (3, Informative)

Impy the Impiuos Imp (442658) | about a year ago | (#45958249)

I assume "hard usage" won't burn out as a porch light every 6 weeks?

I'm old enough to remember the electric company giving out free bulb replacements for burnt out ones (early 1970s). They lasted a lot longer, like indestructible bakelite landline phones you rented.

They stopped because of another government intervention -- a lawsuit by Phillips claiming Edison and others were, by giving them out for free, restraining trade.

So government fucks you and interferes one way or another. God damn, is their no limit to their interfering presience?

Follow the money, AKA follow the politics, AKA follow the money. Somebody, well, two somebodies get their pocket lined, burping up feel-good memes that will, if designed properly, latch your mind and drive you into behaviors wbich support their spread.

It's religion, stripped of the legal power to force itself on you, with that power regained, just stripped of the word "god".

Lol... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45957855)

We are so fucked.

100W first? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45957861)

If they had waited to make the 100W bulbs illegal until there was a cost effective replacement LED I would have been okay with this. As it is the CFL have too many problems/restrictions. The 40W and 60W bulbs have LED equivalents that are decently priced (on sale) in my opinion, but not 100W bulbs yet.

Re:100W first? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45957935)

So get a 80W halogen with a bulb-shaped outer shell.

Re:100W first? (1)

Khyber (864651) | about a year ago | (#45957995)

"If they had waited to make the 100W bulbs illegal until there was a cost effective replacement LED I would have been okay with this."

Never heard of alibaba.com, I see.

Re:100W first? (1)

Dare nMc (468959) | about a year ago | (#45958137)

Many places still exist for incandescent 100W bulbs, really nice when my pipes freeze I want to slowly thaw them, and be able to see any leaks. I could run out and buy a heater tape for $10 and a light, or one. Similar for keeping things like a baby chicken, Lizard, etc warm and visible

Sweet, now gimme my leaded gasoline back (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45957889)

That was all I really had to say. But the filter seems to want me to waste bandwidth, electricity, and my sanity by typing more shit down here. Say, did slashdot have anything to do with the lightbulb bill...

Good riddance (4, Insightful)

sideslash (1865434) | about a year ago | (#45957913)

Just like the ethanol mandate there are always unintended consequences to government interference. In the case of CFL's, it's the spread of noxious poisons through our households, communities, and landfills. Not to mention that the claimed efficiencies and lifespans are grossly misleading due to very specific assumed patterns of use -- if you leave the lights on all the time, CFL's are great; but if you turn them on and off frequently, like as you walk into and out of rooms, then the advantage breaks down rapidly.

Re:Good riddance (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45957939)

^^^ lollibertarian.

Re:Good riddance (-1, Flamebait)

gurps_npc (621217) | about a year ago | (#45957977)

Wow, so you never used a mercury thermometer?

Because 100 CFL contain less noxious poisons then 1 mercury thermometer.

As for breakdowns, your information is similarly out-dated. Unless of course you are using 50 year old CFLs.

Your ignorance is shocking.

Re:Good riddance (1)

jandrese (485) | about a year ago | (#45958315)

50 year old CFLs?

Re:Good riddance (5, Funny)

ericloewe (2129490) | about a year ago | (#45957989)

Ethanol? What unintended consequences? It did exactly what it was supposed to do:

Drive up corn prices artificially.

Re:Good riddance (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45958189)

And took away 10% of big oil's profits.

Re:Good riddance (3, Interesting)

viperidaenz (2515578) | about a year ago | (#45958055)

CFL's last much longer if you use them in fitted designed for CFL's.

The base of them must be kept as cool as possible, so the capacitor inside doesn't dry out. If the light fitting has restricted air flow, this can lead to higher temperatures and shorter lifespan.

Re:Good riddance (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45958061)

My 14 CFL's in the house have been in use for 8 years now, not one has died.

Re:Good riddance (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45958063)

Coal-fired power plants spread noxious poisons through our *atmosphere*, including the air you breathe. Do you whine about those too? Hope so.

Re:Good riddance (1)

NoNonAlphaCharsHere (2201864) | about a year ago | (#45958117)

Visit any kintergarten or grade school. I can assure you that a peanut butter and jelly sandwich is FAR more toxic than a thousand CFLs.

Re:Good riddance (1)

sideslash (1865434) | about a year ago | (#45958191)

I suppose so, assuming you have a peanut allergy.

Re:Good riddance (1)

CaptainLard (1902452) | about a year ago | (#45958167)

And as usual it appears congress has blocked this efficiency mandate for all the right reasons. Its just like you said, this is a bad idea because Obama...wait, what?

Re:Good riddance (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45958195)

They never mandated CFL bulbs. They simply banned the production of high wattage per lumin bulbs. You can buy the newer more efficient encandecents, or buy LEDs or a bunch of other solutions.

Re:Good riddance (1)

fermion (181285) | about a year ago | (#45958319)

I have crunched these number before. The amount of heavy metal, such as mercury, in a bulb is not that significant. It would take a truly overwhelming number of bulbs to impact anything significantly. The amount of mercury is continuously decreasing. Compared to the shipping, bulb waste, and inefficiency of incandescent bulbs, it is hard to make a serious case against CFL. Sort of like claiming we all need to go back to vacuum tube amplifiers and real turntable, which do produce superior sound,but only for the few records that are mastered properly

In any case the only ones who are really pushing for incandescent are the importers and those with significant investments in Asia. These are the ones who will benefit from the cheap bulbs. In the US innovation has produced bulbs for those who want them. It is those profiting from the low end Asian suppliers that are going to profit off a reprieve.

Nobody cares (1)

Andrew Osiris (2826645) | about a year ago | (#45957923)

waste of time. Nobody cares.

Good. Attics & closets waste $30 bulbs. Dimmer (5, Interesting)

raymorris (2726007) | about a year ago | (#45957937)

That's good to hear. Each attic or rarely used closet doesn't need a $30 light bulb when a 30 cent light bulb will do just fine.
Using CFLs in such roles wastes 95% of the resources used to make them. There's a reason CFLs are so much more expensive -
that cost represents resources used in their manufacture, wasted resources for rarely used locations.

Also my ceiling fans have built in dimmers. Other than the one fan/light we use often, it would be stupid and wasteful to throw out all our ceiling
fans and buy entire new ones just to have a CFL capable dimmer.

Re:Good. Attics & closets waste $30 bulbs. Dim (0)

nwf (25607) | about a year ago | (#45957971)

You could still purchase halogen bulbs and these new more efficient incandescent bulbs, e.g. uses 53 watts for the output of a 75 watt bulb.

Halogens die in dimmers w/o vaporization (3, Interesting)

raymorris (2726007) | about a year ago | (#45958267)

Halogen bulbs use a vapor cycle where the tungsten burns off the filament, collects on the quartz envelope, then vaporizes off of the hot envelope and recollects on the filament. Used with a dimmer, the temperature won't be high enough to vaporize it and the lifecycle becomes tens of hours rather than thousands of hours.

Let me repeat that last part - they WILL last for 10,20, maybe 50 hours with a dimmer. Then they die.

Re:Good. Attics & closets waste $30 bulbs. Dim (1)

mechtech256 (2617089) | about a year ago | (#45957985)

CFLs aren't $30. I recently bought my first ever CFLs, and I'm positive I paid less than $30 for a 5 pack of them.

Your point stands but accurate numbers would make it stronger.

Re:Good. Attics & closets waste $30 bulbs. Dim (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | about a year ago | (#45958143)

That still seems a bit expensive. I paid 30p for the last set of CFLs I bought, which at the exchange rate at the time was equivalent to about 50. The most expensive ones I bought were about a decade ago, and they were about £4, which was close to $8 then.

Re:Good. Attics & closets waste $30 bulbs. Dim (1)

gurps_npc (621217) | about a year ago | (#45958147)

You also forgot that tungsten bulbs have not been 30 cents in quite a while. As for his point, it only stands if you can't do math or know anything about pollition.

Re:Good. Attics & closets waste $30 bulbs. Dim (1)

gurps_npc (621217) | about a year ago | (#45958085)

Wow, what a giant set of lies you believe.

1) Among other things, small things add up, so YES, you do need to replace all the little bulbs you rarely use. And over the course of their life, they would be cheaper. It is not a waste, it is a wise investment that saves you money over a period of 10 years - even if you rarely used the bulb. 2) as the law did not require replacement You could continue to use existing bulbs. 3) Dimmer bulbs were NEVER on the 'replace' list, just normal ones. You could have kept your fans along with the dimmer bulbs.

No, CFLs die in TIME, on or off. $3000 / kwh? (2)

raymorris (2726007) | about a year ago | (#45958351)

I replaced several CFLs, of two different brands, after they were in place for about a year and had been turned on for a total of maybe 20 minutes.

20 minutes of light for about $10-$15 is really, really wasteful.

"A wise investment that saves you money over a period of 10 years - even if you rarely used the bulb."

!?!? How much do you think several minutes of power costs? Apparently you think it costs thousands of dollars per hour to turn on a light?
A 50 watt bulb costs less than one penny per hour to operate. So that bulb in your attic costs less than a dollar for your entire life. Spending $10-$15 on an "energy efficient" bulb in your attic is dumb, dumb, dumb. That WASTES energy because it takes a lot more energy to make that CFL than the incandescent would have ever used.

Re:Good. Attics & closets waste $30 bulbs. Dim (2)

Ralph Spoilsport (673134) | about a year ago | (#45958247)

Get LED. They dim.

Re:Good. Attics & closets waste $30 bulbs. Dim (2)

michrech (468134) | about a year ago | (#45958259)

That's good to hear. Each attic or rarely used closet doesn't need a $30 light bulb when a 30 cent light bulb will do just fine.
Using CFLs in such roles wastes 95% of the resources used to make them.

OR, it's an excellent use of them. Since they're used so rarely, it should be *years and years* before they need to be replaced... Also, a CFL or LED bulb for a closet or attic would cost less than half of your ridiculous statement of $30... Hell, the currently available Cree 60w 2700k bulbs for $10 at Home Depot would be fine for both cases, and CFL's are available for a few bucks (or less)...

Also my ceiling fans have built in dimmers. Other than the one fan/light we use often, it would be stupid and wasteful to throw out all our ceiling
fans and buy entire new ones just to have a CFL capable dimmer.

Dimmable CFL and LED bulbs exist -- my house has multiple of both, and they're the same price (or within a few dollars) of their non-dimmable counterparts.

Re:Good. Attics & closets waste $30 bulbs. Dim (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45958317)

Phillips has some LED bulbs that dim nicely. Now, I like the room I'm in to be warm so I don't care about waste heat, but if I did I'd go LED.

I can't think of any application where I'd choose a CFL.

Re:Good. Attics & closets waste $30 bulbs. Dim (0)

kimvette (919543) | about a year ago | (#45958353)

> Other than the one fan/light we use often, it would be stupid and wasteful to throw out all our ceiling
fans and buy entire new ones just to have a CFL capable dimmer.

You do realize of course, that the wall switch and dimmer for your fan/light fixture can be replaced, without replacing the fan?

Prison lighting (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45957943)

With all the charm of prison block lighting, CFLs are a joke. Don't tell me the new ones have the same warmth and quality. They don't.

Light bulbs are technology. I'm shocked anyone would advocate for government (!) to have the power to outlaw technology they don't "like."

Re:Prison lighting (0)

gurps_npc (621217) | about a year ago | (#45958213)

I am shocked someone can ignore other people's argument entirely, and instead lie and say "they are outlawing it because they don't 'like it'.

We outlawed tungsten bulbs because they are:

1) expensive as hell on a per year basis.

2) expensive as hell on a per watt basis.

3) expensive as hell on a pollution basis.

4) we had cheaper technology on all 3 basis, but some people were too stupid to do the math and so in love with minimal difference in light quality they were willing to make up a ton of lies about pollution, cost, etc. etc.

I hope it goes back to 100W and 150W my CFLs SUCK (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45957945)

I am happy about the energy savings of my CFLs but very unhappy that some out of the box, some after just a month of use or so turn on dim and take several minutes to reach full brightness. I'm also VERY unhappy about the EPA cleanup for these bulbs. I broke a 150W equivalent one and following the instructions for cleanup was HORRIBLE. Who can leave the windows open for WEEKS? Come on. Use masking tape to pick the crap out of carpet, no vacuum for clean, etc. Not worth it.

Incandescent bulbs have their uses (4, Insightful)

Dzimas (547818) | about a year ago | (#45957953)

Most of the heavily used areas in my home have already been retrofitted with CFL bulbs, but there are a few places where traditional incandescents make sense - the closet under the stairs, the furnace room and the basement storage room are all excellent candidates for cheap incandescent bulbs. In each case, the light is only turned on for a couple of hours each year and the cost of replacing those bulbs with LED or CFL equivalents far outstrips the potential energy savings pver the next few decades.

Re:Incandescent bulbs have their uses (1)

gurps_npc (621217) | about a year ago | (#45958113)

You were never required to replace bulbs immediately. If they lasted forever, you could keep them.

As such, there was NO possibility of saving money by continuing to used the expensive (on both a cost per watt, and a cost per year basis) tungsten bulbs that last a short time with the far cheaper CFL.

Re:Incandescent bulbs have their uses (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45958281)

While that is true for already installed fittings, a low cost LED light doesn't cost more than a fitting for an incandescent bulb and the bulb combined. Lamps which are designed for CFLs and LEDs can be cheaper even if they use the same type of base as for incandescent bulbs. That's because the materials don't need to be as heat-resistant as for incandescents. They can also be smaller, for the same reason. With the long lifetimes of LEDs, the lamp and the light can even be one unit and dispense with the socket altogether. Along the same lines, saving power isn't the only reason for switching to LEDs: You can usually replace an incandescent that's at the thermal limit of the lamp housing with a much brighter LED. This can make sense even in places where the lamp isn't used often, like an attic, or where it's switched on and off frequently, like in a bathroom.

Bad Idea (1, Informative)

smagruder (207953) | about a year ago | (#45958003)

We needed to go ahead and bite the bullet on this one. All that wasted energy, continuing, is so stupid in these times of necessary conservation and dealing with climate change.

I hope all the energy wasters enjoy their free/dumb! (and higher energy bills than those of us who smartly made the switch)

Re:Bad Idea (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45958215)

> I hope all the energy wasters enjoy their free/dumb! (and higher energy bills than those of us who smartly made the switch)

Stop being such a faggot. I mean, really... what do you earn? Minimum wage? Is the energy your lightbulbs use REALLY going to affect your lifestyle in ANY WAY?

And taking such pride in how you "smartly" made the switch? Again, I say, stop being such a fucking faggot.

50 cent per bulb tax on incandescents (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45958029)

This is real easy. All the incentives work, people who need them or are just clingy can stil get them. Everything works.

Re:50 cent per bulb tax on incandescents (1)

MikeDataLink (536925) | about a year ago | (#45958127)

More money in the government coffers, a cleaner earth does not make.

Re:50 cent per bulb tax on incandescents (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45958261)

The government wasn't making money on this.

They were just getting rid of a 1900's technology in favor of new LED lights.

I'm surprised the complainers didn't say the 2 or 3 power plants that could have shut down if we made the switch over the next 3 years would be good jobs that would have been lost. Let alone the pollution they would have made.

Re:50 cent per bulb tax on incandescents (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | about a year ago | (#45958171)

There effectively is. Last time I bought bulbs, the CFLs were about twice the price of incandescents and the energy savings were such that I saved that much in a month of use. Over their lifetime, there's a huge extra cost to use incandescents.

Politics (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45958033)

Although TFA hangs this on the Bush administration, both houses of congress were then controlled by Democrats, and that's who decided to kill the incandescent bulbs. Since the Republicans regained control of Congress, they have tried to repeal this garbage but the Democrat-controlled Senate refused.

Re:Politics (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45958115)

Oh, those dastardly Democrats!

If only there was some way that President Bush could have vetoed the legislation to prevent it from becoming law.

Tax, not ban (4, Interesting)

Tablizer (95088) | about a year ago | (#45958039)

Why not just gradually tax incandescent bulbs higher over time? Give the alternatives time to ramp up economies of scale.

And, that tax money could go toward renewable energy R&D.

Re:Tax, not ban (2)

Bing Tsher E (943915) | about a year ago | (#45958209)

that tax money could go toward renewable energy R&D.

Sure, it would. You don't know much about how Congress works, do you?

Re:Tax, not ban (1)

khallow (566160) | about a year ago | (#45958225)

Or they could have just done nothing at all. There's no reason to care. People spending more for electricity due to using certain types of bulbs? The disease is the cure.

Yay more unrelated crap attached to the budget. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45958059)

I propose a new rider to be attached to the next budget that imposes a prison sentence on any politician attaching a rider to a budget that is not directly related to the national budget.

In other news... (1)

ackthpt (218170) | about a year ago | (#45958071)

The US House of Representatives will formally rename the chamber Waffle House

a restaurant chain by the same name in southern states will challenge this under defamation grounds

Re:In other news... (1)

jandrese (485) | about a year ago | (#45958357)

They should. Congress's approval ratings are in the single digits these days, nobody wants to be associated with that. MRSA is more popular than Congress.

Bad Summary (5, Informative)

wolfinator (2570165) | about a year ago | (#45958097)

This legislation does not repeal the new light bulb efficiency standards. It just de-funds them.

AFAIK, this means the law stands, but will not be enforced. Not the same as repeal.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2014/01/14/heres-a-breakdown-of-whats-in-congress-1-012-trillion-spending-bill/ [washingtonpost.com]

Re:Bad Summary (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45958173)

+1! Thank you wolfinator. I came to say the same thing. How ridiculous is it that Ars and Slashdot both missed it? Of course, the House Appropriations press release that probably started these articles may be to blame. It's unlikely that major bulb manufacturers will start breaking a law ...

Hard to take Republicans seriously (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45958101)

It's efforts like this that make it hard to take Republicans seriously. They waste their time on this BS, opposing everything that Democrats possibly might like, simply to oppose it, whether or not it's in the GOP's or the nation's interests. The U.S. and the world have many serious problems; people are unemployed, critical needs are unfunded, climate change is costing money and lives and will cost much more; and the GOP has nothing to offer but temper-tantrums.

I used to vote for both parties, but our biggest national problem, more than the economy or security -- and probably the world's biggest problem -- is the Republican Party.

Like it really matters... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45958131)

No sane manufacturer of incandescent bulbs hasn't already planned for their phase out, including shutting down manufacturing lines and laying off or transferring work force.

At best this leaves the market open for offshore (*cough* Chinese *cough*) manufacturers to keep shipping their bulbs. It does next to nothing for domestic manufacturers.

OTOH (3, Informative)

Richy_T (111409) | about a year ago | (#45958181)

But the last US incandescent bulb production line already closed down so well done on fighting unemployment there, chaps.

Greetings from EU (2, Interesting)

hsa (598343) | about a year ago | (#45958183)

..where incandescent bulbs are banned.

The prices of bulbs will soar, even for the transition period and quality remains the same. The cheap LEDs are far from natural color, and compact fluorescent bulbs will not illuminate as much after a year or so.

Just look at us - and don't go down this route..

What?!?!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45958187)

Conservatives against Conservation? Bro, do you even conserve?

Some fixtures need incandescent (1)

Forever Wondering (2506940) | about a year ago | (#45958207)

While I've been using 90% CFL's for ten years, I have one fixture in the ceiling of a walk-in closet that needs an incandescent.

The bulb is inverted and is completely covered/enclosed. Can't use a CFL there [overheats the transformer]. Nor a halogen [too hot](?). Don't know about LED's or "high efficiency" incandescents, but the heat dissipation problem seems to be a factor. Can't change the fixture since I'm renting [and the landlord would be loathe to retrofit hundreds of units]. So, I don't have a ready replacement for my one remaining incandescent, so I stocked up on Jan 31. Prematurely, it seems.

While I like CFL's it seems most people don't. Particularly those families that have [small] children, since a broken CFL releases mercury, which is toxic. Also, I prefer the lumen output of a 100 watt equiv (27 watt CFL). Ultimately, I think LED's will be the long term solution. I did buy an LED just to try it, but the brightest I've found is barely the 60 watt equivalent.

This was one of the few cases where the regulation outpaced the technology.

Re:Some fixtures need incandescent (2)

T.E.D. (34228) | about a year ago | (#45958307)

Particularly those families that have [small] children, since a broken CFL releases mercury, which is toxic

As a parent of three rambunctious children myself, I can confidently assert that I'm far more worried about the kiddos hurting themselves on the broken shards of glass than on the small amount of released mercury.

Time was we used to put very fragile tubes filled with mercury in our kids mouths whenever they got the sniffles. I think we can learn to deal with the hazard of having it in bulbs.

Unconstitutional (1)

The Cat (19816) | about a year ago | (#45958283)

The Federal Government has no constitutional authority to ban light bulbs.

Haven't the factories stopped making these bulbs? (1)

WimBo (124634) | about a year ago | (#45958321)

It seems to me that if I was a factory owner making incandescent bulbs and I knew there was a cutoff date to be able to produce them, I'd have already stopped production, or at least planned the stoppage, so US congress changing the rules AFTER I've stopped isn't going to make me start production up again unless they are HUGELY profitable.

You're all* fucking idiots. (2, Informative)

viperidaenz (2515578) | about a year ago | (#45958323)

There have always been halogen replacement bulbs. CFL's and LED's are not the only alternative options.

* most of you, not all.

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