Regular readers know I’m no fan of the new light bulbs the bureaucrats want us to use. I love the soft light of incandescent bulbs, and they don’t come with scary warnings on what to do in the event one breaks. But if that’s not enough to convince you to stock up, perhaps the fact that some of the new bulbs they want us to use cost a whopping 50 bucks apiece! Yes, that’s $50.00! Per light bulb! Of course, they aren’t going to hit the market until the old incandescents are banned.
Two leading makers of lighting products are showcasing LED bulbs that are bright enough to replace energy-guzzling 100-watt light bulbs set to disappear from stores in January.
Their demonstrations at the LightFair trade show in Philadelphia this week mean that brighter LED bulbs will likely go on sale next year, but after a government ban takes effect.
The new bulbs will also be expensive — about $50 each — so the development may not prevent consumers from hoarding traditional bulbs.
The technology in traditional “incandescent” bulbs is more than a century old. Such bulbs waste most of the electricity that feeds them, turning it into heat. The 100-watt bulb, in particular, produces so much heat that it’s used in Hasbro’s Easy-Bake Oven.
To encourage energy efficiency, Congress passed a law in 2007 mandating that bulbs producing 100 watts worth of light meet certain efficiency goals, starting in 2012. Conventional light bulbs don’t meet those goals, so the law will prohibit making or importing them. The same rule will start apply to remaining bulbs 40 watts and above in 2014. Since January, California has already banned stores from restocking 100-watt incandescent bulbs.
Creating good alternatives to the light bulb has been more difficult than expected, especially for the very bright 100-watt bulbs. Part of the problem is that these new bulbs have to fit into lamps and ceiling fixtures designed for older technology.
We have gas that costs $4 a gallon, food prices skyrocketing, and the cost of health insurance going up; yet the bureaucrats in Washington, DC have given us the choice of somewhat expensive bulbs that can send us to the hospital if they break, or bulbs that cost almost as much as a tank of gas apiece.
Note to self: Buy some more light bulbs!