September 8, 2010

"A small, sad exit for a product and company that can trace their roots to Thomas Alva Edison's innovations in the 1870s."

"The last major GE factory making ordinary incandescent light bulbs in the United States is closing this month...."

Oh! It is so sad. It is doubly sad. The workers are losing their jobs, and we, who love traditional light bulbs are being deprived of a product we want. And those vile CFL bulbs? They're made in China.

Thanks a lot, Congress.

Now, how many incandescent bulbs do I need to stockpile last until the end of my life? I need to buy them before 2014....

212 comments:

1 – 200 of 212   Newer›   Newest»
Shanna said...

Thanks a lot, Congress.

Seriously! American's are losing their jobs because of idiots in congress who outlawed a safe product people want. Jerks.

shoutingthomas said...

I'm stockpiling incandescent bulb too.

My cabin in the woods doesn't like the fluorescent bulbs. They just explode.

Re-wiring my cabin to handle fluorescent bulbs would probably cost $10,000.

Cheaper to buy a lifetime supply of incandescents.

How can Congress dictate what kind of bulbs are produced? Has this been litigated?

paul a'barge said...

First of all, don't buy GE products. The company is evil.

Second of all, start buying incandescent light bulbs now and stock piling them. You think it's a joke? Do the Google-boogie and you'll see that people in Europe are already stock piling incandescent bulbs.

For those of us in Texas, we will always have Mexico, where we've been traveling to purchase traditional gallons-per-flush toilets for years and where incandescent light bulbs will be a staple for a long time.

traditionalguy said...

The Moslem scientists of old tried and tried, but their camel dung lighting systems were never accepted in Europe because on Islamaphobia. So it is just that the accidental discovery of an old white Christian man also be forbidden for revenge...because there is no other reason. Another victory over us by our Muslim President. Harry Reid is now said to deny knowing the Light Bringer.

GMay said...

So how does this fit into the Jobs Saved/Created category?

Or is that trumped by envirowhacko policy?

I just can't keep this shit straight anymore.

HDHouse said...

Shanna said...
"Thanks a lot, Congress. Seriously! American's are losing their jobs because of idiots in congress .."

Quite wrong. GE could well have entered the CFL manufacturing/marketing and got in to late. this was a management decision. don't blame congress. this was a long time coming and they had a long time to figure it out.

Hagar said...

Government by partisan legislative fiat at work.

Technology already exists to improve the energy efficiency of incandescents, and they are not classified as "hazardous waste" for disposal as are the CFL's.

Lem said...

Althouse is going on a bulb buying spree ala Elaine and her sponge.

Ann Althouse said...

"You think it's a joke?"

I certainly don't. Click on my "light bulbs" tag. I have been building my supply of light bulbs for years. And I have never purchased or installed a single CFL.

PatCA said...

This is...Soviet! It's the best word to describe it.

Ann Althouse said...

"GE could well have entered the CFL manufacturing/marketing and got in to late."

Did you read the article? Did you see the reason why CFLs aren't made in the United States?

traditionalguy said...

When the GOP and its Tea Party allies arrive in January, then all this Flagrant BS about warming from energy usage can be repealed. China uses 3.5 units of energy to 1 unit used in the USA to manufacture stuff. All other media stories about warming caused by CO2 from energy use are 100% false based on deliberatly faked science and lies. That kind of decision making is what destroys people's lives.

MadisonMan said...

What's wrong with extra heat from an incandescent anyway? I use them the most in winter, when extra heat is a bonus.

HT said...

Seems whiny and inaccurate to state that there's nothing that can be done to try to save and create jobs in the CFL factories. Sure there is. There always is. Why the defeatism?

virgil xenophon said...

Their will be more light-bulb factories springing up Mexico than mushrooms under a full moon. And bet on the Mexican drug cartels to begin smuggling light-bulbs. Man, if the cartels would only go public, I'd buy stock. If FDR couldn't keep out cases of booze from Canada, what does anyone think the odds of anyone stopping this stuff are?--especially as while not everyone in the US drinks, EVERYONE uses light-bulbs.
Talk about "demand-pull" economics!

HT said...

"Labor's cheaper in China."

No kidding.

But that line of defeatism smacks of "the immigrants take only the jobs Americans don't want to do."

virgil xenophon said...

Their will be more light-bulb factories springing up Mexico than mushrooms under a full moon. And bet on the Mexican drug cartels to begin smuggling light-bulbs. Man, if the cartels would only go public, I'd buy stock. If FDR couldn't keep out cases of booze from Canada, what does anyone think the odds of anyone stopping this stuff are?--especially as while not everyone in the US drinks, EVERYONE uses light-bulbs.
Talk about "demand-pull" economics!

Original Mike said...

What's wrong with extra heat from an incandescent anyway? I use them the most in winter, when extra heat is a bonus.

Prof. Freder will be along any minute now to explain to you why that doesn't work.

I think it has something to do with black holes.

Original Mike said...

I'm stockpiling incandescent bulb too.

Stimulus!

Those cagey Democrats.

Hoosier Daddy said...

I for one welcome our new CFL overlords.

chuck said...

It's not sad, it's stupid. Getting rid of incandescents won't do anything significant for the environment and compact florescent bulbs suck: short lifetimes, slow to brighten in cold spots, and hard to use with a dimmer. I hope one of the first acts of a Republican congress it to void that particular bit of feel good BS.

Crimso said...

"I for one welcome our new CFL overlords"

I still can't get over that 110 yd field. No fair catches (do they still do it that way?) is pretty cool, though.

TW:repla (weird!)

shoutingthomas said...

e-mail spammers know that the green movement is a scam.

I get two or three scam e-mails a day asking me if I want to invest in or work for some non-existent green company.

So, the e-mail spammers know it's all a scam. How come the greenies don't?

Or do they?

HT said...

CFLs have incredibly LONG life spans. Their light sometimes is green, especially on a low wattage, or whatever the CFL equivalent is. I don't like the quality of light it produces much either, but in some places (stove light), they're fine, and last so much longer than a 'regular' lightbulb.

Scott M said...

I still can't get over that 110 yd field. No fair catches (do they still do it that way?) is pretty cool, though.

A GOP congress will end fair catches. It smacks of the equality of outcomes versus the equality of opportunity.

HDHouse said...

Ann Althouse said...
"Did you read the article? Did you see the reason why CFLs aren't made in the United States?"

I saw a reason why China has the market but I saw no reason why GE or any number of companies couldn't have at least attempted to solve the manufacturing technology problem. I also note that the producting of the incandescent bulb ends in 2014. Last I looked it was a couple years away.

The simple matter is that when confronted with a call for new or better GE just let the bulb burn and I will bet that the decision was do we invest in doing this and making a product that lasts a lot longer (resulting in making fewer of them - think printer ink size) or do we just import them and eventually private label them.

This is a common decision sequence - for instance Kodak was just about dead last to get into the digital market. Polaroid made any number of abandonment/development blunders.

The point, Ann, is that jobs and closings sometimes happen for a labor reason and sometimes for unfortunate choices by management. I think it is a bit hard to tell what is what in this case. The only certainty is that the plant is closing and jobs are lost and folks have no little chance to survive in this economy.

Sixty Grit said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Peter V. Bella said...

Thanks a lot Democrats and their Global Warming non-sense too. This is what happens when people waste their votes on cretins, morons, and believers in false religions.

There is nothing wrong with incandescent light bulbs. Zero, zip, nada. Unless you are a true believer in Goreble warming. So what if they use more energy- aslong as you can pay the bill, who cares?

The CFLs are vile and they are a rip off. The light is harsh, sometimes they burn out faster than regular bulbs, and you cannot even take them back for a replacement- no guarantee.

There is everything wrong with closing factories and creating more unemployment. I guess this is how Democrats are creating green jobs- by getting people fired.

I wonder how many jobs will be uncreated when they move on the so called smart grid.

Brian said...

CFL bulbs vary a lot in quality, and I have yet to have one last the "5 years" as advertised. They take a while to heat up and provide full light, which makes them not useful for closets. A small incandescent is often the most efficient & simple solution. LED lights will probably overtake CFL's because of the their simplicity, despite the higher cost.

There was a story back in the winter where a city up north replaced the incandescent bulbs in their traffic lights with LED lights. It was done, of course, to save energy and save the planet. Except the traffic lights iced over because the LED lights don't generate the heat required to de-ice themselves. So the city had to send crews in trucks to go clean the lights. There went any energy savings.

As a light generator, the incandescent bulb is innefficient (only 6 or 7%). But that means it's 93% efficient at generating heat. Which in some applications is what you want and need.

Rocketeer67 said...

CFLs have incredibly LONG life spans.

I have purchased and tried four different brands of CFLs. I have never had one - not a single one - last longer than three months. On one, the ballast caught fire and burned the lamp I put it in.

CFLs are the Obama of light bulbs: All hype, no substance, and every one that came before seems like a brighter bulb in comparison.

michaele said...

I really, really care about the 3 way incandescent bulbs that go up to 250W. I need that high setting for reading. Hey, wait 'till your eyes get old! Anyway, last year one of my "joke" Christmas presents was a box of 12. I think I'll ask Santa for even more this year.

Night2night said...

The old product works fine, but the new "green" product is really much better (even if we have to make the old product illegal to encourage sales of the "better, new" product). The fact that the "new, better" product also has to be treated as toxic waste is simply an annoyance we'll ignore in pursuit of the congressionally mandated "greater good". Boy, nothing like the benefits of the centrally planned economy. Personally this gives me great faith in all the other greater goods planned by our representatives (I mean masters).

CalNanno said...

My family cannot use CFLs in our homes as several of us suffer from migraines. Florescent lighting is a well known trigger of migraines. But hey, nobody in Congress cares about us little people. It is not the role of our government to dictate to us what type of lightbulb to use! If incandescent lightbulbs are so horrible and energy wasting then let free market forces push people to use CFLs. I whole-heartedly hope this nonsense is repealed otherwise my extended family will be stockpiling along with Ann.

Hoosier Daddy said...

The point, Ann, is that jobs and closings sometimes happen for a labor reason and sometimes for unfortunate choices by management.

Or because the Government mandates some legislation....

Evidently Congress had to mandate the CFL as there evidenly was little actual market based demand for it. Now perhaps GE just figured that the costs of adapting to this mandate outweighed the profit (that's the part which makes business stay in business).
Suffice to say that GE felt its efforts could be better used elsewhere.

HDHouse said...

Peter V. Bella said...
Thanks a lot Democrats and their Global Warming non-sense too....

hey Pete...Bush signed this into law. 2007. 3.3:1 in the house. bipartisan.

got it Pete? think before you open your yap.

Pogo said...

If you enjoy the gummint telling you what to do, where to live, what to drive, what to eat, what kind of light bulbs to use, etc. etc, then keep voting for Democrats and RINOs.

Otherwise, tell do-gooders to go to hell.

Hoosier Daddy said...

It is not the role of our government to dictate to us what type of lightbulb to use!

There are those who will argue it is not your role to dictate what government's role in your life is. They tend to vote Democrat.

Original Mike said...

The Repubs should campaign on eliminating this ban.

I'm serious. I think it would be a big winner. Even Ann would vote for them.

AJ Lynch said...

So the 2007 Congress passed the law that effectively shut down this factory.

Did Senator Obama vote yes and wtf did President Bush sign the bill?

Brian said...

I remember seeing a more efficient incandescent on sale at Walmart, where the bulb supposedly generated the equivalent of a 75W light bulb using about 50W of power. The bulb had a coating that reflected more heat back to the filament so it would stay hotter, so it would produce more light. Of course they were more expensive than ordinary incandescents, but then again, so are CFL's.

For general lighting, I don't see the problem in using bulbs like these. Are these banned also?

AJ Lynch said...

Orig Mike said:

"Prof. Freder will be along any minute now to explain to you why that doesn't work."

Cool - we could use some fresh liberal idiocy this afternoon. HdHouse's material is getting old.

MadisonMan said...

The Repubs should campaign on eliminating this ban.

I think any non-incumbent could campaign on it. As noted above, Bush signed the bill into law, and the bill had bi-partisan support.

You can try to blame it on only Obama -- I'm sure he voted for it -- but there is plenty of blame to spread around here.

Ash said...

I'm so sad. Seriously.

Is there going to be an incandescent speakeasy? Please put me on the list when you guys decide on the knock and password.

Original Mike said...

As noted above, Bush signed the bill into law, ...

And it certainly isn't the only stupid thing he did ...

and the bill had bi-partisan support.

Can anybody provide a link to the votes on this bill? I'd love to know who voted for this turkey.

Though I fear it was one of those 2000 pagers with everything under the sun in it. They should outlaw those.

AJ Lynch said...

It would be interesting to know how this law got from some lobbyist's white board to and thru Congress and onto the White House. I assume special interests carefully shepherded the bill all the way?

jamboree said...

Fuck I hate environmental weenies and i DESPISE those new light bulbs. They are the ugliest fucking shit - with no warmth just cold, corporate light that makes blue veins stand out. Hate hate hate them and hate a bunch of regulators that would intrude upon something this banal that is ABSOLUTELY NONE OF THEIR BUSINESS.

This is not Morocco. Cheap electricity we have. Solve the car problem. Build some nuke plants. God, work solar if you have to be all alternative, but don't make the world colder.

Brian said...

It's already been mentioned, but next the illegals (excuse me, undocumented American workers) will become "light bulb mules" bringing incandescents from Mexico.

Sigh. So now the FBI and customs are going to go after people who just want to keep their old lamps and light fixtures working?

Lincolntf said...

I hate CFL's with a passion. They are emblematic of everything wrong with Government by activism. The repeal of this stupid ban should come ahead of ANYTHING else when Obama gets booted out of office.
Mandating a switch to lower efficiency bulbs (I'm talking about REAL efficiency, like the ability to actually light a freakin' room) in order to appease the legacy-seeking wing of a dying Religion is insane. We know that the mandate was based on fraud, lies and political gamesmanship. The fact that the bulbs are made of poison and require an entire new bureaucracy to dispose of is just icing on the stupidity cake.

Hoosier Daddy said...

As noted above, Bush signed the bill into law, and the bill had bi-partisan support.

Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007

Senate roll call

Though I fear it was one of those 2000 pagers with everything under the sun in it.

Nope only 464 pages :-)

Scott M said...

Forget light bulbs. If you really want to get worked up about this topic, go read up on "green" asthma inhalers and their cost vs traditional inhalers. If you really want to get pissed off, make sure you have a spouse or child that needs them.

HDHouse said...

The house voted 314 - 100 in favor.

And it is interesting that that those on here who are so flummoxed about this issue are siding with IBEW which was the main lobbyist against the passage.

Interesting bedfellows....ya'betcha!

shoutingthomas said...

Interesting bedfellows....ya'betcha!

I'm not in bed with anybody, HenHouse. That's just your imagination.

These precious moments when you declare your own victory... can you stop it? Go out in the back yard and crow if you need to. It's meaningless.

Find any bigots under your bed last night?

Original Mike said...

@Hoosier. For the Senate:

Democrats
45 Yea
4 Nay
2 Not Voting

Republicans
20 Yea
23 Nay
5 Not Voting

El Pollo Real said...

Althouse wrote: And those vile CFL bulbs? They're made in China.

What about all the energy wasted in collecting and disposing of these vile little things? CFL contain mercury-not enough in a single bulb to do much damage but mercury is a cumulative poison. Did the enviro-bozos think that one through?

Rome was weakened in part due to a reliance on lead plumbing.

For anyone wishing to read a wonderful memoir tangentially related to incandescent light bulbs, I suggest Oliver Sacks's Uncle Tungsten: Memories of a Chemical Boyhood

wv = "knine" Honey, they're talking about me like a dog again!

Scott M said...

The house voted 314 - 100 in favor.

And it is interesting that that those on here who are so flummoxed about this issue are siding with IBEW which was the main lobbyist against the passage.

Interesting bedfellows....ya'betcha!


I don't have to side with anyone to be completely disappointed in the performance thus far of every CFL I've tried. Further, the fact that it's hazardous waste makes this son of a safety engineer question just how "green" it is.

Frankly, given your point about the voting in the House, it's just one more reason I want the Libertarians to take power so they can leave everyone the fuck alone.

Original Mike said...

And it is interesting that that those on here who are so flummoxed about this issue are siding with IBEW which was the main lobbyist against the passage.

And that should trouble us why?

Lincolntf said...

Now that I've watched a Government actually make light more expensive and dangerous, I'm pretty sure the world would be better off without Governments.

AJ Lynch said...

So the House vote was about 76% Yea vs. 24% No.

Sorry Hdhouse but that is one more reason to support Tea Party call for less government.

Hoosier Daddy said...

And it is interesting that that those on here who are so flummoxed about this issue are siding with IBEW which was the main lobbyist against the passage.

Interesting bedfellows....ya'betcha!


Kind of how the left has finally found a group of religious fundamentalists they can rally behind? ;-)

Or is it simply the IBEW saw it as a threat to thier livlihood and those of us just see it as another example of goverment micromanagement of our lives?

Scott M said...

So the House vote was about 76% Yea vs. 24% No.

Sorry Hdhouse but that is one more reason to support Tea Party call for less government.


76% less government, I'd say.

chuck b. said...

"'When you're 50 years old, no one wants you,' Savolainen said. It was meant half in jest"

Why did he mean it half in jest?

Dudley Do-right said...

I can't afford another buying/stockpiling spree. The guns and the ammo have me about tapped out. Not to mention that I'm running out of room...

Actually I'm rather fed up with incandescent bulbs. They don't make them to last anymore. It seems I replace most of them after two or three months of moderate use. The CFLs may not go the advertised distance, but they certainly last longer than that.

Incandescents CAN be made to last a long time. I've got a working bulb in the basement and another in the garage that date back to the late '40s. They came from the railroad.

AJ Lynch said...

How refreshing it would be for a Congress critter or president to start saying "Sorry but that [i.e author gender inequity or light bulb style] is not the government's business".

Even few conservatives say that.

Sofa King said...

Wow, a lot of hate for CFL bulbs from this crowd. I guess I'll have to be the balance.

I love them. They are not appropriate for every situation, but where they are, they are brilliant. Here's why I like them:

1. They are cheap. At high brightness, they are nearly as efficient as (or more efficient than) LED lighting, and cost only a few dollars more to purchase than incandescents. They use so much less electricity, it has a noticeable impact on the electric bill. And, unlike some of the other commenters, almost all of my CFL bulbs have been going strong for more than 3 years now.

2. They are bright. One of the very best things about CFL bulbs is you can get much brighter lighting in the same fixtures. A light fixture that is rated for 60 watts can easily handle any CFL that will physically fit inside of it, so you can upgrade that 60 watt incandescent with a 150-watt-equivalent CFL, and get a much brighter environment, at less cost, and without upgrading fixtures. A cheap little gooseneck desk lamp, rated for a 60 watt incandescent, can become an very nice, bright task light with a large CFL.

3. They are available in cool white. Somebody earlier complained about the "corporate" color, which seems ridiculous, as the cooler colors more accurately simulate reflected sunlight, the sun hardly being a corporate product. And it may be a matter of personal taste, but I find that less light at a cooler color appears brighter than brighter light that is soft white. It might have something to do with the feeling that a bright sunny day is just outside the window, or something, but I like it a lot, especially for task lighting and reading.

That said, I still use incandscents in some applications:

1. Lights that are on only short periods of time. Closet lights and attic lights, for example. These are on for such short times that the energy savings would be tiny, and CFLs wear out faster the more they are flipped on and off. Furthermore, these are usually the places you want maximum light immediately, and not just general illumination.

2. Lights I want to dim. Dimmable CFL lights suck. For my track lights that I often want at low brightness, halogens are the best choice.

3. Lights that have to operate in temperature extremes. Outside where it gets very cold, or in the oven where it gets very hot, only incandescent lights are simple enough to work reliably.

But in almost all of my lamps and many of my overhead fixtures, I've switched to CFL bulbs and couldn't be happier.

Sofa King said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Sofa King said...

Having made my case for CFL lights, I am absolutely appalled that anyone would try to take away my choice in the matter. I cherish the ability to buy incandescents, even if I don't want to.

Original Mike said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Sofa King said...

Incandescents CAN be made to last a long time. I've got a working bulb in the basement and another in the garage that date back to the late '40s. They came from the railroad.

The tradeoff is efficiency. You can run a thicker filament at a lower temperature and it will last much, much longer - but you'll get a lot less light out of it.

Scott M said...

Having made my case for CFL lights, I am absolutely appalled that anyone would try to take away my choice in the matter. I cherish the ability to buy incandescents, even if I don't want to.

Well, I'm sorry, but you'll have to deal with dark closets like a good little prole. And remember, darkness is bright.

Original Mike said...

Having made my case for CFL lights, I am absolutely appalled that anyone would try to take away my choice in the matter. I cherish the ability to buy incandescents, even if I don't want to.

Tough tities.

peter hoh said...

Even if Congress didn't pass those light bulb standards, and even if no one had invented the CFL, the manufacturing of light bulbs was always going to move overseas, eventually. That's how the global market works.

IIRC, a lot of the efficiencies that Jack Welch so famously wrung out of GE had to do with closing US manufacturing plants.

Lincolntf said...

If this doesn't get repealed immediately, then I'll just look forward to the ban on CFL's in 20 years. The massive amounts of mercury that will have accumulated from hundreds of millions of people using decades worth of bulbs should be good for a few lawsuits, and maybe even a Lifetime movie about deformed babies.

Chip Ahoy said...

Your pro incandescent, anti fluorescent, anti environment legislation comments fail to convince. They bounce off me like gently lobbed ping-pong balls. Go ahead, hoard away, as hoarders do, stuck in a dingy, yellowish, dimly lit past, satisfied with your banks of rheostat switches.

Incandescents, bleh. I'm sick of changing out those things. It irritates me when I flick the switch on and the light goes BLAM. I have to get up, go the light bulb closet, open the light bulb box, get another one, go back to the socket, unscrew the bad one, screw in the good one, dispose of the bad one. The whole time thinking, "I already did this. Is that window shade closed in the room with the light bulb closet? Mustn't have the neighbors see me this way naked."

I like the full spectrum fluorescents and so do the Aerogardens, the aquarium, and the camera, when it's not real sunlight. But through all of this I think LEDs will be the way to go generally.

peter hoh said...

Seriously! American's are losing their jobs because of idiots in congress who outlawed a safe product people want. Jerks.

Think of all the jobs that could be created if Congress would stop outlawing safe products that people want.

Like pot.

Scott M said...

Think of all the jobs that could be created if Congress would stop outlawing safe products that people want.

Yes, but think of the jobs lost if the people that write, produce, and affix warning labels like: DO NOT FOLD STROLLER WITH BABY STILL INSIDE were put out of work.

peter hoh said...

What made the plant here vulnerable is, in part, a 2007 energy conservation measure passed by Congress that set standards essentially banning ordinary incandescents by 2014. The law will force millions of American households to switch to more efficient bulbs.

Umm. Which president signed off on this legislation?

Miss him yet?

rick said...

I still use incandescent light bulbs for heat in my water well building. It keeps the pipes just warm enough to keep from freezing during those minus 20 degree nights.

Would these be unsaved jobs? Uncreated jobs? Jobs Americans won't do(because the employees were environmental greenies)?

How about sacrificial lambs on the alter of Algore.

Ralph L said...

I bought one to use in my den in summer to reduce the heat. A little red shade takes the edge off the stark light quality but reminds me of a bordello.

Duke Power mailed out coupons for a free six pack of CFLs at Walmart. I'd like to know the take rate. Later they sent out an extension on the expiration date.

peter hoh said...

Don't like incandescent bulbs that burn out fast? Go to a janitorial supply company and get the industrial bulbs rated for long life.

They last a loooooooong time.

But I'm with Chip on the full spectrum CFL bulbs. Great for photography.

AJ Lynch said...

Scott M said:
DO NOT FOLD STROLLER WITH BABY STILL INSIDE.

That's a good one but my favorite was the cardboard windshield thingy that you unfolded and placed on the dashboard. It kept your car cooler while it was parked.

DO NOT ATTEMPT TO DRIVE CAR WITH THIS MOUNTED ON THE DASHBOARD.

wv = dotter = an Icelandic babe

John said...

Every time I go to the Hardware store I buy 3-4 packs of real bulbs. Probably have 30 or more packs in my basement now.

I have tried the CFLs, don't like them. Won't use them.

As for the manufacturing, I have spent the last 35 years in manufacturing, specializing in automation. This includes work in a broad range of industries and processes.

I had not realized that it was so hard to make CFLs. I had no idea that the tubes were formed by hand. It seems to me like bending the tubing should be the easiest of all the processes involved in making a CFL to automate. I can sit here and sketch out a machine to do it on a napkin. Given the huge volumes, it almost would not matter what the machine cost.

It would essentially be similar to a spring or coil winding machine.

I think there is something more to the story that the reporter is not sharing or doesn't know.

CFLs, wind turbines, solar panels. These are the green technologies that Obama and others say will create jobs. Strange that in all 3 cases most of the jobs are not in the US.

John Henry

PatCA said...

"Seems whiny and inaccurate to state that there's nothing that can be done to try to save and create jobs in the CFL factories."

Sure, let's get Obama and his minions on it right away. They've done such a bangup job already!

Dead Julius said...

How appropriate that Edison is wearing a Godfather tux in your photo! Pretty soon you'll have to buy your incandescents from the underworld... But, eh, it's a good business opportunity for the ambitious local pot dealer. Good ole' American light bulbs, raw milk, high-flow showerheads... all can be delivered discreetly with your weekly bundle of weed.

El Pollo Real said...

AJ wrote wv = dotter = an Icelandic babe

lol

Original Mike said...

When bulbs are outlawed, only outlaws will have bulbs.

Shanna said...

Quite wrong. GE could well have entered the CFL manufacturing/marketing and got in to late. this was a management decision. don't blame congress.

There may be good reasons they couldn't switch, but who really cares? The point is that Congress is the one who outlawed the perfectly useful, wanted, safe product they were making. (I have the same exploding CFL problem in certain fixtures that was mentioned above).

Technology already exists to improve the energy efficiency of incandescents, and they are not classified as "hazardous waste" for disposal as are the CFL's.

I was hoping they would bring incandescent lights up to whatever the law says by 2014. We’ll see.
I want some politician to get their act together and run a campaign based solely on repealing the anti-normal light bulb law. Talk about non-partisan big tent support!

AJ Lynch said...

In the interest of saving the planet, I guess Congress could ban printed newspapers [due to energy costs used to print them] now that we can read on the internets. Would the NYT call that ban a "small, sad exit for the Shulzberger family?"

wv = kingz = what Congress thinks they are

El Pollo Real said...

John Henry wrote: I think there is something more to the story that the reporter is not sharing or doesn't know.

I suspect that the secret is hermetically sealed.

wv = "balli" Honey, why do they keep dogging me with references to my past?

John said...

Speaking of lifespan of incandescents, the Livermore CA fire department has a bulb that has been burning continuously for 109 years (so far)

Top that, CFL's!
See the web cam here:

http://www.centennialbulb.org/photos.htm

And you thought watching paint dry was exciting.

John Henry

Original Mike said...

Is the ban 2014? I thought it was earlier, and I thought different wattages had different dates.

DADvocate said...

The mercury in the cfl bulbs won't be disposed of properly creating toxic waste throughout our environment. Better that, if they did anything, to simply require a certain amount of lumens per watt, similar to mpg requirements for cars.

Suppose you were an idiot. And suppose you were a member of Congress. But I repeat myself. - Mark Twain

HDHouse said...

hello folks....go here:

http://www.gelighting.com/na/home_lighting/products/energy_smart.htm

oh...and at

shoutingthomas said...
"Re-wiring my cabin to handle fluorescent bulbs would probably cost $10,000."

I don't think anyone mentioned having to "rewire" and at last cost estimate that amount of money would probably give you an entire ceiling covered completely but we aren't talking about those...

hello? we aren't talking about those big tubes. hello?

John said...

HD,

We weren't talking about big tubes but let's.

I have 3 flourescent fixtures in my basement: A 4' 2 tube fixture in the laundry, a 4' 4 tube fixture over my desk and an 8' 2 tuber in the other part of my office.

I bought them all, at various times, at HoDe. I seem to recall that I paid about $30-40 each. I might be off but it was not much money.

I mounted them in the ceiling where the builder had put some 2 bulb incandescent fixtures.

Mounting probably took 30-45 minutes each.

So, even if ST's cabin in the woods were to have long tubes, I fail to see how it could cost more than a few hundred dollars. At most.

Unless the lighting is currently kerosene.

John Henry

Hoosier Daddy said...

Umm. Which president signed off on this legislation?

Miss him yet?


Nostalgia is a relative thing pete. I mean if my choice is going with CFL's versus ObamaCare, make no mistake and let me be clear, that's a slam dunk.

DaveW said...

This is one of the most asinine moves I've ever seen and I've seen some doozies.

CFLs are fine for certain applications. Closets, hallways, porches, pantry, that sort of thing. The light is poor for reading. And they lied about how long they'd last. I replaced most of our common use lighting with CFLs a couple years ago. I've lost count of how many have burned out, but it is quite a few, I've even had to replace a few replacements.

They suck. And don't even think about installing CFLs where a woman puts on her makeup.

Furthermore, they cost about 10x what an incandescent bulb costs, and they contain a small amount of mercury. And when mine started failing there wasn't any place to take them for disposal.

And even worse, Reynolds had a link up a day or so ago for some LED lights that are coming available. Looked cool, but what stuck out to me was how much the fool things cost. They were $30-60 each.

So we went from bulbs that cost about $0.50, to bulbs that cost $5 and now to bulbs that cost $50.

100 times more expensive. One hundred times. And still nothing to put in all our 3-way lamps, and we have a bunch. For reading in the bedroom and living room, for decorative purposes in the kitchen and living room and study.

This is just incredibly stupid.

Shanna said...

Is the ban 2014?

I'm not actually sure...I just need to know when to start stocking them away. I keep starting and then breaking into my stash when I run out of light bulbs!

Original Mike said...

And when mine started failing there wasn't any place to take them for disposal.

My burned out CFLs will be going in the landfill.

Just sayin'.

Original Mike said...

I just need to know when to start stocking them away. I keep starting and then breaking into my stash when I run out of light bulbs!

Yeah, me too, grasshopper.

c3 said...

This is a tough nut to crack for partisans:

For Republicans:
Green tech = bad

BUT

free trade = good

For Democrats:

Green innovation = good

BUT

losing American jobs/outsourcing = bad

Personally I want high-wage AMERICAN artificially-supported jobs. If I'm going to waste money I want it to go to an American.

And THAT'S why I don't watch the CFL!

HDHouse said...

ban is sliding based on watts. 100 go first in 2012 down to 40 watt or something in 2014.

Original Mike said...

@House. Thanks.

Note to self: Start with the 100s.

Can I keep the 200 Watter in the garage, or should I buy one of those (one should do me) as well?

Sofa King said...

CFLs are fine for certain applications. Closets, hallways, porches, pantry, that sort of thing.

Actually you managed to list the *worst* applications for CFL lights. Closets, hallways, and pantries usually require many brief instances of immediate illumination, which CFL bulbs are inferior at, and porches require good low-temperature performance, another CFL weak spot.

The best applications for CFL are lamps, overhead fixtures, and task lights. They are, in fact, superior reading lamps, especially at the cooler colors, because they are brighter and improve page contrast.

chuck said...

I've tried various CFL bulbs since the mid nineties and haven't been happy with them for most uses. There are two in the garage that have done well, but most of them haven't lasted and I like dimmer switches. The question here is why shouldn't I be able to purchase incandescents? CFL's serve no useful purpose but saving a few watts. If my electricity costs were high that might motivate me to use them more places. But apart from that I don't see the point. It is not as if their use will reduce CO2 to any degree, so even if CO2 mattered it would make no difference. And instead of achieving energy independence by making everyone except politicians live in caves, why don't we build some reactors and improve living conditions at the same time?

Now LED lights are a different matter. Unlike CFL's they perform as advertised and save significant amounts of power. When the wattage goes up and the price comes down I'll probably go that way, I've been tracking them for a few years now.

Lincolntf said...

And because there will be ZERO benefit ever to anyone as a result of this spasm of hyper-regulation, I expect it will be considered a grand success by the pea-brained fools who get their science from Al Gore.

I hate that I have to live in the same historical era as such stupid people. It will reflect badly on all of us in the textbooks of the future.

peter hoh said...

Hoosier Daddy wrote:
Nostalgia is a relative thing pete. I mean if my choice is going with CFL's versus ObamaCare, make no mistake and let me be clear, that's a slam dunk.


Bitch about ObamaCare all you want, but don't ignore Medicare, Part D.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Whenever someone tries to force 'green' energy 'green' whatever on me......I have an urge to set a car tire on fire and watch the black sootey smoke roil into the sky.

I'm also stockpiling incandescents for use in the areas where I want or need an incandescent.

We have solar light tubes something like this in our closets, laundry room and entry vestibule. Sky lights in the living room. We rarely have to turn on any lighting during the day, unless it is very overcast.

However, the CFL's just plain suck for evening lighting or in outdoor applications. It is too cold here and they just.don't.work.period.

HDHouse said...

and one cfl contains about 5 mg of mercury - 200 bulbs to the gram - 2200 grams (440,000 bulbs) = 1 pound of mercury.

David said...

Congress and dim bulbs: perfect together.

peter hoh said...

DaveW: And when mine started failing there wasn't any place to take them for disposal.

If I recall correctly, places that sell CFLs are supposed to take the used ones for disposal -- for free.

As for LED bulbs, the really bright ones are prohibitively expensive right now, but the dim ones are much cheaper. They are great for night lights and closets. I bought a three-pack of LED bulbs at Sam's Club a couple years ago, and they are still going strong.

David said...

My dear mother, who did not want to live in darkness, had a lifetime supply of incandescents in her storage locker and closet at the retirement home. We found this after her death several years ago, and gave the bulbs to charity. Should have kept them. Mom was ahead of her time.

peter hoh said...

c3 @1:49 wins the thread!

Scott M said...

Medicare, Part D.

Why does opposing Obamacare ipso facto mean someone would support Medicare Part D? The only logical conclusion is that you assume that someone opposes Obamacare for purely partisan reasons. It is a condescending assault on the recipients ability to think for their self.

peter hoh said...

DBQ: However, the CFL's just plain suck for evening lighting or in outdoor applications. It is too cold here and they just.don't.work.period.

Colder than St. Paul in the winter?

I have a CFL that I run all winter long -- outdoors. Admittedly, I never turn it off. It's a 3-watt bulb, IIRC, so the energy draw is pretty low. If I wanted to be able to turn it on and off, I would have to replace it with a 25-watt incandescent.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

If I recall correctly, places that sell CFLs are supposed to take the used ones for disposal -- for free.


That might work in the big cities or even suburban environments. There is NO place to recycle ANYTHING where I live much less recycle stupid mercury laden light bulbs. Not aluminum, not paper, not glass, not plastic.....nothing.

Sure. If I want to hang onto all that trash for several months to a year so I can accumulate enough to make it worth my while to drive several hundred miles to the recycling center it might work.

Pshaw. Too much work. Too costly to transport. Into the dump it goes. Too bad environment.

Also. Another TERRIBLE application of CFL's. It is impossible to to put on make up in that lighting that doesn't make you look like a zombie.

El Pollo Real said...

Peter Hoh wrote: c3 @1:49 wins the thread!

Who elected you decider-in-chief?

DaveW said...

Sofa King if I recall correctly you and I just use them differently. With the possible exception of the hallway, all the others I listed are long-on type uses for us. And porches in Houston don't require low temp performance, well maybe 7-10 days some years.

You did however remind me of one place I like mine. The spotlight over the kitchen sink. That light is nice and bright and I think that particular application is good.

My wife despises it though and refuses to use it. She can't stand the color of the light. And if she hates it, it sucks because she won't use it. She uses the halogen lights over the kitchen island instead.

And she's a consumer too and she gets to decide what she likes and wants to use. So if she says they suck and she won't use them, they suck.

I had to go out and buy yet another 3-pack of replacement CFLs for the bath strip just a few weeks ago. That's the third $15 package of replacements I've had to buy.

Thanks dubya.

peter hoh said...

Scott, plenty of people complaining about ObamaCare didn't bother to complain when Bush pushed through Medicare, Part D.

I am opposed to both.

peter hoh said...

EPR, what, you've never seen that way to tip the hat to another commenter? GMAFB.

Original Mike said...

I have a CFL that I run all winter long -- outdoors. Admittedly, I never turn it off.

Must. Resist. Stating. The. Obvious...

Lincolntf said...

I think I've finally figured out someone who DOES gain from this monstrous idea: The Chinese politicians who rake in the profits from their slave labor factories.
If it was Nike underwear they were churning, out the Libs would hate it. But since it's backward-ass "Green" tech, there won't be any sob stories or boycotts over the poor bastards covered in mercury for a dollar a day.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Colder than St. Paul in the winter?


It has routinely been -5 to -10 as a low and not higher than 25 for several weeks in a row in the winter. The ground can freeze up to 2 feet deep and all water pipes are at least 3 to 4 feet underground. Generally severe winters can in the lows of 10 to 15 degrees and highs from 38 to 45.

We use a 100 watt bulb on the floor near the well and heat cubes to keep the water from freezing inside of the insulated block built pump house.

I shouldn't complain. Freezing water and broken pipes can be a good source of income for my husband's business. It is amazing how many people (mostly absentee owners, lawyers, doctors etc) just don't think about how freezing will affect their empty house.

Nevertheless. It is laws like this about the light bulbs that never take into consideration that not everyone lives in the same areas or has the same lifestyles. We don't count.

AJ Lynch said...

Peter:
I think EPR was making a joke.

DaveW said...

peter hoh, if they're required to take them now, then fine. They weren't when I started having them fail. I went and asked them. Since they did not accept them, I threw mine in the trash and I continue to do that.

And by the way, if I have to drive to Home Depot every time I have to dispose of one of these stupid things, do they really save energy?

I'm not driving to Home Depot every time one of these things fails. The government may be that stupid. I am not.

Hoosier Daddy said...

Scott, plenty of people complaining about ObamaCare didn't bother to complain when Bush pushed through Medicare, Part D.

You obviously were not paying attention.

Then again, Medicare Part D was a targeted piece of legislation expanding a Federal program covering 40+ million people. ObamaCare on the other hand is an expanding Federal program targeting the remaining 260 million people. Hence the diffence in your perception of the opposition.

DADvocate said...

They suck.

Pretty much. I installed CFLs throughout most of my house. They don't last anywhere close to as long as advertised. Plus, outdoor use is worse.

I put one in my porch light. It drew bugs like crazy. The light fixture began filling up with bug carcasses and nearly caught fire. The bulb isn't hot but the base is. I went back to incandescents for outside use.

Bart Hall (Kansas, USA) said...

It gets worse.

Our local electric utility has recently requested a significant rate increase to compensate for the revenue to be lost as people make their homes more energy efficient.

As if Westar's savings from not having to build a new production facility are totally trivial.

dbp said...

"What made the plant here vulnerable is, in part, a 2007 energy conservation measure passed by Congress that set standards essentially banning ordinary incandescents by 2014."

One might simplistically think GE could run the plant right up to 2014--this doesn't take into account unknowns.

--Does GE already have a stockpile large enough to provide for projected demand till the ban goes into effect.

--The plant may have needed capital upgrades/repairs to keep going and these wouldn't be worth doing for only another 3 year's of production. Etc.

Anonyman said...

The only surprise here is that those people still had jobs as long as they did.

Unless you've been living under a rock for the last thirty years you have to know that american $30/hr manufacturing jobs are like the last of the dodo birds. CFL legislation didn't kill that factory, the reality of cheap labor available elsewhere did. Now those folks can go work for $8/hr at wal-mart.

GE management is high fiving right now over being able to close down an expensive labor cost center and have government take the bad PR bullet.

Capital flowing to to the cheapest source of labor is a natural outcome of a free market. Love it or hate it, it's the world we live in and it's not going away.

Original Mike said...

People not willing to drive 5 energy-eating miles to return a poison lightbulb; People leaving the lights on all the time because they don't turn on properly; Utilities, responsible for operating their power plants, increasing rates to maintain their income; Why, it's almost as if the sponsers of this measure didn't know what they were doing.

Or didn't care.

Shanna said...

For Republicans:
Green tech = bad


Wrong. Green tech is fine, great even! When it saves power and money, it is a fabulous thing. We are in what should be the “early adopter” phase for much green tech where it gets tested by all the people who want to be ahead of the curve and all the kinks get worked out. Then, the price should drop and the rest of the world can buy in, if they wish. This is the way of the market and it works quite well for most technology. But then? Enter government…

BUT

free trade = good


Right! Which congress has taken away, because of a stupid law. Because they are driving an excellent product out of the market to subsidize one that isn’t quite there yet. Stupid.

I have CFL in a couple places that I don’t use all the time and don’t want to change frequently. But I tried to put one in my bedroom light and it exploded and since you are supposed to clean those suckers up with a freaking hazmat suit, I say thanks but no thanks for that area. Don’t want them in the bathroom or closet either, for reasons spelled out above. The one in the kitchen works fine, though. I tried to buy a 5 year one for a really high ceiling light and it broke down in about 3 months. Again, this is the reason for the early adopter curve which works quite well and congress is trying to jump forward. Think about if everyone were forced to buy a plasma when they first came out. Or a VCR. Blue Ray. DVD player. This light bulb thing is the same thing except everyone actually NEEDS light bulbs.

Freeman Hunt said...

I think it highly unlikely that most people are going to save up bulbs for special recycling rather than tossing them into the trash.

So we'll be dumping a steady stream of mercury into our landfills.

And, over time, into our homes.

And it accumulates.

Not only that, but the mercury in these bulbs is in the form of vapor and very fine powder, which are both extremely difficult to contain as compared to, for example, the mercury in a thermometer.

Does not seem very "green" to me.

(The clean up, if you break one, is a real bitch too.)

peter hoh said...

Original Mike, go ahead. State the obvious. I've crunched the numbers.

Running a 25 watt bulb for 12 hours a day consumes much more energy than running a 3 watt bulb for 24.

I thought about running a timer on the light fixture, but the timer would consume energy 24 hours a day. I suppose I could go with a fully electronic timer, but that would have also added to the expense of the job. However, even a timer doesn't solve the problem of the CFL not starting on the coldest days of winter.

DBQ: I guess I had you confused with someone who lives in a warmer zone. St. Paul is in USDA zone 4a. Sounds like you are in a similar zone.

Timon said...

Who needs light bulbs anyway? All they do is disturb sleep.

Original Mike said...

Yeah Peter, I can multiply too. But I can also see your attitude, "it's such a small amount of energy" multiplied by several bulbs per household multiplied by all of the houses in the country.

My friend and I joke all the time about how our 50 lb packs are full of things that don't weigh anything at all.

Freeman Hunt said...
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Freeman Hunt said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Freeman Hunt said...

For the Maine study, researchers shattered 65 compact fluorescents to test air quality and cleanup methods. They found that, in many cases, immediately after the bulb was broken - and sometimes even after a cleanup was attempted - levels of mercury vapor exceeded federal guidelines for chronic exposure by as much as 100 times. ...

The study recommended that if a compact fluorescent breaks, get children and pets out of the room. Ventilate the room. Never use a vacuum, even on a rug, to clean up a broken compact fluorescent lamps. Instead, use stiff paper such as index cards and tape to pick up pieces, and then wipe the area with a wet wipe or damp paper towel. If there are young children or pregnant woman in the house, consider cutting out the piece of carpet where the lamp broke as a precaution. Place the shards and cleanup debris in a glass jar with a screw top and remove the jar from the house.

peter hoh said...

Mike, it's not my attitude that it was "only a little energy." It was a considered approach to adding a necessary outdoor light.

Bart Hall (Kansas, USA) said...

Crimso: as for CFL, the football version, Canadian football does indeed not have the "fair catch."

Instead, there is the "no yards" rule which requires every player on the kicking side except the kicker and anyone behind him at the moment of the kick to observe a 5 yard halo around the receiver. They may not even touch ("down" in America) the ball until it touches a player on the receiving side.

More interesting are the much wider field (65 yards), 12 men to a side, only three downs to make 10 yards, and special end zone rules.

CFL end zones are 20 yards deep, and any kick into, but not through, the end zone is in play, and if the defending team does not run the ball out of the end zone the kicking team scores a single point.

Goal line stands are also a bit different, as the ball will never be spotted closer than one yard from the goal. No question of "third and inches."

Safeties are also somewhat different in that it is common for a team required to punt from its own end zone to "concede a safety touch," after which they kick of from their own 25. The ability to garner single points on punts and missed field goals renders this an effective strategy with much worse field position for the receiving team.

blake said...

Think of all the jobs that could be created if Congress would stop outlawing safe products that people want.

Like pot.


Works for me.

Hell, I don't see why they should be outlawing unsafe products! I'm pretty sure I'm a grownup!

dbp said...

Where I come from 1 pound = 453.6 grams not 2200 grams.

There is about 2.2 pounds/Kg though, maybe that's what you meant?

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Running a 25 watt bulb for 12 hours a day consumes much more energy than running a 3 watt bulb for 24.

And either amount is still minuscule in the big picture. But yet, the powers that be want to inconvenience us for no reason and make our lives more expensive for no reason.

How much more energy is consumed in transporting to the recycling center, the actual recycling AND the manufacture of CFLs than using a similar incandescent bulb.

I have no idea, but I'm willing to bet that the incandescent is more energy efficient in the long haul. Just as we know that diesel is no 'greener' than hybrids when you look at ALL the factors and our current energy production sources.

Boondoggle.

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Freeman Hunt said...

Also, if you are ever unlucky enough to break one of these, you will see that the fine powder, which contains mercury, goes everywhere. It puffs up into the room and fills the air. Goodbye to any linens you had in there.

virgil xenophon said...

Sofa King is pretty much correct about where CFLs should be used. Frequent on/off usage shortens the life of the emitter. My parents built their Frank Lloyd Wright ranch-style home in Ill in 1951 and were ahead of their time. Used a single long bar CFL with curved shield/hood a few inches high directly over the kitchen sink with 3 circular naked designer CFL ceiling fixtures.
Master bath had mix of incandescent ceiling fixture with hooded twin CFL bars directly over countertop-width mirrors--split one in "cool white"; one in the pinkish natural light to more approx. flesh-tones for make-up application.

All comments about health concerns--from disposal to triggering migraines--are on tgt. One little known point regarding lighting in general. Studies have shown that most public spaces--libraries, hospitals, school-rooms, etc., are VASTLY over-lit, i.e., unnecessarily bright. These places could get by with far, far fewer lumens/sq' without harming either readability or straining eyes, thereby saving a ton of money.

Scott M said...

@Freeman Did you plan that time to make a rhyme?

Freeman Hunt said...

Heh. No, but I like it.

Freeman Hunt said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
PunditJoe said...

The old incandescent bulbs have far outlasted the CLFs in my house. I purchased a variety of CLF bulbs to give them an honest shake with the hopes of saving some money on a few lights I leave on for extended periods of time. However, I have ended up replacing them several times over - far more often than I have had to with the incandescent bulbs. Combined with their higher initial cost and disposal hassle, I failed to enjoy any savings. Thankfully, none have broken, so I haven’t had to go through all that mess.

Sofa King said...

I think the hysteria over the mercury hazard is being hyped beyond reason, though. 5 micrograms is a very small amount of mercury. You'd need to smash hundreds of thousands, maybe millions of bulbs, just to fill a small jar with that amount of mercury. If you have a tooth filling, there's likely far more mercury in that filling than in all the light bulbs you would ever use in your entire life. If you break one, sweep it up and open a window to air out the room, and you'll be fine.

Original Mike said...

I think the hysteria over the mercury hazard is being hyped beyond reason,

Just following government guidelines.

Lincolntf said...

It's not all "hysteria". I fish locally, and if a ton of these things (fragile glass containers containing fish poison) end up in the landfill, and thus the watershed, I won't be happy.

There will be "millions of them" smashed within a few years of the full ban. They're fragile and need to be changed a lot. Pretty much a recipe for breakage.

blake said...

Yes, but think of the jobs lost if the people that write, produce, and affix warning labels like: DO NOT FOLD STROLLER WITH BABY STILL INSIDE

Aw, crap. So that's where I left the baby!

Seriously, though, I'm glad HD has found something to praise Bush for.

C3 doesn't win the thread because nobody says authentically green tech is bad and he confuses a gov't ban with "free trade".

Sorry! yoinks trophy away

Freeman Hunt said...

I think the hysteria over the mercury hazard is being hyped beyond reason, though. 5 micrograms is a very small amount of mercury. You'd need to smash hundreds of thousands, maybe millions of bulbs, just to fill a small jar with that amount of mercury. If you have a tooth filling, there's likely far more mercury in that filling than in all the light bulbs you would ever use in your entire life. If you break one, sweep it up and open a window to air out the room, and you'll be fine.

Did you go to the link?

Also note: The absorption rate for inhalation (80%) is much much higher than the absorption rate for ingestion (0.01%). When these bulbs break, the danger is from inhalation.

Freeman Hunt said...

If anything, the clean up problem is being downplayed to hype use of these bulbs. Even the article I linked basically said, "Yeah, it's really dangerous, and you might want to cut out the carpet. But think of all the energy we'll save!"

traditionalguy said...

The professional flake Feingold voted to destroy the Professor's right to light. She needs to vote him out on a rail.

Sofa King said...

Yes, mercury vapor levels can exceed the maximum recommended safe recommended levels for *chronic* exposure. For a few minutes. Not exactly a life-threatening situation.

The fact that businesses and commerce have been using large numbers fluorescent tubes which *also* contain (sometimes much more) mercury for more than 50 years without causing an apocalypse leads me to believe it's not a huge problem.

Furthermore, if you are *really* concerned with mercury in the air, then you ought to be using *more* CFL bulbs, since more mercury is released into the air from burning the coal to generate the additional energy needed by an incandescent, than is contained in a CFL.

It's fine to not like CFL bulbs, okay. Let's not resort to junk science fearmongering to justify our preferences, though.

AJ Lynch said...

I use a flourescent on my porch and it lasts way longer than the incandescent bulbs. I leave the light on every night all night so I am certain about the differences.

Original Mike said...

I leave the light on every night all night

Great {/sarcasm}

El Pollo Real said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
El Pollo Real said...

Sofa King wrote: It's fine to not like CFL bulbs, okay. Let's not resort to junk science fearmongering to justify our preferences, though.

Smokestack flue scrubbing can remove Hg2+ but not elemental mercury, so at least there's a potential mechanism for scrubbing most of it (prior oxidation, then collection).

If you believe that the mercury in CFLs is innocuous I take it you would be for the unregulated disposal of them in landfills?

Full disclosure: I played around quite a bit with elemental mercury and molten lead as a kid.

Sofa King said...

I don't believe mercury is innocuous and I'm okay with regulations requiring proper disposal. I will not, however, agree that busting a single CFL light bulb is a serious safety hazard, particularly compared to all the other daily hazards people expose themselves to without a second thought.

Methadras said...

Sofa King said...

I think the hysteria over the mercury hazard is being hyped beyond reason, though. 5 micrograms is a very small amount of mercury.


As a solid it's not an issue. As a vapor it is an issue and if you look at what is required to clean up a broken CFL, you will immediately remove them from your home because any clean-up costs will kill any savings you could have realized by using them, I imagine, by orders of magnitude.

El Pollo Real said...

I will not, however, agree that busting a single CFL light bulb is a serious safety hazard..

I agree. I toss them in the trash.

Sofa King said...

Yes the vapor is worse than the solid, but it's nothing that a few minutes of ventilation (i.e., opening a window) will not disperse.

I don't know what clean-up costs you are referring to. I am going by the EPA guidelines: http://www.epa.gov/cfl/cflcleanup.html#disposal

nobody said...

I have not read this thread - don't have time right now - but I think that this is a basic civil rights issue.

I'm serious. A lot of autistic people have light sensitivities that make fluorescent lighting difficult or impossible to deal with.

Somebody should start a movement to preserve the incandescent light bulb on a disability rights grounding.

El Pollo Real said...

Yes the vapor is worse than the solid, but it's nothing that a few minutes of ventilation (i.e., opening a window) will not disperse.

The problem with dispersing mercury is that it is so much heavier than air. It literally needs to be swept out to be removed efficiently.

blake said...

Good point, nobody.

The government really doesn't care, though. Maybe they'll let us get prescriptions for incandescents.

Ritmo Brasileiro said...

molten lead?

Do tell!

blake said...

Pollo may have had one of those ultra-cool lead toy soldier kids.

El Pollo Real said...

Do tell!

My dad worked as a printer in the days when newspaper type was set in lead, then remelted for the next day.

At home he used to melt and cast 3 and 4 pound lead weights for scuba diving. He sold them too--before the days when they had to be painted. I'd help and watch him do it in the garage. Lead melts in a saucepan on a hot plate or with a propane torch. He'd scape the slag off the top and then pour it into the molds to harden (Quasimodo did the same thing in the Hunchback of Notre Dame).

As a kid I made myself a set of little metal bricks using an empty zippo lighter for a mold. They looked just like little stackable silver bars--perfect as a store of wealth for my Johnny West play set.

El Pollo Real said...

If you've ever played around with molten lead and actually made something from it you'd realize why graphite was once called plumbago.*

The physical resemblence (except for the difference in heft) is uncanny--even the little bumpy texture graphite has when found in nature resembles cast lead.

*There never was any lead in pencils--it was always graphite.

Ritmo Brasileiro said...

That's interesting, although much more inventive and measured than the toy soldier scenario that I thought of and Blake alluded to.

Myself, when I was a kid we'd "recycle" our (platic, of course) toy soldiers using the methods available. Of course, there weren't all that many methods available other than heat and laceration. We'd call it the "Suicide Committee" and joke in a high voice about a guy calling into the Suicide Committee to make an appointment.

Much cruder and more destructive, you see - but kids seem to think they must have a sense of "style" about these things.

Anyway, the one friend whose house (basement, really) had the most implements for "recycling" ended up going to MIT.

His father used to bellow like the hounds of hell when our other friend got the bright idea of opening up a carpeted over 3" diameter covering to the cesspool and dropping a stray soldier or tow down the thing as his own preferred "recycling" method.

Good times.

bobby said...

"But hey, nobody in Congress cares about us little people."
- - - -

Oh, like heck. Back when people in bars started that whole craze of tossing you guys, Congress acted outraged, and I think legislation was even passed outlawing it.


"So, who signed this bill? . . . Miss him yet?"
- - - -

Bush the Junior. And, yes, I miss him more and more each and every day, as do, I suspect, most citizens of England, France, Israel, Germany, Mexico, most of Africa, Japan, Canada, Turkey, Pakistan, Iraq, Australia, Russia, India, and . .. oh, yeah . . . the United States of America.

Ritmo Brasileiro said...

I guess "amputation" is a more precise term than "laceration" - at least if the idea of amputating one's lower body from one's upper body via a gash completely through the abdomen counts.

Ok. Now I'm just getting gruesome.

Back to the more intricate chemical methods.

wv: roronad.

I dunno, but I'm getting the idea of a hot rod engine and certain glands.

bobby said...

"At home he used to melt and cast 3 and 4 pound lead weights for scuba diving."

Ha! My dad used to do that, too. But he'd always try to hide them in the pockets of my swimsuits and then challenge me to a race way out to the floating swimming dock. So I'm thinking he wasn't just a scuba buff.

Wait until the plaintiff lawyers get together on the lawsuits alleging that broken CFL bulbs in stores, restaurants, hotels, schools - all over - have caused a huge mass injury to plaintiffs - I mean, innocent passers-by - and prove (with that same gusto and dedication to science with which they proved that silicone breast implants caused cancer) that the released mercury has caused wide-spread brain damage.

Yep. We'll be paying through the nose for these CFL's for decades.

Richard Fagin said...

Everyone is so busy worrying about what's going in the household lamp sockets for illumiunation purposes that the entire business of miniature incandescent bulbs, including indicators, control panel illumination and the like has just plain been forgotten. These things cost pennies to produce, there are no fluorescent substitutes (they're just too small) and the LED versions at this point are several times to several hundred times more expensive.

Hopefully they'll still be made in Mexico. There was a great business smuggling Freon 12 for a while after the manufacturing phaseout in 1994. I'm guessing ICE won't be able to train dogs to sniff out light bulbs any time soon.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

My dad worked as a printer in the days when newspaper type was set in lead, then remelted for the next day.

Hey!!

ME TOO Both of my parents were printers and operated linotype machines.

As a child when we ran a small town newspaper, it was my job to set the large headline type in the galley's....upside down and backwards. Really cool skill to have in school.

Richard Fagin said...

Oh, forgot to mention that over 60%of all electricity consumed in the U.S. is to operate electric motors. A substantial chunk of the remainder is used to operate oil refineries, chemical plants and metal refining operations.

Illumination electricity consumption is a drop in the bucket. Just a 10% increase in the efficiency of all electric motors would make the lightbulb debate moot, and there are a lot fewer motors than light bulbs.

c3 said...

Peter Hoh wrote: c3 @1:49 wins the thread!

Who elected you decider-in-chief?


Well then I'm running as a green party candidate. You know in Arizona it only takes one signature to get on the ballot.

(PS by green tech= bad I meant to say as Pushed by our present President and Congress)

El Pollo Real said...

DBQ wrote ...it was my job to set the large headline type in the galley's....upside down and backwards.

Yeah my dad could read print upside down and backwards too--mind your p's and q's!

Just one more reason to think you're cool DBQ

Shanna said...

Yes the vapor is worse than the solid, but it's nothing that a few minutes of ventilation (i.e., opening a window) will not disperse.

Not every room in the house has windows!! Ever heard of a basement? Closet? Some people have windows that thoughtful previous owners have nailed shut, as well.

Illumination electricity consumption is a drop in the bucket. Just a 10% increase in the efficiency of all electric motors would make the lightbulb debate moot, and there are a lot fewer motors than light bulbs.

The government would rather do something not terribly useful and potentially harmful just so they can say they did something than work on something that wouldn't be a drop in the bucket. Also, I bet there was major lobbying by CFL types in the background to have their competition completely outlawed. Where are all our paranoid lefties who see big business screwing us over in the background?

rocampo said...

Try Philips plant lights which are broad spectrum incandescent and made in Mexico. I use them to keep baby chicks warm and they produce some of the best colors I've seen.

Specialty bulbs such as my SLI Lighting infrared bulb (250W!) will probably remain available as they are cheaper and safer than non-electric alternatives.

El Pollo Real said...

Shanna wrote Not every room in the house has windows!! Ever heard of a basement?

Your comment reminded me of radon gas which is also monatomic like mercury and not much heavier.

Radon pools in basements in part because it seeps in there first and also because it can't really get out out because it's much heavier than air.

Palladian said...

"As a child when we ran a small town newspaper, it was my job to set the large headline type in the galley's....upside down and backwards. Really cool skill to have in school"

Excellent! I do a lot of letterpress printing. I even own my own (metal) font of Caslon. Setting type is wonderful meditation.

El Pollo Real said...

How much for a quality print of that photo Palladian?

Freeman Hunt said...

Let's not resort to junk science fearmongering to justify our preferences, though.

I didn't write the cleanup instructions. And it doesn't just exceed the chronic exposure level. It can exceed it by over 100 times.

Also, I don't have any coal plants operating in my house. But I have accidentally broken one of these bulbs in a basement storage closet. It was fun to try to ventilate that.

knox said...

First of all, don't buy GE products. The company is evil.

Yes, They exemplify the toxic mix of government and big biz.



This lightbulb thing is terribly depressing... I really can't believe it's happening. If anything is going to make me really hate environmentalists and their ongoing attempt to control our lives, MY life, this is it.

Palladian said...

"I'm serious. A lot of autistic people have light sensitivities that make fluorescent lighting difficult or impossible to deal with."

Amen. Add to that migraineurs and of course those of us in such categories who also have an aesthetic objection to the hideous light put out by CFLs.

And it's NOT simply an issue of color temperature. I have experimented with different temperatures of CFLs and they all stink.

Also, there's the matter of the aesthetic qualities of the bulbs themselves. I have several rare lamps produced in ages past that actually use the bulb as part of the total design of the lamp. Case in point: my wall-mounted "Triedro" lamp, designed by Joe Colombo in the 60s. Here it is with the correct bulb, a half-silvered round incandescent, and here it is with a CFL.

Also consider the fixtures in Grand Central Terminal in New York. Imagine them with CFLs!

Beauty. Horror.

Palladian said...

"How much for a quality print of that photo Palladian?"

It just so happens that I make high-quality prints! Contact me!

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Also consider the fixtures in Grand Central Terminal in New York. Imagine them with CFLs!

Or the Arts and Crafts and Art Deco style lamps that I have in my home. Yuck.

Dudley Do-right said...

Oh, the ban doesn't take effect until 2014? We're good then. World's supposed to end 2011 or 2012 at the latest. They can ban anything they want in 2014.

Don't whine. Taking out the trash on Capitol Hill will be worth it.

blake said...

Wow, Palladian.

The CFL turns that fixture from a work of art to a piece of crap.

comatus said...

The people of Ohio have just chosen Edison (over the Wrights) to "represent" them in the Capitol statuary gallery, replacing a pro-slavery (yep, that'd mean Democrat) governor.

Just in time to outlaw his invention. Lucky, I guess -- it could have been airplanes. They're next, unless we can set the Chinese to building them for us.

Meanwhile, in Livermore, Cal.:
http://www.centennialbulb.org/photos.htm

109 years. CFL that, beyotches.

El Pollo Real said...

It just so happens that I make high-quality prints! Contact me!

Gotta go now for a while but I;ll be in contact.

Love those photo contrasts-this one especially. The CFL bulb looks like a fist. If the middle "finger" lobe were extended it would look like the message the CFL industry is sending us!

Ralph L said...

I bought 3 of those old style carbon filament bulbs some years ago from Rejuvenation Lightworks (for $10 a piece) for a bizarre, hundred-year-old fixture in my bedroom. The bulbs stick downward from a gilt-painted, ornate cast iron triangle with aluminum bracket and pendant, hanging on a chrome chain from a brass ceiling plate with gold highlighting.

HDHouse said...

so let's sum it up.

Bush signs a bill that starts to phase out light bulbs in 5 years (2007).

The CFL bulbs are hard to make but still offer a savings unless you buy junkie ones and they are extremely energy efficient compared to normal light bulbs.

GE closes a plant and tosses folks out of work but is in the CFL business anyway.

The amount of mercury involved with CFLs in 5mg/bulb or less but care should be taken because there is mercury present no matter how small an amount.

People are hording or stockpiling light bulbs.

A few are over the edge with government interference in their lives and right to chose their lightbulbs....Knox finds it terribly depressing...the sky is indeed falling.

Is there anything more important on some of your plates than this?

HDHouse said...

shoutingthomas said...
"I'm not in bed with anybody, HenHouse. That's just your imagination."

Its probably not by your choice but certainly understandable.

chuck said...

Is there anything more important on some of your plates than this?

No. Stupid and pointless government regulation of everyday products is pretty much the state of the union.

george said...

I knew Congress had passed this law but I always figured everyone would just ignore it. We are long past the point where anyone thinks anything our government does is legitimate. All that remains is that people start acting on their beliefs.

Maybe we can make a deal and use illegal aliens as bulb mules? We wouldn't even have to change the law since illegals are allowed to operate with impunity to our laws anyway. It's a win-win for everyone!

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