Well, congress finally got smart.
Sort of. You see, if you haven’t followed this, next year 100watt bulbs were supposed to be banned. Then, slowly, lower wattage bulbs would be banned until we are all stuck using CFL bulbs. You know, those heavy expensive things that are sometimes slow to light, look weird in ceiling fans, don’t do so well when used to replace that burned out oven bulb, and contain toxic mercury. Yeah, those. Oh yeah, they are supposed to be better for the environment too. Because mercury vapor is so much better than inert argon, not to mention the extra manufacturing effort and electronics inside.
The house voted this week to overturn the ban, which pissed off the Greenies. Because, after all, we shouldn’t be allowed to make choices for ourselves, the government should do our thinking for us.
Of course, there never really was a “ban” any way. See, the bulb people were told, “make more efficient bulbs”, which meant you can still buy the good, old fashioned incandescent bulbs. GE just has to get their act together and make more efficient ones so we can keep buying them. So, instead of a pack of four bulbs for a buck, you might be paying two or three bucks a piece, but you would get more light instead of heat.
The problem is a lot of the bulb people already put a lot of effort and money into designing the new bulbs, and retooling factories. So they are ready to make efficient incandescent bulbs meeting new standards, but which are a little more expensive. Meanwhile, factories that didn’t upgrade yet can still sell the cheap old heat-globes at bargain prices, and in America, we like cheap and easy. Equate bulbs here we come. I’m all for having more efficient incandescents, as long as we have them.
Frankly I like my good old incandescents. They do one thing that CFL bulbs suck at: They DIM. I installed dimmer switches in every room. CFL bulbs just go on and off. But, if I put regular bulbs in my light socket, I can run them at full power, or almost off, which is great for reading or watching tv, or doing other stuff at night. And, what is even better, when you light them slowly, and burn them not at full power, they don’t pop as often. I hardly ever replace bulbs any more. The things last forever.
Which is good, because if they ever really do ban incandescents in this country, when I have to buy a crate and have them shipped from Mexico, they will need to last a while.