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Incandescent Bulbs Get a Reprieve 767

Posted by Soulskill
from the every-comment-must-contain-the-words-'free-market' dept.
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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Incandescent Bulbs Get a Reprieve

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  • Freakin' Riders. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by jerpyro (926071) on Tuesday January 14, 2014 @06:13PM (#45957819)

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

  • Good riddance (Score:5, Insightful)

    by sideslash (1865434) on Tuesday January 14, 2014 @06:19PM (#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.
  • Prison lighting (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 14, 2014 @06:21PM (#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."

  • by Dzimas (547818) on Tuesday January 14, 2014 @06:21PM (#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.
  • by NewWorldDan (899800) <dan@gen-tracker.com> on Tuesday January 14, 2014 @06:21PM (#45957961) Homepage Journal

    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.

  • by lgw (121541) on Tuesday January 14, 2014 @06:26PM (#45958023) Journal

    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.

  • by gurps_npc (621217) on Tuesday January 14, 2014 @06:40PM (#45958239) Homepage
    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.

  • by meglon (1001833) on Tuesday January 14, 2014 @06:48PM (#45958375)
    Here's a few changes that would reduce the intrusion of government into your daily habits: Quite driving on roads; drinking clean water; breathing clean air; eating food inspected for its safety; quit using products inspected for safety; eliminate from your thought process that if something terrible goes wrong you can just call the: fire department, police department, or other emergency responders; quit taking medications that have been tested for safety; quit using the post office, the internet, tv, cable, satellite services.

    It takes an especially egregious asshat to be such a hypocrite as fuckwads who don't recognize that they use government resources and services EVERY SINGLE DAY OF THEIR LIFE. You want to live like a antisocial inbred dipshit in a cave somewhere, give Ted Kaczynski a call.... he might have some tips for you. Oh wait... even he used the Post Office. I guess he wasn't quit the fuckwad asshat you want to be.
  • by RenderSeven (938535) on Tuesday January 14, 2014 @06:54PM (#45958465)

    They make no sense and CFL's make a ton of sense ... CFL side repeatedly tells the truth, while the incandescent people repeatedly lie about things like price and pollution.

    They both make sense in different applications. I have vanity lights that take 6 bulbs. They are on only briefly, when shaving or my wife putting on makeup. Color balance is important, as is the instant-on, and they arent on long enough to matter a whit about energy use. Incandescent beats CFL and LED there. I use CFL's anywhere lights are left on for any period of time. And LED's where they are hard to change and color matters. For outdoor floods I use one CFL and one halogen, because they literally take 10 minutes to get anywhere near full bright when its 5 below outside. LED floodlights are crazy-stupid expensive.

    If people are too stupid to select the proper bulb technology, I dont think sweeping laws that ignore intended use are the answer to that stupidity. At least I stocked up; four cases of every incandescent I use. Hopefully that sees me through until LED's get better color rendition and come down in price a bit more.

  • by Moryath (553296) on Tuesday January 14, 2014 @06:55PM (#45958477)

    Incandescent bulbs suck. They break easily, don't last long, and are a fucking fire hazard when used incorrectly (as simple as putting materials too close or putting too bright a bulb in a fixture with inadequate insulation and thin wiring).

    CFLs suck less than incandescent bulbs. They don't get nearly as hot, they draw roughly an order of magnitude less current. Are they perfect? No, there are still issues like what to do if one is broken (shattered) and with deteriorating light amount over time on some of the earlier CFL models.

    LEDs suck less than CFLs. They draw a bit less power and don't have some of the other CFL trade-offs.

    The douchiness is in reactionary fucking morons who scream "waah CFLs suck because of LEDs, therefore we should all go back to incandescents" which is a really fucking stupid comment as you watch them make it.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 14, 2014 @06:57PM (#45958521)

    Wow, someone needs to drink a beer or smoke a joint (if you live in Colorado).

    Using government services that we all pay for with taxes is not the same as not wanting someone telling me what kind of fucking light bulb I can buy or soda I can drink or etc. etc.

    They are NOT the same thing.

  • by tlhIngan (30335) <slashdot@wor f . n et> on Tuesday January 14, 2014 @07:08PM (#45958681)

    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.

    LEDs have about the same efficiency of CFLs, though they're SLOWLY getting better (LEDs had horrible efficiency before - thanks to the ban, the R&D effort at making LED lights mainstream has really kicked in).

    And compared to CFLs, LEDs are superior - instant on (80% brightness instantly, 100% within a few seconds), no mercury, practically solid state (the only hard part is a switching power supply).

    Government regulations have a nasty habit of kicking industry at times - and the bans on inefficient lighting has forced industry to look at alternatives and research them. High efficiency LEDs are becoming common, and only a few years ago they finally surpassed CFLs, and now, they're becoming super-cheap.

    And it's revolutionized other industries - aircraft lighting is rapidly going LEDs - even though a LED bulb is $150 or so (for a landing or taxiing light), being able to change a power hog of a light from 20A down to 3A for the same or better brightness? Airplane batteries are tiny in light aircraft - barely enough to start the engine. Being able to have courtesy lights on and not drain the battery badly is a huge benefit.

    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?

    Ironically, when analyzed fully, an incandescent light typically emits MORE mercury into the atmosphere than the metallic mercury in a CFL. And when recycled, the mercury is recovered, while the emitted mercury isn't. The mercury comes from the fact that a good chunk of the US power grid still uses coal, and the added energy use of the lightbulb can translate into additional coal consumption and mercury emissions. (And metallic mercury is "safe" - it's not bio-available. But there are many bio-available mercury compounds that are and contribute to mercury poisoning).

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 14, 2014 @07:14PM (#45958765)
    How long were you waiting to dump that bucket of vitriol? Chill out.
  • by cayenne8 (626475) on Tuesday January 14, 2014 @07:25PM (#45958911) Homepage Journal

    Here's a few changes that would reduce the intrusion of government into your daily habits: Quite driving on roads; drinking clean water; breathing clean air; eating food inspected for its safety; quit using products inspected for safety; eliminate from your thought process that if something terrible goes wrong you can just call the: fire department, police department, or other emergency responders; quit taking medications that have been tested for safety; quit using the post office, the internet, tv, cable, satellite services.

    You know...I think most everyone would be tickled pink if our government would stick to and ONLY be involved in such activities that I think we can all agree on, are helpful, and non-intrusive to our personal lives.

    Past these things...for the most part, we need to reign govt back in. We don't need them for everything we do in our daily lives. We certainly don't need them sweeping up, keeping and analyzing metadata from all our communications.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 14, 2014 @07:29PM (#45958957)
    Um, what's it to you if he wants to waste his money? Why do you feel such an overwhelming desire to say "no, you can not buy that type of light bulb, evar"? After all, LED's are getting so good, and cheap, do you really need to be an asshat authoritarian to do something that will happen regardless?
  • by demonlapin (527802) on Tuesday January 14, 2014 @07:36PM (#45959043) Homepage Journal
    Fire, police, and emergency are all entirely locally provided. Go to the next town over, they have their own fire and police. Internet and cable are provided by locally regulated monopolies. The roads are provided (mostly) by my state and local government.

    Clean air and water are subject to state as well as federal regulation, as is food safety. The safety of most of the products I use is ensured by a private group called Underwriters Laboratories, whose name points out who other than the government is concerned about safety: insurers. TV is pretty much federally regulated, for broadcast. And the post office is mentioned right there in Article I, Section 8 of the U.S. Constitution, so I'm pretty sure it's on safe ground.

    So yeah, the interactions I have with government are mostly what they should be: local. I know my city councilman personally. If I get upset with the mayor, I can go downtown and meet with him. I know my state representative. I can call him at home if I want to. Hell, I even ran into the governor at the liquor store once. But my congressman? Well, he had 15 minutes for me. The senator sent his aides. And I'm fairly sure that even a flawlessly written and beautifully argued letter to the President or a Cabinet secretary is never going to see their eyes. Washington should do the stuff that we made the government to do: protect our liberty. There's a reason that they left the rest of that to the states. You don't see me bitching about Massachusetts raising its taxes, nor California, because I don't live in either one and if they want a high-tax, high-service state, that's their choice. Go for it. Just like it's supposed to be done.
  • by anagama (611277) <obamaisaneocon@nothingchanged.org> on Tuesday January 14, 2014 @07:40PM (#45959079) Homepage

    I've just moved into a new place. I've replaced all the frequently used built in lights with soft-white LEDs which honestly, have a perfectly nice light. For less frequently used spaces, I have some spare CFLs I'll use up.

    I did spend about $70 on seven "60 watt" and two "40 watt" LED bulbs, but it's a good investment. There is one light that will be on about 10 hours/day. A 60 watt bulb there would use 0.6 kWhrs/day, or about 219 kWhrs/yr. At 12c a kWhr, that's $26.28/year for that light if incandescent. The LED is a 9.5 watt bulb, 0.095 kWhrs/day, 34.7 kWhr's per year, $4.16/yr in electricity.

    So that one one bulb will save me $22/yr -- almost 1/3 of what it cost me to buy all of the bulbs combined. Between all of them, I'll probably have them all paid off in energy savings by next year, and by then, all those incandescents would have popped anyway and needed to be rebought, saving me some more money.

    I know $22 isn't much, but by the same token, I wouldn't pull a twenty out of my wallet and then just drop it on the street for no reason.

  • by mcgrew (92797) * on Tuesday January 14, 2014 @09:27PM (#45960373) Homepage Journal

    I have incandescent bulbs that have lasted twenty years without being changed. I have had CFLs that last a month, in the same socket that the previous incandescent lasted for years.

    I'm sorry for being so truthful but you're a fucking liar. I'm 61 years old and never saw a bulb in use last much longer than a year. Shelf life? Sure. Are you a politician? Or a PR guy for BP or Mobile? CFLs plural that lasted a month? I've been using them for a decade and never saw any like that.

    Peddle your lies somewhere else. Oh, wait, I read on. It gets better.

    When an incandescent bulb breaks, you release highly toxic nothing gas and some bits of tungsten. When a CFL breaks, you call in the hazmat team to deal with it.

    LOL. Incandescents have no toxic gasses, and Bullshit on your hazmat, too. [epa.gov] Who's paying you to lie like that?

    I'll skip the rest of the laughable bits and ROTF over this: "The important measure is not current but wattage, since that's what is used in billing. According to this they use 1/3 to 1/5 as many watts."

    Do you know where you are, dudus? Wattage is voltage times amperage and everybody here knows that. Take your troll to reddit, morons there are stupid enough to swallow your bullshit.

    Have a nice day, shill.

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