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Power Politics

California Proposes to Ban Incandescent Lightbulbs 1074

zhang1983 writes to tell us CNN is reporting that California Assemblyman Lloyd Levine wants to make his state the first to ban incandescent lightbulbs with the "How Many Legislators Does it Take to Change a Lightbulb Act". The act will promote Compact fluorescent lightbulbs (CFLs) to replace the inefficient incandescent lightbulbs. According to him, "Incandescent lightbulbs were first developed almost 125 years ago, and since that time they have undergone no major modifications, meanwhile, they remain incredibly inefficient, converting only about 5 percent of the energy they receive into light."
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California Proposes to Ban Incandescent Lightbulbs

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  • by CastrTroy ( 595695 ) on Wednesday January 31, 2007 @03:51PM (#17831458) Homepage
    As extreme as this legislation is, I hope it goes through, as long as there are provisions so that incandescents can still be used under certain circumstances. But as for everyday home lighting, the incandescent should be abolished.
  • I don't like this (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Eugenia Loli ( 250395 ) on Wednesday January 31, 2007 @03:52PM (#17831476) Homepage Journal
    I don't like this at all. My eyes hurt with fluorescent bulbs. They give me a headache. I prefer the more natural look and less-flickering of the current bulbs. Unless they fix the fluorescent bulbs to not be so intrusive, I don't like this.
  • No, no... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Eternauta3k ( 680157 ) on Wednesday January 31, 2007 @03:53PM (#17831486) Homepage Journal
    While it's great they want to promote CFLs, I think this is excessive. What if you want to light an art room or something? Maybe there are exceptions for cases like those, but wouldn't it be better if they created incentives to use CFLs or maybe tax incandescents?
  • by mcostas ( 973159 ) on Wednesday January 31, 2007 @03:54PM (#17831504)
    Specific technology mandates or bans are a bad idea. However, rules requiring a certain efficiency of lighting would make sense. This could effectively ban incandescents and lead to replacement with CFL, but without getting unnecessarily stuck on a particular technology. For example, LED bulbs will probably soon be better than CFL. And of course we must believe in the American corporate ability to manufacture some sort of Hummer of CF bulbs that still manages to use 1 megawatt per room, while complying with a technology mandate.

  • Re:Wrong target (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Umbrel ( 1040414 ) on Wednesday January 31, 2007 @03:55PM (#17831514)
    You do realize that given the amount of light bulbs over there, swiching to CFL is actually a huge energy saving
  • just what we need (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 31, 2007 @03:57PM (#17831554)
    Yet more government intrusion into our lives. Perhaps next they can tell us what to wear and eat too.
  • by anagama ( 611277 ) <> on Wednesday January 31, 2007 @03:58PM (#17831572) Homepage
    Using lights as heaters is silly. Heat rises. Most lights are at least halfway up the wall -- floor level lights are very rare. Besides, were talking CA here, and while significant parts of the state have 4 seasons, a lot of the population is located from LA to San Diego where cooling is more of an issue than heating. Seriously, would someone in Maine leave their refrigerator door open all day to cool the house in winter (not that it would work because the cooling elements release heat back into the house -- but play along here)? Why would someone in a hot clime intentionally use lights to heat their house in the summer?
  • by simm1701 ( 835424 ) on Wednesday January 31, 2007 @04:03PM (#17831668)
    Ok for a state like california I can understand the reasons for this.

    Its hot there and you probably dont need an extra heat source.

    However the idea that incandescants are "bad" is really quite foolish.

    They take less energy to produce, are cheaper to produce and easier to dispose of (no heavy metals or polutants)

    The down side? atleast 80% of the energy they use goes to heat. Is this really a down side? Many people call this waste heat - but it certainly is not waste if it is doing something useful - like heating your house! I live in england - this means my central heating (electric) is on most of the year - it rarely gets warm enough for it not to be in use.

    Also given our latitude in the breif summer that we have it is also lighter much longer into the evening.

    This generally means that when the lights are on, the heating is also on. The heating is controlled by a thermostat - so until the room is at a certain temerature, the heaters will be on. If some of that heat is being provided by incandescant bulbs then it just means the heating comes on less.

    So that means all the energy is now useful... So given efficiency is useful work out / work in then for the above usage (which is common) incandescant bulbs provide 100% efficiency. Given the cost to produce and the polutants in the so called high efficiency bulbs is it really a good idea to switch?
  • by CastrTroy ( 595695 ) on Wednesday January 31, 2007 @04:06PM (#17831732) Homepage
    Or you could just tell him which type of CFLs you find the best, so he doesn't have to do the same experimentation that you did.
  • by drinkypoo ( 153816 ) <> on Wednesday January 31, 2007 @04:08PM (#17831744) Homepage Journal

    Oh yeah, and CFLs are still expensive as hell, which a lot of people don't like

    No, they are not. Only the good ones are expensive. My local Grocery Outlet is selling four-packs of ~20W CFLs for $2.00. The dollar store regularly has 1-packs and sometimes 2-packs. Before Grocery Outlet got them, I bought a couple of four-packs at a Friedman Bros. for $5 each.

    The problem with CFLs is that the GOOD ones are expensive. The ones that have decent color and don't make noise, that is.

    Outlawing incandescents means that only rich people will have good lighting in their house, and THAT is why I am opposed to this concept. It's wrong to make it illegal for poor people to have good light.

  • by glindsey ( 73730 ) on Wednesday January 31, 2007 @04:08PM (#17831768)
    Fluorescent lights with electronic ballasts (which I'm almost positive all CFLs are) emit no flickering visible to the human eye; rather than strobing at 120Hz like cheap magnetic ballasts do, electronic ballasts typically operate in the 20kHz range.

    The color spectrum is another story; as another poster pointed out, changing or tinting the tube coating can help with this.
  • Ban SUVs? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by PFI_Optix ( 936301 ) on Wednesday January 31, 2007 @04:09PM (#17831788) Journal
    Yeah, because it'll save so much gas when I make two trips in my car (30 MPG) to pick up what I could in one trip with my SUV (25 MPG).
  • by CastrTroy ( 595695 ) on Wednesday January 31, 2007 @04:09PM (#17831792) Homepage
    But the bill is to ban incandescents, not to force the use of CFLs. If you want to use LEDs instead than go ahead. If you can find me an incandescent bulb with comparable efficiency to an LED or CFL, then maybe you can complain about how it should be worded differently.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 31, 2007 @04:09PM (#17831794)
    ahem. Heat does not rise, it disperses. Hot air rises, but since the heat disperses it does not stay hot that long. A steady stream of heat will cause hot air to rise, then disperse the heat. This causes the higher air to be at a higher temperature, but the bottom air still gets warmer as well. In short, don't try to sound smart when you don't even take the time to think before posting.
  • Re:Wrong target (Score:4, Insightful)

    by mark-t ( 151149 ) <markt@nerdfl[ ]com ['at.' in gap]> on Wednesday January 31, 2007 @04:10PM (#17831814) Journal

    Three words:

    Bright white LED's.

  • by Clover_Kicker ( 20761 ) <> on Wednesday January 31, 2007 @04:17PM (#17831952)
    Heating the ceiling with a light bulb is a terrible way to warm a room. There's a reason they place dedicated heaters close to the floor on outside walls.

  • Re:Wrong target (Score:4, Insightful)

    by mordors9 ( 665662 ) on Wednesday January 31, 2007 @04:22PM (#17832032)
    But we have empowered these idiots with our votes in the past. They passed smoking bans and we all applauded. They told us we had to buckle up and wear helmets and we gave them a pat on the back. Lately they have been trying to protect us by banning the very same tranfats that they forced upon restaurants several years ago to get rid to saturated fats. So why shouldn't they further save the world by banning the light bulb. Next stop... who knows.
  • Re:Wrong target (Score:4, Insightful)

    by rbanffy ( 584143 ) on Wednesday January 31, 2007 @04:23PM (#17832044) Homepage Journal

    Run a public information campaign instead.

    Raise the taxes on incandescent, reducing taxes on LED and CFLs.

  • by SScorpio ( 595836 ) on Wednesday January 31, 2007 @04:25PM (#17832058)
    No they are too efficient. The 5% lead to bills like this. I say they should drop down to 0.5%. Remember that government is at it best when it does nothing.
  • by heroine ( 1220 ) on Wednesday January 31, 2007 @04:29PM (#17832108) Homepage
    The American philosophy: if everyone can't be rich, everyone has to be poor. Thus you have almost everyone renting dumpy apartments. There's no incentive for landlords to install anything but the cheapest, least efficient appliances in their dumpy apartments. There's no incentive for renters to install fluorescent bulbs because they don't own the property. You end up with almost every progressive decision being forced by the government.

  • by Snowgen ( 586732 ) on Wednesday January 31, 2007 @04:32PM (#17832154) Homepage

    LEDs that work on alternating current do NOT work with dimmer switches.

    Last I heard, the "D" in "LED" stands for "diode."

    By definition, a diode is a device that allows current to flow in one direction while opposing it in the other direction.

    It would seem that it would be therefore impossible to have an LED that truly works on non-rectified alternating current, unless it was running only 50% of the time.

    What am I missing? Is it that the term LED is now a misnomer applied to a non-diode technology, or something else?

  • by minion ( 162631 ) on Wednesday January 31, 2007 @04:33PM (#17832178)
    I'm from the government and I'm here to help.
  • Better idea (Score:5, Insightful)

    by MobyDisk ( 75490 ) on Wednesday January 31, 2007 @04:39PM (#17832296) Homepage
    A better idea would be to tax them. An even better idea would be to increase the energy tax. That way you force people to make more energy-efficient decisions about all products, not just one particular type of light bulb. This is a case where economics can work for you, not against you. Bans like this also get complicated: What about cases where incandecent is the only option? What if someone makes a hybrid bulb? What if someone makes a more efficient incandecent? It all comes back to legislating technology (light bulbs), instead of legislating the real problem (energy use).
  • by J'raxis ( 248192 ) on Wednesday January 31, 2007 @04:40PM (#17832306) Homepage

    They'll pass a new law requiring people to recycle them, and to pay a fee [] to do so. And then of course you'd need a law fining people for putting them in with their normal trash. And all of this will induce people to chuck them in ditches like old tires and batteries, so you'll have to fine people for that too. And all this enforcement doesn't come for free either, so if they're not collecting enough revenues from the fees and fines, the rest will come out of your taxes.

    When in doubt, throw a new law at it.

  • by UbuntuDupe ( 970646 ) * on Wednesday January 31, 2007 @04:42PM (#17832332) Journal
    What's that, Marxist? You're saying that a selfish, human concern like that can possibly override the goal of SAVING THE EARTH? No, it can't be!
  • by alcourt ( 198386 ) on Wednesday January 31, 2007 @04:44PM (#17832374)
    Sometimes when I buy a CFL, I end up having to either return it or throw it away. Not because of a defect, but because it produces a flicker that can't quite be seen that induces migraines in some people. This sensitivity isn't all that rare, I've known others who had a similar problem.

    I've been very reluctant to convert certain rooms of my house to CFL because of the fact that some CFLs give me problems after a few minutes, some take a few hours before the problem occurs. (Which is particularly important for my home office where I may work for ten or more hours at a stretch in the middle of the night while working a change.) Some models work well for me, some don't. My sensitivity is considered mild.

    Incandescent lighting fixtures do make sense in some circumstances, even for home use.
  • nercury and CFLs (Score:3, Insightful)

    by falconwolf ( 725481 ) <> on Wednesday January 31, 2007 @04:45PM (#17832390)

    besides, all kids have to have access to a source of mercury to play with. if folks were serious about that (and all fluorescents and neon sign lighting has mercury,)

    Yes, CLFs have mercury but then the mercury they contain is less than the mercury emitted from coal power plants that produces the electricity needed to light incandescent lights. Unfortunately they are point sources of mercury and the bulbs need to be properly disposed of, and how many places have such programs setup? I bet not many. If CA is going to require CFLs then maybe they can go another step and require sellers to collect used CFLs as well, and setup a proper disposal system. This would be a bureaucrat's dream come true, think of all the paper they could require.

    they'd be legislating LED lightbulbs into use. which DO work in the cold.

    While LED lights use only a tenth the power needs of incandescent light bulbs, they are only good for point or spot lighting, LEDs aren't good for area lighting as of yet, whihc most lights are used for. Of course more research into them may solve this problem.

  • by Rob the Bold ( 788862 ) on Wednesday January 31, 2007 @04:45PM (#17832398)

    Unfortunately, most CFLs contain mercury so disposal becomes an issue.

    Depending on what they burn in your area to generate electricity, the mercury in the extra fuel needed to produce the extra juice needed to run an incandescent over a fluorescent's lifetime could exceed the mercury in a CFL.

    Take street lights for example, they use Metal halide or sodium bulbs which are in some cases considerably more efficient than fluorescents.

    Since those are gas-discharge lamps like fluorescents, I don't think you would ban them when outlawing incandescents.

    I've replaced most of my bulbs with CFLs now, but finding a good replacement for a 40 watt incandescent chandelier type bulb is damn near impossible.

    If you ever find anything, please let me know. I've tried the existing options, and they are very disappointing.

    Perhaps mandating a public service notice stuffed in (or printed on) each electric bill would be a better choice than an outright ban.

  • by Hijacked Public ( 999535 ) * on Wednesday January 31, 2007 @04:52PM (#17832522)
    There are a couple of ways of running an LED from an AC power source. Some types can run directly from AC, and you are correct in thinking that they are lit only half the time. This typically happens faster than can be preceived by the human eye, but it screws up us photographers.

    Some newer AC LEDs meant as replacements for incandescents come bundled with an AC to DC inverter. Various people are selling inverters combined with higher power LEDs, like the Cree or Luxeon 5 watt emitters, packaged into an incadescent sized space.

    LEDs aren't quite there yet when it comes to indoor lighting. They make great flashlights, unless you want to see a long way off, but they tend to suck for general interior lighting.
  • Re:Wrong target (Score:3, Insightful)

    by gomoX ( 618462 ) on Wednesday January 31, 2007 @04:55PM (#17832588) Homepage
    LED's dont produce a full spectrum of light, and it is hideously expensive to get decent power output out of LEDs. Studio photographers can just use flash, but moviemakers need continuous light.
  • by thule ( 9041 ) on Wednesday January 31, 2007 @04:56PM (#17832610) Homepage
    I too can immediately see 60Hz. It is waaaaaaaay annoying to me. If you use a CRT, what refresh do you use? I would be interested to know. No setting on a CRT will match the rate of a modern CFL by a *wide* margin. If you can sit in front of a CRT, then you can use a CFL.

    I do a spin test to get an idea on what the flicker rate is. With modern CFL's I can spin a top and *barely* see a flicker pattern. In corporate lighting with multiple bulbs I cannot see the flicker at all, even *with* a fast spinning top. I'm the first one around here that notices when a bulb is going since I can pick up when it is starting to flicker, so I know my eyes can detect flicker, but I just don't see how a proper functioning fixture can bother people these days. Especially people that have been in computers before the era of LCD's! I wonder how computer users got through the 80's!
  • by swb ( 14022 ) on Wednesday January 31, 2007 @04:56PM (#17832622)
    Of course not, no more than the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has conisders the outcome of increased overpopulation and the ensuing political, social and environmental chaos that will be caused by curing endemic diseaes in third world countries.

    This is what ALWAYS happens when someone seizes upon a single good idea and then decides to make it manditory; CFLs save tons of energy, but they contain mercury. The intelligent people who use them know this and dispose of properly; the masses won't, so the "solution" they eliminates mercury emissions from power plants ends up INCREASING mercury in the environment from millions of illegally disposed of CFLs.

    In true California fashion, they will probably institute manditory $10 deposits on CFLs as well as creating a massive new lightbulb disposal infrastructure which will use more resources, produce more CO2 and cost billions more than just keeping incandescents.
  • by Kijori ( 897770 ) <ward.jake@gm[ ].com ['ail' in gap]> on Wednesday January 31, 2007 @04:58PM (#17832662)

    It is none of the government's business. Any lawful powers a government can have must have been delegated, directly or indirectly, by the people. But people do not have the right to control the purchasing decisions of others - only their own. Since that right does not exist, it cannot be delegated, and cannot be among the lawful powers of the California government, nor of any other. Of course all governments exercise illegitimate, usurped powers all the time, but it is not right, it is not lawful, it should not happen, and those responsible should, at a bare minimum, be removed from office, and held civilly and criminally accountable for any harm they may have caused.

    People don't have the right to control the sexual habits of others - but we prohibit sex with minors because it's in the public interest. People don't have the right to control the actions of others - but we prohibit drug trafficking because it's in the public interest. People don't have the right to control the purchases of others - but we control gun ownership because it's in the public interest. Those are fairly 'extreme' cases, granted, but there are hundreds of others; licenses, migration laws, noise control...

    The government has the right to control things that are harmful to the good of the people. Pollution is harmful to the people, and so the government has every right to control it. Whether this law is a good idea is debatable - there are obvious problems, but since I haven't seen the actual text I reserve comment - but it is every bit the government's right to restrict the use of overly damaging appliances.

  • OT: Smoking Bans (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Pfhorrest ( 545131 ) on Wednesday January 31, 2007 @05:02PM (#17832736) Homepage Journal
    But we have empowered these idiots with our votes in the past. They passed smoking bans and we all applauded. They told us we had to buckle up and wear helmets and we gave them a pat on the back. Lately they have been trying to protect us by banning the very same tranfats that they forced upon restaurants several years ago to get rid to saturated fats. So why shouldn't they further save the world by banning the light bulb. Next stop... who knows.

    This is just a pet peeve of mine, but I get sick of seeing smoking bans rolled in with a bunch of nanny laws which only protect you from yourself and your own stupidity.

    SMOKING AFFECTS OTHER PEOPLE. There's this little thing called second-hand smoke. I seem to recall it being actually worse than first-hand smoke, since the first-hand smoker at least has a filter.

    I'm all for repealing drug laws and such in general - it's none of anybody else's business what you put in your body. But what you put in our, collective air is our, collective business, and as such it is the legitimate domain of state regulation.

    And back on topic again... yeah, banning incandescent light bulbs is stupid.
  • by rla3rd ( 596810 ) on Wednesday January 31, 2007 @05:03PM (#17832760)
    I have a son who is on the Autistic Spectrum, and while I would love to solely use CFLs (they are more efficient), my son is extremely sensitive to the flicker that these lights produce. This is just not an option in my household, regardless of the benefits.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 31, 2007 @05:04PM (#17832790)
    Many 'compact florescent' light bulbs contain significant amounts of Mercury, one of the most deadly elements for humans.

    As long as his bill BANS all compact florescent light bulbs containing Mercury, or any toxic elements, good.

    Otherwise - he is just stupid. Trading one environmental problem with another environmental nightmare.
  • by cayenne8 ( 626475 ) on Wednesday January 31, 2007 @05:15PM (#17832978) Homepage Journal
    Is it just me that is starting to get tired and fed up with our state and local governments telling me more things I cannot do, or things I have to do? I mean, sure the idea behind this is nice, save energy.

    For for God's sake...why not give incentives to do good things, and not ban them or tell me I can or cannot do them!! I don't need the nanny state to protect me from myself or dictate my shopping decisions. Make the new lights tax free! Hey, if they're cheaper, I might try them out. If I want to ride my motorcycle without a helmet, I'll pay the extra insurance. (I'm sorry, but, the wearing helments to save $$ paid out to for medical on helmetless wrecks is bogus, after they reinstated the helmet law in LA, I for one did NOT see the insurance rates drop in conjunction with riders now being forced to be more safe).

    Anyway, I'm just getting tired of being told "bad can't do that anymore". If they want to give some type of incentives for not buying and SUV, or a regular light bulb...fine. But, don't tell me I cannot make a choice, even a dumb one on my own.

  • by deKernel ( 65640 ) <{timfbarber} {at} {}> on Wednesday January 31, 2007 @05:19PM (#17833038)

    You could however tax them which would make CFLs seem more attractive.
    The solution to all of life's problems is not just tax them. Sheesh. I realize that this idea is unpopular, but you might want to encourage the manufactures via tax breaks to produce a better product. Boy am I going to get hammered by this, but someone has to say it.
  • by bobcat7677 ( 561727 ) on Wednesday January 31, 2007 @05:21PM (#17833070) Homepage
    Most of the fixtures in my house are not CF friendly. I try to find ones that will fit but they are always a tad too tall or too wide for everything but the really old cieling fixtures in the bedrooms. Which brings up an interesting point...why is it that out of an entire wall of new lighting fixtures and Lowes/HomeDepot, only a handful of the new fixtures available to buy are designed in such a way that CFs will work?
  • by Zerathdune ( 912589 ) on Wednesday January 31, 2007 @05:23PM (#17833118) Journal


    I sometimes wonder if people who complain about smoking bans have ever been in a bar in a city where they don't have them. Munich is horrible that way, it's difficult to breath, and at the right time of the night, it can get to the point where it's even difficult to see. I couldn't care less about the smoker's health, (though one could argue the Germans might have a reason to, since they have socialized health care) but when your idiocy affects other people's health, it's their business.

  • by cayenne8 ( 626475 ) on Wednesday January 31, 2007 @05:31PM (#17833274) Homepage Journal
    "I get sick of seeing smoking bans rolled in with a bunch of nanny laws which only protect you from yourself...SMOKING AFFECTS OTHER PEOPLE."

    This is true, and that's why for years, they had bans for smoking in PUBLIC places where smoke would affect a person that had to go a govt. building, DMV..etc. It is not fair to have smoke trapped in a place a person has to go that does not smoke...I agree with you.

    However, recent smoking bans have gone too far. Private establishments now, believe it or not, even in New Orleans (last bastion of sin and freewill), will not allow you to smoke in private establishments if serving food is their primary form of business....places that are primarily restaurants.

    I say this is WRONG. If a proprietor wants to allow smoking in his place, then those that prefer not to smoke...can either deal with it, or take their hard earned dollars elsewhere.

    There were restaurants around before this bad that had no smoking allowed. I've had dates that smoked, and felt they didn't want to go there since they couldn't light, it works both ways.

    Now that the ban is in effect....choice that was there before, has been taken away. The nanny state has won another battle.

    I argue that this IS like other situations you mentioned where this does affect the individual...before the ban, an individual could decide whether to work at or be a patron at and establishment that allowed smoking on, that personal choice is taken away.

    For reference, I'm a recently reformed smoker myself...and not having any smokers around IS easier for me...but, I'd rather have others have the choice than my having less temptation.

    You can still smoke in bars and casinos, and the street down here....but, how much longer till they try to regulate that? Smoking is still a legal activity...if they want to ban smoking, then try to make cigarettes illegal? Why not protect everyone? See? That just doesn't make sense least not to me.

    I say that state really shouldn't be the business of protecting people from themselves.....

  • Wrong - The payback time for traditional fluorescents is 23 seconds and much less than 1 second for CFL. There are probably better links to prove this but [] 0_foot_fall_lig.html was the quickest I could find.

    As usual, the Mythbusters experiment is inadequate and does not actually represent science. They tested no devices over 10W. The page does not say if they were using electronic ballasts or not. In fact the lowest-power CFL I own is ~20W. The dual-ring flourescents mounted in every room of the home we are renting (which was fairly intelligently designed and equipped) are, IIRC, 23 and ~40W, with one ring cool white, and the other warm white. In the kitchen we have four 40W tubes.

    This doesn't mean you're wrong, it just means that I'd prefer a useful citation.

    I also have to wonder about the penalty for frequent restarts on lamp life as opposed to incandescents. Is it better, or worse?

    Regardless of these issues, we would have to determine the overall cost of such a change to determine if it would be worth it. Besides energy consumption, we have to consider the cost of manufacturing these lamps, both in money and energy; both will necessarily be many times that of making an incandescent, which is far simpler. Then we have to consider both the cost of recycling those which are recycled (since they have Mercury in them it is vitally important to recycle them) and the energy cost of environmental cleanup to deal with all the lamps which are not recycled - and I suspect they will far outnumber those which are.

    All in all this is a pretty pathetic alternative to just building a couple nuclear plants in California, and letting technology solve the lamp power consumption problem.

  • Ummm.. (Score:2, Insightful)

    by bjk002 ( 757977 ) on Wednesday January 31, 2007 @05:46PM (#17833588)
    Then don't go there? I'm kinda tired of prissy lil piss-ants crying about "but what about ME and MY rights"... Bar owners have rights to determine what type of patrons they want. You have the right not to patronize that establishment.

    Stop trying to control everything, you only end up pushing guys like Hitler and Stalin into power in the end.

    Don't believe it? I don't really care, its just a shame that people can't yet realize that as they try to control others, they only end up forcing totalitarianism.
  • by Paulrothrock ( 685079 ) on Wednesday January 31, 2007 @05:53PM (#17833738) Homepage Journal

    I am of the opinion that government regulations should cause manufacturers and service providers to internalize as many of the externalities as possible.

    In this case, charge all bulb manufacturers for the disposal of their product. Combine this with a per-ton charge for all emissions from power plants and include the cost of mitigating other power installations' effects on the environment. This way, the true cost of the electricity and the bulb will show up in the price, which will allow the market to more accurately regulate itself.

  • by lxt518052 ( 720422 ) on Wednesday January 31, 2007 @06:10PM (#17834010)
    CFLs so clearly out perform incandescents that their eventual triumph in the free market is assured.

    It's necessary to accelerate replacing incandscents with CFLs, because a lot of people either don't care, or simply don't get it. How many offices are left lit all night? How many SUVs do Americans drive? If only people had made more sensible choice, such regulations would never been thought off.

    Moreover, the coercive policy will almost certainly fail in its goal of reducing CO2 emissions. Since it takes more energy to construct CFLs, forcing their adoption will generate more CO2 emissions in the short run. Sounds plausible but let's do some simple calculation first. A CFL normally consumes 1/5 to 1/3 power of an equivalent incandescent bulb. Suppose a 60W incandescent bulb has a life span of 2000 hours and the CFL replacing it works twice longer (conservative figures, just for the purpose of illustration). The energy saved would be:
    4000 hours * 60W * (1- 0.25) - energy_needed_in_making_one_CFL + 2 * energy_needed_in_making_one_incandescent
    The first term comes to 180KW. Even if making one CFL need more energy than making two incandescent, which I highly doubt, the overall result is not likely to be negative or even a small positive. In other words, energy saving by using CFL is a considerably big NET GAIN.

    Parent post on /. and the fact it being moderated as interesting actually makes a great example for my first argument - some people either don't care or just don't get it, even in the presence of mounting evidence. It's a really sad thing.

  • by GreenSwirl ( 710439 ) on Wednesday January 31, 2007 @06:23PM (#17834220) Homepage Journal
    Consumer Reports gave Lights of America's CFLs the extremely rare "Not Recommended" rating, because they did not perform as advertised. Stick to light bulb companies you've heard of; GE, Sylvania and Philips all were recommended in the same issue (January 1999).

    If I buy a pair of headphones at the dollar store, I'm not surprised when they sound crappy. Same goes for CFLs, people.
  • by steve_bryan ( 2671 ) on Wednesday January 31, 2007 @06:29PM (#17834298)
    Wow, a state full of people driving what amounts to Sherman tanks is now sanctimoniously telling people what type of lightbulb they can legally use? Will there be teams of lightbulb inspectors descending on homes in their black SUVs to insure compliance by the peasants?

    Here are a few free suggestions. If you strongly feel that CFL should be used instead of incandescant then buy them for your own damn home amd business. If you think it would be a useful application of public funds then propose that the state purchase and distribute CFL's for free or a much reduced price. But don't use the police power of the state to enforce your own fashionable whim of the moment. If this proposal does succeed then good luck dealing with the mercury poisoning.
  • by Your Pal Dave ( 33229 ) on Wednesday January 31, 2007 @06:51PM (#17834642)
    The slow response can be a plus sometimes. When your eyes are adjusted to the dark the CFs are a lot less abrupt and disturbing when they come on.
  • by cayenne8 ( 626475 ) on Wednesday January 31, 2007 @06:51PM (#17834656) Homepage Journal
    "A restaurant isn't exactly a "private" establishment."

    I believe it is....remember seeing the signs (not as often displayed these days) saying they reserved the right to refuse to serve anyone..? No shoes, no shirt, no service?

    It is publically accesible...but, it is a private place of business.

    When there is no ban...EVERYONE has a choice of whether to go there as a patron, or an employee. No one holds a gun to anyone's head forcing them in the door to stay.

    With smoking bans....there is no choice.

    And in the US at least, freedom to choose is supposed to be one of the highest tennets (sp?).

  • by nasch ( 598556 ) on Wednesday January 31, 2007 @08:08PM (#17835798)

    remember seeing the signs (not as often displayed these days) saying they reserved the right to refuse to serve anyone..?
    I'm guessing because it's illegal. Restaurants do not in fact have the right to refuse to serve anyone.

    No shoes, no shirt, no service?
    I believe those are health code regulations.

    Restaurants are privately-owned public places. A park is a publicly-owned public place. If the government owned and operated low-income housing, the apartments would be publicly-owned private places. Your house is a privately-owned private place. There can be any combination of them, because there are two different senses of the word and they operate independently.

    When there is no ban...EVERYONE has a choice of whether to go there as a patron, or an employee. No one holds a gun to anyone's head forcing them in the door to stay. With smoking bans....there is no choice.
    Of course there is a choice. If you want to smoke while you eat, then get take-out. As you said, no guns are held to heads. What the ban says is that my interest in eating at a restaurant without being exposed to toxic chemicals is more important than your interest in smoking while you eat there. Now I can choose to be sure I won't breathe smoke while I eat at a restaurant, while I didn't have that choice before. See? Not fewer choices, just different ones.
  • by that this is not und ( 1026860 ) on Wednesday January 31, 2007 @08:16PM (#17835902)
    So if we switch from coal fired plants to nuclear energy, the CFL will be emitting 4mg while the incandescent bulb emits none.

    We need to plan ahead better, CFL lights are a bad long term choice. You provided the evidence for that.

  • by gumbi west ( 610122 ) on Wednesday January 31, 2007 @08:36PM (#17836168) Journal
    The little lie of this calculation is what if a CFL blows right after you get it (as noted in the GGGGGP post) some fixtures--the closed kind--can't accept a CFL, what about the energy required to produce and replace all of them?

    Don't get me wrong, I love CFLs and have them in every location I can in my house, but they just don't work everywhere.

  • Re:Great!! (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Lumpy ( 12016 ) on Wednesday January 31, 2007 @10:59PM (#17837734) Homepage
    Yup works great. Except for those of us that have home automation with 8 circuit SCR packs in the vantage panel in the basement. Oh, CF bulbs cant dim or work with most home automation and lighting systems.

    BTW, I save more in electricity by not having lights on except what I need where the occupancy sensors detect family members than changing to CF bulbs can save me.

    CF bulbs have a 2+ year payback and are a ecological ticking timebomb. There is a crapload of heavy metals in them that will be in landfills everywhere in a few years because of people simply throwing them away.

    Nope. I'll stick with $0.29 40 watt bulbs and have my lights soft start and fade off elegantly while saving money.
  • by Pfhorrest ( 545131 ) on Wednesday January 31, 2007 @11:11PM (#17837850) Homepage Journal
    This is just a blanket reply to most of the other replies here... I'd rather not respond to all these messages individually.

    My complaints about smoke are mostly in public places. Particularly, I would like to see smoking banned in the usual sense of "in public", as in, out on the street. I'm sick of walking through clouds of other people's smoke just by walking through a crowded public place (a busy street, a university campus, etc). Smoking on the street is just like urinating on the sidewalk; no, it's not going to kill you, but it's mildly unhealthy and rather disgusting and people shouldn't be allowed to pollute our public spaces like that.

    As to smoking in private establishments, I think the urine example segues there nicely to a quote I saw here on Slashdot somewhere. It was something like "Having a smoking section in a restaurant is like having a peeing section in a pool." Would you (presuming "you" are generally opposed to state intervention) be OK with someone operating a privately-owned but open-to-the-public swimming pool in which people were freely allowed to urinate, even so far as having a "peeing section" so as to minimize offense to the non-pissers? I imagine most of you would say "no", and I know the health department sure would. The same sort of reasoning seems applicable to smoking in public restaurants. I guess I'm theoretically OK with a "smoking establishment", i.e. a place where people go primarily to smoke, inasmuch as I'd be OK with a golden-shower-fetish porn studio or brothel (that is to say, I think both are gross, but if everyone there is OK with it, and it's not spilling out into public, go right ahead).

    Continuing the analogy further, I'd say the same line of reasoning applies to smoking in the home too, if you have children or other such dependents. If you own your own home and you want to piss on the carpet in the living room, then you do that, have fun. But if you've got kids, who are dependent on you and stuck in that environment - or say, if you rent a room in your house to someone - then I think most people would agree that creating that sort of unhealthy squalor is grounds for having your kids taken out of that environment, or grounds for your tenants to file legal complaints against you. Same thing for smoking.

    Now I know a bunch of smokers are going to say, "but that leaves practically nowhere left to smoke!" Tough. Smoking is not something you biologically need to do, and it's not a right (in the sense of a claim right; it's within your right to liberty rights to smoke, provided you're not doing anything else wrong by it). Have "smoke rooms" like bathrooms, with ventilation systems like a bathroom's plumbing (bars might be good candidates for conversion into places like this); or smoke when you're out in the middle of nowhere and nobody is going to be offended by it, like pissing behind a bush in the country. Yeah, I know these rules would make it hard for you to find a place to smoke with the way things are set up now. But that's not the intention (I honestly don't care what you do with your own body), it's just a side-effect of keeping you from polluting other peoples' air space. If that makes it a little harder for you to support your addiction, tough shit, if you'll pardon my french.

    Also, as a sidenote: the bit about second hand smoke being worse than first hand smoke is just something I recall hearing. Whether or not it's true is not relevant to my point.

    And, once again back on topic... if the government wants to regulate energy usage, it should do so by REGULATING ENERGY USAGE. Rather, it should impose fines for causing the negative side-effects of producing energy, which would raise the price of energy, and reduce it's usage. But banning a class of products is the wrong way to go about it. I'm not advocating a tobacco tax or a ban on cigarettes - just making it illegal to smoke in certain circumstances, like it's illegal to piss in some circumstances. Outright banning of products is usually a bass-ackwards way to go about achieving your real goals.
  • by ( 953199 ) on Thursday February 01, 2007 @11:03AM (#17843082) Homepage
    The Assemblyman must not have any dimmer switches in his house.

    Personally, I like the CFL's, and use them wherever possible.

    Alas, until they work with a dimmer switch, they'll never be universally adopted.

Experience varies directly with equipment ruined.