The End of the Light Bulb as We Know It
Why Americans are hoarding incandescent bulbs before darkness envelops us all on January 1, 2012.
November 13, 2011 - 12:49 am
All the bulbs I bought were incandescent. Secretary Chu’s vaunted halogen bulbs hurt my eyes. And the highest wattage compact fluorescents available at Home Depot last Sunday were the equivalent of 40 watts of incandescent bulbs. Maybe Secretary Chu can read by 40-watt bulbs but I can’t. If you’d like to read the Department of Energy’s guide to compact fluorescent bulbs, try reading it by daylight, here.
Contrary to this president’s view of his compatriots, many of us are adults. We were children once, but not recently. We can take care of our pocketbooks all by ourselves. My checkbook is balanced. Is the federal government’s?
The most tragic part of this tale is that it didn’t have to come to this. No sooner had the Republican Congress announced it would vote to repeal the 2007 law this past July, than the light bulb lobby swooped in to protect the manufacturers’ interests — not, of course, those of the incandescent bulb-loving public:
[The] manufacturers … had begun producing the new bulbs, and feared the rollback of the standards would undermine their investments in developing energy-efficient bulbs. Bulb-maker Philips began an aggressive lobbying campaign, meeting with lawmakers and staffers on Capitol Hill, urging them not to roll back the light bulb law. They brought along samples of the new bulbs, similar in appearance to the old bulb.
No member of Congress should have been fooled.
The Senate voted against the repeal, and Obama would have vetoed a repeal, but the manufacturers’ heated lobbying was not in the public interest — of course.
Soon, if the Obama administration has its way, we’ll move seamlessly from the diminished light bulb to the energy-efficient vacuum that will take 90 minutes to clean a carpet that now takes five, and an energy-efficient hair-dryer that will require an hour to dry a head of hair now dried in three — in order to “put more dollars in your pocket” as Secretary Chu likes to say. Of course, vacuuming carpets and drying hair may not be high on his to-do list on any given day.
Which leads us back to Home Depot. After checking prices on Amazon.com, eBay and a wide variety of online lighting specialty firms, the lowest prices I found were at Home Depot. They charge $3.97 for an eight-pack of 100-watt incandescent bulbs, with each bulb enjoying a double-life of 1,500 hours.
A word to the wise is sufficient.