You can pry this incandescent light bulb from my cold, dead hand

incandescent light bulbYou might have heard that federal efficiency regulations will soon phase out traditional incandescent lights bulbs. But are you preparing for when the feds come to take away the warm glow of incandescence?

Former RPI professor Howard Brandston has not been sitting back idly as we're cast out into the cold, harsh light of compact fluorescents. Part of the school's Lighting Research Center before retiring, he's been speaking out against the incandescent phaseout. And stockpiling.

From a recent NYT article about the lightbulb switch:

Brandston's résumé includes everything from theater work to illuminating the Statue of Liberty, but lately he has become the Paul Revere of the movement to save the light bulb, giving speeches to industry conferences and a Tea Party rally in front of the White House. In his testimony, he warned of potential problems with compact fluorescents, which contain trace amounts of mercury. "Some of the most knowledgeable people I know," Brandston said, "have begun to stockpile a lifetime supply of incandescent lamps."
A few weeks later, Brandston showed me his own hoard, in the basement of his handsomely lighted farmhouse in upstate New York. "This is the world's greatest marketing scheme," he said. "You get the government to ban the competition." A slight man with an air of gray-bearded grandiloquence, Brandston contends that his root objection to the law, which he calls "immoral," is connected to his professional appreciation of incandescence, which mimics the natural spectrum. "It's what we grew up with -- it's sunlight," Brandston told me earlier on the phone.

Based on the info on his consulting website, we're guessing Brandston's "hoard" is stashed in Columbia County. (Look for the warm glow in the east.)

As it happens, RPI's Lighting Research Center has a bunch of info on its website about how to make the switch from incandescents to other types of bulbs (CFLs, LEDs, halogens).

photo: Wikipedia user KMJ

Comments

Scared of the mercury in compact fluorescent bulbs? Simple precaution to protect yourself from it-- don't eat light bulbs!

If you read the whole Times article, you'll see that the government isn't banning incandescents, merely requiring them to meet new efficiency standards. Edison's filament bulb will be around for some time.

Its' been more than a couple of years since I changed the light bulbs in my living room to CFLs (compared to having to do so every several times a year with incandescent lamps). Lower wattage, lower electricity consumption, what more can you ask for.

If that incandescent was on, your dead hand won't be cold.

Hate the CFL's - the hoarding of incandescents has begun!

I have been trying to find CFLs that will work on dimmers....they are out there im told.

The sad part is, incandescent bulbs might be a warm colored light, and they might be "what we grew up with," but they aren't sunlight. Otherwise there wouldn't be a market for "full-spectrum" bulbs, which *are* close to sunlight. (Photographers in particular tend to seek them out.)

I have to thank pjm for making some of the point I was going to make... Though incandescent bulbs are more "full spectrum" and thus less efficient, and therefore more like sunlight; I notice on all my cameras, I have a Sunlight, Incandescent, and Flourescent (among many others) White Balance setting(s).

I know it's being pedantic, but the yellow orange glow of a burning filament is not that much like the hot white (relatively blueish) glow of the day-star. I do however understand that the daylight balanced bulbs tend to look overly antiseptic, and harsh compared to traditional warmer colors. I suppose that is mostly a matter of taste though.

To each their own, I suppose. :)

i'm going back to candle light. at least everyone/everything looks attractive in candle light.

FYI The sunlight is not always "full spectrum" in the morning its towards the blue end of the spectrum (cool light), noon is pretty much full, and the end of the day its toward the red end of the spectrum (warm light). To me, since indoor lighting is on when the sun goes down - it makes more sense to mimic the end of the day light, rather than the midday or morning.

That said - CFL's come in warm and cold light.

tallguyy- They can be found. There's usually one line of dimmer bulbs in an entire display at Home Depot, etc. I bought some a while back and put them in my dimmer and well, they make high-pitched noises (which most people can't hear but I can) and one of them stopped working shortly after I got it. Overall disappointing but I'm still using the ones that worked and I was able to put brighter bulbs in.

RE supposedly lower electricity bills from banning simple incandescents:

1. A typical CFL has twice the so-called power factor (not same as
power rating) of an incandescent, which means it
uses twice the energy at the power plant to what your meter says -
which you eventually have to pay for.

2. There are many other reasons why the supposed switch savings
whether to CFLs or LEDs don't hold
Less than 1% US energy usage, 1-2% grid electricity
using DOE and other official statistics - http://ceolas.net/#li171x
There are as seen much more relevant ways to save energy (in
generation, grid distribution, real consumption waste

3. Regardless of energy savings:
Little Money savings for consumers anyway.
That is because electricity companies are being subsidised (again by consumers as taxpayers) or allowed to directly raise Bill rates, to compensate for any reduced electricity use, as already seen both federally and in California, Ohio etc, and before them in the UK and other European countries
( as referenced http://ceolas.net/#californiacfl )

EVEN IF light bulbs had to be targeted
(clearly they don't , see other comment)

Whether GOP or Democrat, other policies are better

Democrat - TAX
A big deficit state like Cuomo's New York and Obama's Budget solving Federal Government
could Tax not Ban popular but energy using types of Cars, Buildings, White Goods, TV sets, Light Bulbs etc
Gives a big state /Fed Govmt income,
can also help finance cheaper energy saving alternatives so
people are not just "hit by taxes"
(and they know that bans are the alternative).

GOP -Market Competition
Competition rather than Regulation,
gives not only reduced energy use by say competing utilities keeping down energy cost in generation and grids,
it also gives desirable energy saving products, which people have always bought, and which could be marketed properly
(compare with Energizer bunny etc commercials "Expensive to buy but cheap in the long run")
New start-ups including of energy saving lights can be supported temporarily, also giving local jobs etc,
more easier jobs also with simple banned technology that is easier to make (incandescent or otherwise), than the complex technology outsourced to China by major manufacturers.
This in my view is a better policy - if any is needed.

Comparison of Light Bulb Tax and Competition policies with Regulations http://ceolas.net/#li23x
.

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