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US Light Bulb Phase-Out's Next Step Begins Next Month

timothy posted about 4 months ago | from the word-from-on-high dept.

Government 1146

SonicSpike writes "Light bulb manufacturers will cease making traditional 40 and 60-watt light bulbs — the most popular in the country — at the start of 2014. This comes after the controversial phasing out of incandescent 75 and 100-watt light bulbs at the beginning of 2013. In their place will be halogen bulbs, compact fluorescent bulbs, LED bulbs and high efficiency incandescents — which are just regular incandescents that have the filament wrapped in gas. All are significantly more expensive than traditional light bulbs, but offer significant energy and costs savings over the long run. (Some specialty incandescents — such as three-way bulbs — will still be available.) ... The rules were signed into law by President George W. Bush in 2007. They are designed to address gross inefficiencies with old light bulbs — only 10% of the energy they use is converted into light, according to the Environmental Protection Agency, which has a handy fact sheet about the changes. The rest is wasted as heat. But the rules have drawn fire from a number of circles — mainly conservatives and libertarians who are unhappy about the government telling people what light bulbs they can use. They argue that if the new ones really are so good, people will buy them on their own without being forced to do so."

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1146 comments

Seriously? (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45697795)

I live in Wisconsin, seriously, that "waste" heat is NOT wasted! It's freaking cold outside!! I'm an American, I want to be free to choose!

Re:Seriously? (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45697819)

You are free to choose: that's what the ballot box is for.

Capitalistic "freedom of choice" is weighted by the size of your wallet.

Re:Seriously? (5, Interesting)

Dcnjoe60 (682885) | about 4 months ago | (#45698033)

You are free to choose: that's what the ballot box is for.

Capitalistic "freedom of choice" is weighted by the size of your wallet.

Really, and when was the incadescent ban put to a vote of the people? No, the ballot box is only effective on things that those in power (or the people who control them) want it to be effective for.

Re:Seriously? (5, Funny)

slart42 (694765) | about 4 months ago | (#45697825)

Ha, You could buy heatballs instead - They are little radiators which conveniently fit into your lightbulb sockets, and are 90% energy efficient (the remaining 10% of the energy is wasted as light) : http://heatball.de/en/ [heatball.de]

Re:Seriously? (1)

fluffy99 (870997) | about 4 months ago | (#45697973)

Ha, You could buy heatballs instead - They are little radiators which conveniently fit into your lightbulb sockets, and are 90% energy efficient (the remaining 10% of the energy is wasted as light) : http://heatball.de/en/ [heatball.de]

Now there's a marketing scam - selling long-life incandescent as heaters!

Re:Seriously? (1)

muphin (842524) | about 4 months ago | (#45697827)

You are free to choose, halogens give off heat :p
people get in a routine, even if they are inefficient, people buy them cause they know they work.

Re:Seriously? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45698009)

Yeah unlike niggers which don't work unless by "work" u mean "committing crimes". Anybody thinks that's unfair, go to the ghetto and tell them how egalitarian you are and and see how nice they treat you.

Re:Seriously? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45697881)

90% heat is NOT efficient heating.
Use low-energy bulbs and put the energy you save into a heat pump and you will get warm much cheaper than if you heat the room with light-bulbs.

Outright burning electricity for heat is not efficient.

Re:Seriously? (1)

zippthorne (748122) | about 4 months ago | (#45697971)

Indeed it is by definition 0% efficient. 0% of the energy is converted to work.

Catalyst (1)

tepples (727027) | about 4 months ago | (#45698107)

If another machine in the same system is more efficient at a particular range of temperatures, then heating the system fulfills much the same role as a catalyst [wikipedia.org]. A heater itself does not produce work, but it allows other systems in the same room to produce work.

Re:Seriously? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45698095)

Heat pumps do not work well in extreme cold. Depending on your local cost of electricity, resistive heating may be most economical (think cold places with lots of hydro power).

Re:Seriously? (4, Informative)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | about 4 months ago | (#45697903)

It's freaking cold outside!!

I wasn't the smartest cookie in my Systems and Control course, but even I understood that the alternative to increasing the input heat flow was decreasing thermal conductivity.

Constraints on insulation (1)

tepples (727027) | about 4 months ago | (#45698147)

Other constraints on a system may limit how much one can usefully decrease thermal conductivity. In the case of "cold outside", the big constraints include mobility and vision. Insulative clothing may reduce heat loss, but it can tend to inhibit free movement and can narrow the field of view.

Re:Seriously? (5, Insightful)

Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) | about 4 months ago | (#45697935)

I live in Wisconsin, seriously, that "waste" heat is NOT wasted! It's freaking cold outside!! I'm an American, I want to be free to choose!

I suspect that Poe's Law [wikipedia.org] is at work here. But I'll play it straight and point out that a heat-pump is a lot more efficient than simple resistive heating like the waste heat from a light-bulb. Modern heat-pumps work even in sub-freezing temperatures like a Wisconsin winter.

Re:Seriously? (5, Insightful)

ColdWetDog (752185) | about 4 months ago | (#45698057)

Modern heat pumps are expensive and cranky of maintenance. But you don't heat your entire house with incandescents - the idea is that the 90% waste isn't 'waste' it's being utilized effeciently. And to pay another $10 for an effecient solution makes little sense.

I like the new LEDs, I have them all over the house now. But those were installed with a bit of care - I only expended the money on the larger areas that are lit frequently. Closets, hallways, bathrooms - the analysis just isn't in favor of LEDs or CFLs. The feds should just let the market figure it out. That would also minimize the problem of tens of thousands of shit quality 'effecient' bulbs pushed on the market. With the time constraints the feds created and the associated hoopla, you had every Chinese fifth tier electronics manufacturer trying to get into the game. With predictable results. Lots of people are turned off to the 'effecient' solution since they lasted six months and then died.

Re:Seriously? (5, Insightful)

Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) | about 4 months ago | (#45698169)

Modern heat pumps are expensive and cranky of maintenance.

Bullshit. They are no more problematic than a regular A/C unit.

But you don't heat your entire house with incandescents - the idea is that the 90% waste isn't 'waste' it's being utilized effeciently

No. The choice is between running the efficient heat-pump a little bit more or running the light-bulb and paying 10x more for the marginal increase in heat.

Re:Seriously? (-1)

Dcnjoe60 (682885) | about 4 months ago | (#45698063)

I live in Wisconsin, seriously, that "waste" heat is NOT wasted! It's freaking cold outside!! I'm an American, I want to be free to choose!

I suspect that Poe's Law [wikipedia.org] is at work here. But I'll play it straight and point out that a heat-pump is a lot more efficient than simple resistive heating like the waste heat from a light-bulb. Modern heat-pumps work even in sub-freezing temperatures like a Wisconsin winter.

You might go back and check your calculations. What exactly is the efficiency of a heat pump when the outside air temp is below 20F like it is in the upper midwest this week?

Re:Seriously? (5, Insightful)

fluffy99 (870997) | about 4 months ago | (#45697943)

I live in Wisconsin, seriously, that "waste" heat is NOT wasted! It's freaking cold outside!! I'm an American, I want to be free to choose!

I doubt you need heat year round. The only way you don't waste energy in that scenario is if you're already using electric resistance heating which is horribly inefficient. Heat pumps are less efficient in the cold, but still outperform resistance heat down to 15*F. If you're routinely colder than that, you have gas/propane/oil backup heat or worst case electric resistance heat.

That said, there are cases where incandescent bulbs are used to provide heat, such as terrariums. For those I guess we're stuck with $4 halogens that don't last any longer instead of the 25-cent walmart specials.

Re:Seriously? (3, Insightful)

Dcnjoe60 (682885) | about 4 months ago | (#45698115)

I live in Wisconsin, seriously, that "waste" heat is NOT wasted! It's freaking cold outside!! I'm an American, I want to be free to choose!

I doubt you need heat year round. The only way you don't waste energy in that scenario is if you're already using electric resistance heating which is horribly inefficient. Heat pumps are less efficient in the cold, but still outperform resistance heat down to 15*F. If you're routinely colder than that, you have gas/propane/oil backup heat or worst case electric resistance heat.

That said, there are cases where incandescent bulbs are used to provide heat, such as terrariums. For those I guess we're stuck with $4 halogens that don't last any longer instead of the 25-cent walmart specials.

If that were true then why do all air based heat pumps include heating coils that kick on well above 15F? Might it be that there is the theoretical efficiency and the practical result? As for terrariums, the various reptile heat lamps are still deemed specialty lamps and exempt from the incadescent ban (as are many decorative incadescents that high end houses have).

Yes Seriously (2, Insightful)

sjbe (173966) | about 4 months ago | (#45697957)

I live in Wisconsin, seriously, that "waste" heat is NOT wasted!

Blah blah, I live up north too. Let's see, should I heat my house with a 95% efficient furnace or a 10% efficient light bulb? Boy that's a tough one...

Re:Yes Seriously (2)

SJHillman (1966756) | about 4 months ago | (#45698085)

If you're talking heat output, the lightbulb would be 90%, not 10%, and a lot of people have older furnaces that are fairly inefficient. Obviously, almost every house is different in terms of how high people turn up the heat, whether they heat the whole house or certain zones (and how well the heating system matches how they try to use it), how insulated the house is, how efficient the ductwork is, whether is forced air, etc for conveying the heat to rooms, whether the windows are insulated, if the owner adds additional insulation to the windows during winter, whether rats/mice have eaten holes in the insulation, whether the house was constructed correctly, etc. Change some of those variables around and you'll see that incandescent bulbs can be relatively efficient for one person and horribly inefficient for their next-door neighbor.

Re:Yes Seriously (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45698111)

10% is converted to light, 90% is converted to heat.

Re:Yes Seriously (0)

Dcnjoe60 (682885) | about 4 months ago | (#45698125)

I live in Wisconsin, seriously, that "waste" heat is NOT wasted!

Blah blah, I live up north too. Let's see, should I heat my house with a 95% efficient furnace or a 10% efficient light bulb? Boy that's a tough one...

If you have found a method to make a furnace, any source 95% efficient, you would be a very rich person.

Re:Yes Seriously (1)

Rob the Bold (788862) | about 4 months ago | (#45698141)

I live in Wisconsin, seriously, that "waste" heat is NOT wasted!

Blah blah, I live up north too. Let's see, should I heat my house with a 95% efficient furnace or a 10% efficient light bulb? Boy that's a tough one...

That light bulb is actually a 90% efficient heater -- that's why it's such an inefficient light source.

The real argument against heating with light bulbs is that in most areas, cheaper alternatives to electric resistive heat exist: gas, oil, electric heat pumps (with appropriate backup heat), etc. Also, waste heat is generated by the incandescents whether or not it can be used -- or even if it needs to be removed at additional cost.

(BTW. Incandescent heat lamps will still be available for applications heating with lamps is actually a good idea -- incubators, cafeterias, etc.)

Re:Seriously? (5, Insightful)

hawguy (1600213) | about 4 months ago | (#45698035)

I live in Wisconsin, seriously, that "waste" heat is NOT wasted! It's freaking cold outside!! I'm an American, I want to be free to choose!

It's still wasting money unless you heat your house with electrical resistance heating.

And many lamps aren't located where they are the most effective radiators - much of the heat from a ceiling fixture is conducted into the ceiling.

Re:Seriously? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45698061)

I live in Wisconsin, seriously, that "waste" heat is NOT wasted! It's freaking cold outside!

Combine that fact with the fact that CFLs contain mercury, it's not a great piece of legislation.

Re:Seriously? (1)

joe_frisch (1366229) | about 4 months ago | (#45698071)

Its a very valid point. Incandescent light bulbs add heat directly where people are located. Even though there is significant efficiency loss going from primary fuels to electricity, it is possible that it is an overall win over gas heating, and certainly is better than electrical heating. (assuming no heat pumps)

CFLs still suck (1, Informative)

russotto (537200) | about 4 months ago | (#45697813)

Which is why the environmentalists need to force them on us. LEDs suck too, but less so. When someone comes up with a phosphor which can decently approximate a blackbody spectrum, let me know. Until then, phosphor-based lights will continue to suck.

Re:CFLs still suck (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45697895)

Old LEDs were rubbish, I bought one a year ago to try out and the light was appalling, all blue, very dim and highly directional. Modern ones are pretty good - a nice warm white, instant on to full brightness and while an artist or graphic designer might complain about colour rendition I was pretty impressed with that too. I had a warm white Crompton bulb fitted in the same room as an old school incandescent, and the lighting looked pretty much identical when switching between the two.

Re:CFLs still suck (3, Informative)

BLKMGK (34057) | about 4 months ago | (#45697985)

Cree has finally got their bulbs out and they're dirt cheap - $12 apiece for 60watt equivalent bulbs at the big box store. I actually had to go back for some 40watt ones as they 60s proved too bright in a few applications. The light distribution was also decent unlike many of the early LED. Phillips also makes a good bulb and they even use phosphor so help even out the light. Earlier ones looked like bug lights when turned off but provided great lighting. Strip LED work wonderful under cabinets and use far less than halogen spots. I've even replaced my outdoor floods with LED and am saving a pile of juice over the 60+ watt units I had.

That said, after swapping out nearly all of my incandescent bulbs I'm not seeing a ton of change on the electric bill. Juice is cheap here and I'm pretty good about turning out lights but these bulbs will last and last so it's all good. I have only a sparse few curly bulbs left and maybe two incandescent in places that make sense and aren't used often. It's a great time to switch and I see no reason not to.

Now, if I could just find some cheap LED and fixtures for my fish tank I'd be all set!

Re:CFLs still suck (1)

93 Escort Wagon (326346) | about 4 months ago | (#45698083)

I agree - I've been happier with recent LED bulbs. The color is decent - unlike some I bought a couple years ago that give off a very harsh white light. Also, it may just be small sample size but - it sure seems like Feit, at least, underrates their light output... I've got some "40-watt replacement" LED bulbs that give off significantly more light than some 60-watt incandescents I had in the fixture previously.

They are still freaking expensive, but the prices are gradually coming down. However it does seem wrong that I have to think about budget when I'm contemplating the purchase of new light bulbs...

Re:CFLs still suck (5, Insightful)

Skater (41976) | about 4 months ago | (#45698131)

I bought an LED bulb the other day (we had a coupon). We love it - instant on, and the light looks exactly like the classic incandescent. I'm sold; once they get a bit less expensive (or we find more coupons), we're buying more. I'm hoping we've bought our last CFL - they always felt like an interim solution until LEDs improved.

Now, can we get some lighting fixtures that use LEDs that are actually designed for LEDs? For example, I'd like to put in some LED downlights in the living room, but everything I can find is just an LED replacement bulb for a classic fixture, rather than a fixture designed for an LED. I'd also like to replace the 40 watt florescent tube fixtures in our garage with LEDs, but so far I can't find much that would work. I was thinking strips of LEDs, one color, but it was looking like several hundred dollars for several strips of the length I'd need.

Already banned in Europe (4, Interesting)

jonbryce (703250) | about 4 months ago | (#45697823)

They were banned in Europe quite a few years ago, however "rough service lamps" which are less efficient than traditional bulbs are still legal, and a lot of people have started using them rather than move to more efficient bulbs.

Re:Already banned in Europe (3, Interesting)

ElectricTurtle (1171201) | about 4 months ago | (#45697963)

The only difference between a "rough service lamp" and "traditional bulbs" is that the filament is more robust and is supported by more framework within the bulb.

Re:Already banned in Europe (1)

Dcnjoe60 (682885) | about 4 months ago | (#45698133)

The only difference between a "rough service lamp" and "traditional bulbs" is that the filament is more robust and is supported by more framework within the bulb.

And they haven't been banned.

this is the thing that really gets me (-1)

ganjadude (952775) | about 4 months ago | (#45697835)

we have good cheep bulbs, I wonder how much the LED and halogen and CFL makers paid to get this pushed through. These bulbs all cost at least 3X as much as a traditional bulb and I know they claim they last longer, but in my experience with CFLs at least that is not true at all. As I always say when a new mandate comes out, look at who is getting rich off of it, its usually their fault

Re:this is the thing that really gets me (1)

Adam Colley (3026155) | about 4 months ago | (#45697885)

CCFLs die because the electrolytics get cooked due to the heat.

So your 5gbp bulb fails due to a 20p component.

That's before you get into the spectrum the put out which makes photography under them a giant pain in the arse.

Re:this is the thing that really gets me (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45698017)

Shrug. Photography of course has it easy with an incandescent spectrum as it's what the sun provides. However, if you go away from film and use CCD sensors, you usually tend to get different spectral sensitivities than the human eye, necessitating white correction. Even film needs things like skylight filters, but they have more possibilities to juggle with.

An art museum will not work well with anything but incandescent bulbs since the old paints were not catering to line spectrum sources. They tend to rely on few pigments with rather sharp absorption characteristics themselves, and it's hit-or-miss when going with a line spectrum at them.

Re:this is the thing that really gets me (1)

0123456 (636235) | about 4 months ago | (#45697887)

Come now, the Greens would never push a crazy law banning people from buying the things they want, just to make more profits for the people who make the new products they'll be forced to buy.

Re:this is the thing that really gets me (4, Funny)

cyber-vandal (148830) | about 4 months ago | (#45697977)

You mean that well-known eco activist George W Bush?

Re:this is the thing that really gets me (1)

ganjadude (952775) | about 4 months ago | (#45698121)

im not blaming the greens, the greens are the pawns, im blaming the bulb makers, who pushed for this so they could sell you bulbs that cost 3x as much

Re:this is the thing that really gets me (2)

BLKMGK (34057) | about 4 months ago | (#45698043)

I've been an early adopter of LED bulbs and paid as much as $50 for some of the first ones. I still have them in use 3 years or more after buying them. The curly bulbs installed base up fried because of heat, I've not had that issue with LED. Cree LED have hit the market in the $12 range here and work really really well with good light output. Considering the lifespan These are a pretty good deal. switching over has been painful for the manufacturers but at least the Govt. worked with them on the phase out to figure out which bulbs to go first and to come up with specs that would allow them to adapt like the new halogen filled incandescent bulbs. I'm even seeing some new interesting artsy incandescent bulbs on the shelf I've never seen before.

Overall this switch is a good thing and the bulb life makes the cost palatable to me. I've not had one of the new bulbs ever burn out except these weird decorator bulbs with a mini base that really seemed crappy even when I bought them. Oh and one defective Chinese bulb from Costco that flares occasionally, the rest in that multipack have been fine.

Re:this is the thing that really gets me (1)

ganjadude (952775) | about 4 months ago | (#45698129)

I still have traditional bulbs that have been lasting for over 4 years at this point, most get replaced every 3 or so

Heat Balls (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45697839)

Easy Solution [heatball.de]

Hydro and nuclear vs gas (1)

flyingfsck (986395) | about 4 months ago | (#45698161)

Same problem in Canada. So now, instead of heating my house with light bulbs (hydro and nuclear power) I have to heat it by burning natural gas. Sigh...

Not 10% (5, Informative)

second class skygod (242575) | about 4 months ago | (#45697841)

If standard incandescent light bulbs delivered 10% efficiency, we wouldn't be as important to switch to other types.

100% efficiency is about 683 lm/W. A standard 60W bulb gives about 14 lm/W or about 2% efficiency.

Stupidest idea ever. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45697849)

Incandescent bulbs should be used all winter long. The heat is useful and less pollution from manufacture and disposal.

Why ban what we can tax? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45697869)

Why not just put a heavy tax on the light bulbs instead of banning them?

That way you can raise some revenue and make improvements, while people who really want incandescents can get them (like science teachers teaching V = IR, or people who really prefer the spectrum and don't care too much about the cost).

Re:Why ban what we can tax? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45697931)

Taxes should be a method for raising revenue, not curbing or controlling spending/markets.

Re: Why ban what we can tax? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45698081)

Why

Two 45s are nice for a 100W (0)

argee (1327877) | about 4 months ago | (#45697871)

I tried the 22w cfl as "100 w subsitute". I was groping in the dark. Finally, I bougt
some two-bulb Y adapters and put in a pair of 45w CFL's. Finally I can see!

By the way, CFL's are generally rated at 120volts and Incandescents at 130v.

I also had some bad experience with grocery store 22w. Three have caught fire!
I don't mean a little smoke ... I mean actual flames the size of a candle. I watched
for three minutes in one instance until the thing fizzed out. Good thing I have
sheetrock ceilings; hate to think about lampshades. Good quality 45's out of
Amazon are spendy, but seem to last forever (none have failed yet in two years).

The quest continues: tires that don't go flat; light bulbs that don't burn out!

Re:Two 45s are nice for a 100W (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45698065)

Did your little anecdote have a point?

Re:Two 45s are nice for a 100W (1)

BLKMGK (34057) | about 4 months ago | (#45698091)

There are finally a few 100w replacement LED that seem to do okay. The 60watt Cree I recently bought were actually too bright for me! buy some of the cheap Cree bulbs to check out and look at the Phillips bulbs too. I've got exactly one fixture that can take a 100watt bulb and needs it that I've not switched - and not turned on in months either. When it pops that thing will get LED too - it just makes sense form a power standpoint.

Re:Two 45s are nice for a 100W (1)

PolygamousRanchKid (1290638) | about 4 months ago | (#45698135)

I watched for three minutes in one instance until the thing fizzed out.

Well, they do last longer . . . a old regular bulb would have burned out in a few seconds, or so.

My hobby (0)

Nicopa (87617) | about 4 months ago | (#45697873)

My hobby is to read the conservative/libertatian viewpoints on issues like this one with a Homer-US-stereotypical voice.

Re:My hobby (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45697965)

Which annoys me and makes me feel bad - therefore we need to revoke freedom of speech!

Regulations a bit premature (4, Interesting)

JDG1980 (2438906) | about 4 months ago | (#45697883)

I'm not particularly impressed by the libertarian arguments, but I do think that these regulations were phased in a bit too soon. A delay of 5 to 10 years would probably make more sense.

CFLs really suck. I've tried quite a few different brands, and have tried to like them, but they just seem to have some flaws that can't be fixed. First, and most annoyingly, none of them come on immediately - they start out extremely dim when the switch is flicked, and take 30 seconds to a minute to completely warm up. Secondly, no CFLs made in the past five years come anywhere close to meeting their life expectancy – most of them burn out faster than incandescent bulbs. (I have a couple of old CFLs in a tableside lamp that are still going strong after nearly 10 years, but once the production lines switched to China, quality went to complete crap.)

LED bulbs are far better – when implemented correctly, they're pretty much indistinguishable from incandescents. But they are also very expensive – about $15 for the Cree bulbs at Home Depot, which are the cheapest ones I've found that have decent online reviews. Hopefully in a couple of years the manufacturing process will mature so that the price will go down without compromising quality.

As of 2013 there is still no way to get a light bulb that combines the low cost and high quality of an incandescent. As long as that remains the case, the new regulations will be resented by many people.

Re:Regulations a bit premature (1)

mtrachtenberg (67780) | about 4 months ago | (#45697945)

Offhand, I think the libertarians should be free to purchase as many incandescent light bulbs as they wish, but they should be bundled with the bulbs average lifetime kWh of electricity when given typical use. Then you should get a monthly rebate for the electricity as you use it. So you could buy your incandescent bulb for $20 (or whatever), and get a dime back each month. Or you could buy an LED bulb for $15 (or whatever) and get a nickel back each month.

Re:Regulations a bit premature (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45698015)

What is the purpose of this insane scheme?

Re:Regulations a bit premature (5, Insightful)

polar red (215081) | about 4 months ago | (#45697979)

LED bulbs are far better – when implemented correctly, they're pretty much indistinguishable from incandescents. But they are also very expensive – about $15 for the Cree bulbs at Home Depot, which are the cheapest ones I've found that have decent online reviews. Hopefully in a couple of years the manufacturing process will mature so that the price will go down without compromising quality.

the price of leds is made up by the extreme long life they have.

Re:Regulations a bit premature (1)

dugancent (2616577) | about 4 months ago | (#45698037)

$5/bulb is the tipping point for me. That was when I switched to CFLs. I don't need or want gimmicks like wifi and color changing, just a low-price, warm colored bulb.

Electricity is cheap here.

Re:Regulations a bit premature (0)

kenwd0elq (985465) | about 4 months ago | (#45698127)

They made the same long-life claim for CFLs, too. That claim was a lie. Will this one be? I'm no longer willing to make big investments in high-priced lightbulbs until they have a track record for long life.

Unit cost low but total cost high (1)

sjbe (173966) | about 4 months ago | (#45697997)

no CFLs made in the past five years come anywhere close to meeting their life expectancy – most of them burn out faster than incandescent bulbs.

And I'm sure you have something more than anecdotal data to back that assertion up right?

As of 2013 there is still no way to get a light bulb that combines the low cost and high quality of an incandescent.

The unit cost is low but since you have to buy about 1 per year AND pay a lot more for electricity, the actual cost is not less.

Re:Regulations a bit premature (4, Insightful)

Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) | about 4 months ago | (#45698041)

As of 2013 there is still no way to get a light bulb that combines the low cost and high quality of an incandescent

Correction. Low up front cost.

At the national average of 12c/kwh a typical LED bulb will pay for itself in 2.5 years and last well over 5 years. In other words, they are already cheaper than incandescents if you aren't as short-sighted as the typical wall-street broker.

Also, Philips makes a good $10 bulb [homedepot.com] too. Cree isn't the only one in the game.

Re:Regulations a bit premature (1)

zippthorne (748122) | about 4 months ago | (#45698073)

It is impossible for a bulb purchased a year ago to have "come close" to its rated life expectancy if the life expectancy is 5-10 years....

Re:Regulations a bit premature (1)

Zarhan (415465) | about 4 months ago | (#45698151)

Try Viva-lite's full spectrum CFLs. (http://www.viva-lite.us/). We have our whole house fitted with them. They come on immediately with full power (apart from the E14-based 11W models, "candle lamp" need a bit of warm-up time), give really nice light especially for working and have a really long life (and 6 month warranty).

Quality-wise, there have been a few occasional bad batches where I have had to call in that warranty, but of all my bulbs that didn't fail in the first 6 months, they ALL have lasted thus far. I got my first ones just for testing like 6 or 7 years ago, and they are still working just fine. Now have about 20+ of such bulbs in the house. They also have fluorescent light tubes (not compact) and full-spectrum LEDs in the product line and they work just as well.

Only drawback: Price. I have paid 20-30 EUR for a bulb, and when you are outfitting your entire apartment it can be a rather big one-time cost. However, like I said, these can last for 10 years...myself, I switched to these one room at a time when the existing bulbs burned out to spread the cost over a longer period.

Re:Regulations a bit premature (1)

Adult film producer (866485) | about 4 months ago | (#45698157)

On both trips I've made to NC in the last year I've found the typical $15-$20 LED bulbs for $5 at Costco's. Bought $200 worth and made the switch.. I don't know a huge between the LEDs and incandescents. I just wonder if Costco is making a profit selling these for $5. Never seen them that cheap anywhere else.

Funny (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45697889)

If they were that concerned about it how about switching over to clean renewable energy sources because our technology is there but it's hard to claim sun shortage right?

Are they coming to my house to do a survey? (2, Interesting)

scotts13 (1371443) | about 4 months ago | (#45697897)

I live in a house with resistance electric heating; and I prefer the quality of light from incandescent lamps. So, I swap them twice a year. Winter, incandescent lamps approach 100% efficiency for me. I also use them outdoors, in places where I need instant start in cold weather, and in specialty uses, like my range hood with an inbuilt and CFL-incompatible dimmer. Point is, I do it intelligently. I love the way politicians think they know better than I do.

Re:Are they coming to my house to do a survey? (2)

0123456 (636235) | about 4 months ago | (#45697927)

I love the way politicians think they know better than I do.

Why would you become a politician, if you didn't want to tell other people what to do? That's the whole point of politics.

Re:Are they coming to my house to do a survey? (2)

93 Escort Wagon (326346) | about 4 months ago | (#45698003)

Why would you become a politician, if you didn't want to tell other people what to do? That's the whole point of politics.

I thought the whole point of becoming a politician was it doesn't carry the social stigma of being on welfare?

Re:Are they coming to my house to do a survey? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45698149)

I thought the whole point of becoming a politician was it doesn't carry the social stigma of being on welfare?

If my tax dollars are paying for their food, they are on welfare.

Re:Are they coming to my house to do a survey? (1)

amorsen (7485) | about 4 months ago | (#45697995)

I live in a house with resistance electric heating

Hopefully you will fix that problem too.

I'll be stocking up and this is why. (1, Insightful)

couchslug (175151) | about 4 months ago | (#45697907)

The power consumption advantages are often nullified by the mortality rate of modern lighting if your power fluctuates as it does in many rural and semi-rural areas.
I demand reliability.
BTW incandescent bulbs are nice for heating my well pump house and chicken coop. I can buy separate heaters, but they cost more and nullify any ecological advantages from running "eco bulbs" to light those places.
"Rugged" bulbs are often plastic coated and their fumes can be dangerous to birds:

http://www.t-g.com/blogs/stevemills/entry/50611/ [t-g.com]

Why not just actually fix the problem? (1)

sjbe (173966) | about 4 months ago | (#45698045)

The power consumption advantages are often nullified by the mortality rate of modern lighting if your power fluctuates as it does in many rural and semi-rural areas. I demand reliability.

So put in a whole house surge protector and use some battery backups on sensitive electronics. I live in a semi-rural area and I took the extra steps to ensure that my power is reliable instead of constantly dealing with the aggravation and cost of replacing light bulbs needlessly.

BTW incandescent bulbs are nice for heating my well pump house and chicken coop.

So get a halogen. They pump off lots of heat and will still be sold. Or get a heat lamp.

The responsible consumer is a myth (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45697917)

Let's face it: people don't want to think about every bit they do. That's why phones and clothes are nowadays mostly produced by people working in Asia under inhuman conditions, people buy prepackaged meat but would not want to see a slaughterhouse, people can't be bothered to switch off the lights or TV or heating when they don't need it.

If consumers acted intelligibly, absurdities like elevators in gym buildings would not see much use. Neither would do remote controls for entertainment devices and the sometimes associated "standby" mode.

Also realizations like "I don't have the money to afford cheap stuff" occur only to few people.

People won't change their patterns unless forced to. The whole point of a pattern is to save the effort of thinking, a strategic and rare resource.

the best wins (2, Insightful)

Tom (822) | about 4 months ago | (#45697951)

They argue that if the new ones really are so good, people will buy them on their own without being forced to do so.

Which is why Betamax won the video format war. Oh, wait...

Re:the best wins (1)

cyber-vandal (148830) | about 4 months ago | (#45698031)

That's why Microsoft is an insignificant little software company and Commodore is a titan. That's why the Dreamcast is the best selling console of all time and why Britney Spears never had any hits. People don't buy things because they're actually good, they buy them for a multitude of reasons, quality being fairly low down on the list when compared to clever marketing, no other realistic option etc etc.

Re:the best wins (1)

jklovanc (1603149) | about 4 months ago | (#45698053)

The Bwtamax war was lost by Sony due to the fact that their high licensing costs eclipsed their technology advantage.

I'll switch when... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45697955)

... I can find 100 watt (and greater) equivalent LEDs. I know that they exist, but the ones I can find are way too expensive and/or impossible for the stores to keep in stock.

LOL (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45697981)

This coming from the country that continues to bring us the 300 Kilowatt (400HP) SUV for soccer moms.

News from EU that've been thru:There's no long run (1)

D4C5CE (578304) | about 4 months ago | (#45697993)

All are significantly more expensive than traditional light bulbs, but offer significant energy and costs savings over the long run

...if they shine long enough to ever start saving - not so likely with all-too-tightly-packed cheap Chinese semiconductors that often fail within months, at least for much of the short-lived (and often annoyingly artificially-looking) light Europeans get to see since "their" ban on bulbs.

Easy Bake Oven (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45697999)

You need to think of a bigger picture. In an easy bak oven the "LIGHT" is a waste product. In areas and times fo the year that a person it running a heater, the light bulb gives you both Light and heat, so only the magnetic field is a waste.

"waste" heat? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45698021)

I live in Ohio. I think the regulations are pretty stupid and an overstep. Incadescent lights give a full spectrum light, not just a few specific colors. And the heat isn't wasted here. In the winter it just causes my heater to run less. And in the summer, my lights see significantly lower use due to windows and daylight through to 9pm.

I've tried a few different CFLs and have been mostly unhappy with all of them. Especially for places where I only turn on the light occasionally for a few minutes. For CFLs to be effecient, they should be ran for 30 minutes or an hour. I've already had a few CFLs die that were less than a year old that were put into this position. And the color is never perfect like incadescents are.

I haven't tried any LEDs yet, mainly because they are still prohibitively expensive

CFLs Were A Waste (1)

kenwd0elq (985465) | about 4 months ago | (#45698079)

I was an early adopter of the CFL "pigtail" lightbulbs. The problem was, they were VERY expensive, took a long time to light up, and had much shorter-than-promised lifespans.

CFLs fail quickly if they are in any orientation other than vertical. Sideways or pointing down? A couple of months, tops. CFLs were severely affected by heat buildup, which is still a problem. In any enclosed fixture, they lasted about a month.

The only CFLs still in use in my home are a set of outdoor coach lamps; small, vertical, outside, and I don't care how long it takes for them to light up.

Just one more example of "feel-good" ignorant legislators writing laws they don't understand to solve non-existent problems.

The ratcheting of Liberal Fascism (2, Insightful)

SuperKendall (25149) | about 4 months ago | (#45698089)

Yet another strong example of Liberal Fascism [amazon.com] at work. More examples of a government hell-bent on solving some kind of problem that would have solved itself eventually, destroying jobs and making the lives of the poor worse in the process.

I personally am not effected too much by the ban - I've already been using LED and CFL bulbs where they make sense (basically a CFL makes sense anywhere you almost never have to use the light or look at anything illuminated by it). But then I can afford a $50 light bulb instead of a 60 cent one...

What will the poor do? They will use ultra-crappy CFL bulbs that don't last any longer than an incandescent yet cost 10x as much, or else make do with discarded Christmas lights for illumination instead.

That in the end is the real tragedy of overbearing government regulations. The well off can easily find a way to skirt them while the quality of life for the poor ratchets ever downward.

If you wonder why the government is doing this, wonder no more when a government subsidy is created to funnel taxpayer money to CFL makers "for the poor".

Makes 'em Feel Good (4, Informative)

craigminah (1885846) | about 4 months ago | (#45698093)

I'm all for being environmentally friendly but CFLs are nasty...look what you gotta do if you break one: http://www2.epa.gov/cfl/cleaning-broken-cfl [epa.gov]

On the surface, this seems great...much more energy efficient (e.g. less electrical consumption, less energy converted to heat, etc.), good quality of light (finally), and they last a long time, but the mercury threat will spell the demise of these. Unfortunately, it will take a few decades of these being tossed into the waste stream and the obligatory horrific mercury-caused maladies as it "may be toxic to blood, kidneys, liver, brain, peripheral nervous system, central nervous system." Fantastic...environmentalists and politicians making decisions based on emotions rather than on science.

LED bulbs aren't much safer as they may contain "lead and nickel, the bulbs and their associated parts were also found to contain arsenic, copper, and other metals that have been linked to different cancers, neurological damage, kidney disease, hypertension, skin rashes and other illnesses in humans, and to ecological damage in waterways. UC Irvine’s Oladele Ogunseitan said that while breaking a single bulb and breathing its fumes would not automatically cause cancer, it could be the tipping point for an individual regularly exposed to another carcinogen."

I'm advocating torches and if you buy three torches at my online store you'll get a free pitch fork...perfect for the looming protests before the next election cycle...they make great stocking stuffers too...

"The Market" would never phase them out (3, Insightful)

T.E.D. (34228) | about 4 months ago | (#45698103)

...not because they are superior, but because at least half of the USA is living paycheck-to-paycheck, and they are cheaper. When you need a lightbulb right now, and your kids get to eat with whatever is left, you're most likely going to pick the cheapest one, not the one that should give you the cheapest electricity bill over the next 20 years (particularly if you're liable to move in 1-5 years, leaving your lightbulb "investment" behind before it has paid off).

Hell, I'm better off than most folks, but in my own house I've instituted a rule that we buy no more than 1 expensive LED bulb a month (at last check we had 8 burned out awaiting replacement). I wanna hug trees and all that, but there's a lot better way to spend hundreds of dollars this week than on light bulbs.

So expecting "the market" to fix this in a healthy way all by itself any time soon is unreasonable. This is the exact kind of thing we have government for. Otherwise the streets would be full of trash and sewage (cheapest way to dispose of it, after all! Who's the government to tell me how to dispose of my Snickers wrappers?)

Let's use 1800's technology! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45698105)

It is sad to see so many people try and find excuses for their irresponsible behavior and cheapness, than to just get with the times and switch to LED light bulbs a few at a time. I bet there is a whole libertarian think tank that comes up with excuses and hands them off to people through the many right-wing media outlets as a way to stick it to the environmentalists (and give more money to the utilities that they run)...

I say good, we should have switched to LED lights a few years ago. I have in my house. It is the new builders and apartment owners who are the big ones that will need to switch. Even Exxon-Mobile has an ad about how much energy we would save if everyone just switched one light bulb...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_igh8b8HrZs

John Boehner is right to call these people out. There needs to be a lot more of it.
http://thehill.com/blogs/pundits-blog/lawmaker-news/328007-to-ted-cruz-mike-lee-darrell-issa-tea-party-your-15-minutes-of-fame-are-over

It is not just the cost of the bulb (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45698167)

I have several built in enclosed fixtures of which all these CFLs and LEDs are not allowed or don't fit. It would cost me hundreds dollars to replace these fixtures. So I bought about 24 60w bulbs yesterday to stock up while I wait for the law to change or technology to improve to work and hopefully get cheaper.

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