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Trump Admin to End War on Incandescent Light Bulbs

Trump Admin to End War on Incandescent Light Bulbs

“The American people will continue to have a choice on how they light their homes”

The war on cheap incandescent light bulbs began with the Bush administration and was expanded by the Obama administration. Team Trump is now preparing to end the madness.

Reuters reports:

U.S. rolls back standards on energy saving light bulbs

The Trump administration on Friday said it has finalized a decision to roll back a 2007 rule calling for energy-efficient light bulbs, a move that states including New York and California are challenging in the courts.

The administration finalized a proposal made in September to roll back the standard that Congress passed in 2007 when George W. Bush, a Republican, was president and which was to come into effect next year. The Department of Energy said that increasing the efficiency of bulbs could cost consumers more than 300% compared to incandescent bulbs and that Americans do not need regulation because many are already buying efficient bulbs.

“The American people will continue to have a choice on how they light their homes,” said Energy Secretary Dan Brouillette.

The move is part of the administration’s push to ease regulations by requiring agencies to ditch two old regulations for each one they propose. The administration has also rolled back Obama-era regulations on pollution and emissions as it seeks to maximize oil, gas and coal production.

The effort to force American consumers to use LED bulbs was purportedly all about fighting climate change, so naturally the left is not happy with this change in policy.

This New York Times report from John Schwartz barely hides its contempt:

Trump Administration Blocks Energy Efficiency Rule for Light Bulbs

In announcing the move, the secretary of energy, Dan Brouillette, who is a former auto lobbyist, said the administration had chosen “to protect consumer choice by ensuring that the American people do not pay the price for unnecessary overregulation from the federal government.” The new rule was unnecessary, he said, because innovation and technology are already “increasing the efficiency and affordability of light bulbs without federal government intervention.”

The rule, which would have gone into effect on Jan. 1, was required under a law passed in 2007 during the administration of President George W. Bush.

Noah Horowitz, director of the Natural Resources Defense Council’s center for energy efficiency standards, assailed the move, saying the administration had “just thumbed its nose at Congress, America’s families and businesses, and the environment.”…

The light bulb rollback is part of a multipronged effort by the Trump administration to weaken a broad array of rules designed to fight climate change, many of which were passed under the Obama administration.

Energy Secretary Dan Brouillette talked about the change on Twitter:

Let the American people decide for themselves. What a refreshing concept. The left is always talking about the importance of choice. You would think they’d love this idea.

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The price has already been paid. 200+ workers in the GE incandescent light bulb factory in Appalachia won’t get their jobs back and the town has been decimated after more than 10 years of being shuttered.

The Forgotten Man (and Woman), forever the victim of so-called progress.

Ringo Starr, yeah, that Ringo, said it aptly,

“Everything government touches turns to crap”

I know this is an unpopular point of view but Pasadena Water & Power distributed enough of the new light bulbs to replace all of my incandescent light bulbs three times. In six months, all of my old bulbs died and so were replaced with the new bulbs. This was about 12 years ago and I have replace just one bulb since. Today, they cost less and with deregulation will go lower.

Believe me, the new bulbs were cost effective from the beginning. It’s a no-brainer now. It’s simple science. Less heat, less energy wasted and bulbs last longer. People who claim they cause headaches are full of crap.

So this is not an issue I will throw down on. Politically, it was mishandled but it really is the way to go.

    No. Having the government decide what we use to light our homes is really not the way to go. It’s not about the light bulbs. It’s about who runs your life?

    Freedom is the way to go.

      Nice little speech but that is not what I said. Read it again.

        MynameisallthatIhave in reply to Pasadena Phil. | December 21, 2019 at 1:10 pm

        Actually, it was

        Haverwilde in reply to Pasadena Phil. | December 21, 2019 at 1:48 pm

        Well, Phil, I agree with your comments. I hated it when the regulations were established. Like you I believe it was grossly mishandled. Too bad that others take offense where none is needed. But such is the way of the “inter-take-offense-at-everything-net” these days.

          Thank you. There is plenty of that going around. Regardless of how we started using them, they ARE better. And now if people prefer an inferior, more costly alternative, they can switch back.

      Dusty Pitts in reply to irv. | December 21, 2019 at 12:34 pm

      Amen — and I say that as someone who has voluntarily gone LED in my house wherever feasible.

      The prospect of cutting my power bill way down and not having to replace bulbs every six months or so would have made it a no-brainer with or without a war on incandescents.

        We’ve gone almost entirely LED. There’s a plethora of choices including edison-look elongated bulbs for decorative lights. The kelvin (?) color scale isn’t really a match for incandescent but we’ve gotten use to the color. The savings aren’t so great as turning off the A/C and opening the window (works in the PNW), switching the furnace fan from continuous to cycle, unplugging the extra fridge, etc. Wish we had the amps to go with on-demand hot water as the tank heater is a power suck – as is the hot tub (summer only). The LED lights help offset that.

    “Today, they cost less and with deregulation will go lower.”

    The point is they do not “cost less” than Incandescent. We were promised the cost would drop like a hot pocket removed from the microwave oven with bare hands, but that didn’t happen. And what on earth do you think “deregulation” will do to cause price drops? The current outlawing of old style bulbs gives the new bulb manufacturers a guaranteed monopoly – theoretically that COULD have resulted in lowered production costs from increased volume, but if it did, the effect was either negligible or not passed on. Not an economist, but it’s only in socialist cuckoo-clock-land that that a monopoly usually lowers prices as far as I know.

    As for them lasting longer – depends. The new bulbs are less forgiving of power fluctuations, I had a series of them on the same breaker as my washer/drier stop working.

    I use the new bulbs where it makes sense (don’t want added heat, for example) but let’s not fool ourselves into believing they’re always more appropriate or even more cost effective.

    Then….. there’s the whole conundrum of the fact that the new bulbs are toxic waste stored in fragile glass. If you want to “save the planet” ignoring that is pretty dumb. It’s like all the claims that electric cars are in all ways better, despite their current functional limitations. Sure, if you ignore the added pollution that manufacturing (and disposing of) a car-sized battery pack entails, plus you don’t count the pollution cost of generating and transmitting the electricity elsewhere, you can say that. But you’d be arguing by misleading and leaving out important facts which don’t go “poof” because you feel smug about “saving the planet”.

      Dusty Pitts in reply to BobM. | December 21, 2019 at 3:07 pm

      Are you talking about CFLs or LEDs? It looks like you’re conflating the two.

      RandomCrank in reply to BobM. | December 21, 2019 at 4:43 pm

      I own an electric car. Probably the only one with a Life Member NRA decal on the back window. Probably one of the few owned by someone who thinks the anthropogenic global warming hypothesis is a steaming pile of crap. I bought it strictly for curiosity’s sake when the manufacturer, Think, went out of business in 2012.

      I also own a Ram 3500 long-bed, crew cab diesel truck. To me, they are all vehicles and not causes. Because I’m halfway to being a car nut, all the way to being a complete numbers nerd, and just generally a curious sort, I’ve used my EV ownership to learn a lot about both EVs and electricity generation.

      With that, a couple points to make:

      1. The amount of resources used to manufacture EVs and gassers are pretty much the same when compared. Yeah, EVs have those big batteries, but they have a) much smaller motors, far simpler gearing, and none of the exhaust or complex transmissions seen in gassers.

      2. If you care about CO2 emissions (I don’t), at the overall U.S. mix of electricity generating methods, a battery EV emits about 60% of the CO2 per mile driven that a gasser does. In real life, given where most of the EVs are sold, that number would be quite a bit lower.

      3. Yes, electricity is transmitted from the power plant to the end user, at a cost of about 6-1/2% of what’s generated. Gasoline is also shipped from refineries to terminals, and then trucked to gas stations. I don’t know (and could not find) the percentage loss involved, but it’s certainly there.

      I am far from an EVangelist. Absent a battery chemistry breakthrough, I don’t see EVs being anything other than niche vehicles for the foreseeable future. Mine works great where I am — as a grocery-getter and errand do-er — but until someone can radically improve on the cost and energy density of the batteries, EVs are poorly suited to be the mainstream American vehicle.

    amatuerwrangler in reply to Pasadena Phil. | December 21, 2019 at 1:07 pm

    Phil– I don’t see anyone disputing the efficiency of the LED bulbs, As you said, they need replacing much less frequently than incandescent ones and they use less energy while living that long life. I see nothing saying that the LED bulbs are being taken off the market. They are a smart choice in most cases.

    The point Irv made was that a person should be allowed to make their own decisions. There are times when the incandescent bulb, with its production of heat, can be very useful beyond just a light source.

    Any regulation enacted to address climate change, global warming, or whatever should be scrapped ASAP. The tweet said “If you like your bulb, you can keep it”, so you don’t have to change anything, as with a lot of us.

      BierceAmbrose in reply to amatuerwrangler. | December 21, 2019 at 3:23 pm

      (2 of 2) As for how it was handled…

      The Overlords at the time, among other things delcared of incandescent bulbs: “If they came out now, we would never allow them to be sold.”

      * What’s the threshold for banning stuff? “I don’t agree with the trade-offs.” seems to be a bit of a problem.

      * Mandated hazardous waste bombs in people’s homes? Good plan, that.

      * The “heat from light bulbs is wasted” claim is specious. The heat is often used.

      * LED bulb technology, already coming to general markets at time of the mandate, is superior in every measure except bludgeoning the proles n creating patronage.

      If you’re trying to solve a problem, you open the conversation, and declare outcomes; if you’re trying to leverage a problem for rake-offs and patronage, you declare a solution (after getting people “all wee-wee’d up” enough to slam it through.)

        RandomCrank in reply to BierceAmbrose. | December 21, 2019 at 3:55 pm

        In 2019, the U.S. used 4.2 petawatt hours (quadrillion watt hours) of electricity, 7% more than in 2000. In the same interval, the population grew by 16%. As a country, we’ve been doing more but with less electricity.

        The efficiency is driven by multiple factors, and LED lighting (which use 1/8 the juice per unit of light compared to incandescent, and are at least twice as efficient as either fluorescent or halogen, and safer than all three) is part of the story.

        This is a good thing. You know, “waste not, want not,” Ben Franklin? In principle, I don’t especially go for gov’t mandates, and given where the market is going anyway, there’s at least an abstract argument for removing the regulation. But still, let’s not fail to recognize that LEDs represented a huge advancement over everything that came before.

          No one has argued that incandescent is better in all situations or that LED bulbs are not a good choice.

          The argument is over having the government decide for you which bulb you will be allowed to use.

          Government should always keep its nose out of it unless it is an absolute necessity for the common defense.

    Less heat, less energy wasted
    Perhaps in Pasadena, but in Chicago in the Winter, the extra heat is welcome.

      Barry in reply to RodFC. | December 22, 2019 at 12:58 am

      True enough, and I want the government to stay the hell away from our light bulbs, but there are more efficient and less costly ways to heat Chicago 🙂

    You, then, must have better luck with your bulbs than I do. The twisty bulbs burn out just as often as the regular ones, but they flicker a lot, too. That may be our power source, but it is annoying, and doesn’t happen with the incandescent bulbs when I can find them.

    BierceAmbrose in reply to Pasadena Phil. | December 21, 2019 at 3:08 pm

    (1 of 2) Well … experiences, like opinions, vary.

    Mine with the enviro-hazard bulbs has been they under-last incandescents. Also, not dimmable, and the light spectrum sucks. Aside form that Mrs. Lincoln…

    “Politically, it was mishandled…”

    Yea, as in the government needs to stay the hell out of our lives to the greatest extent possible.

    At the time LED bulbs were so high in cost no one bought them and the fluorescents sucked.

    Now, LED bulbs are fantastic and the price is cheap.

    None of that has anything to do with the government intruding in our lives where it is unnecessary. One more thing President Trump is fixing.

    LookoutABear in reply to Pasadena Phil. | December 22, 2019 at 10:32 am

    Incadescents give off more heat than light. It’s just wasting money on your electric bill.

    But CFLs were never adequate replacements… toxic, they take time to reach full brightness, weird shapes that don’t work in some fixtures, flickering at times, and many aren’t dimmable.

    So far i haven’t had an issue with LED bulbs, and they use even less power than CFLs

    DallasMatt in reply to Pasadena Phil. | December 22, 2019 at 5:29 pm

    I love some of the LED floodlights – the whiter light is great for reading, but in our living room, with the 12 foot ceilings, I prefer the soft 120 watt incandescent bulbs. Thank goodness Trump has rolled back the Federal Government’s fiat decision, we won’t have to remodel our light fixtures. Also just about at the bottom of our incandescent stash. Living in Texas, electricity is only $.08 per kW thanks to natural gas, so not much difference in electric cost.

Is there a chance that some other company, looking to see the incandescent bulb remain an American product can make deal with GE to purchase facility and equipment?

Even without regulation, GE probably would have closed it. They’re currently a mess.

Would have loved to see what the Shelby Lamp Company would have done with the opportunity.

Phil, the “new bulbs” were not cost effective from the beginning. First generation compact florescent bulbs were much bigger than regular bulbs, they would hum, and at $22 each, would take a very long time to reach break even. (I still have one of these. What’s amazing is that they could fit a magnetic ballast and a florescent tube in a case that could allow it to fit in a lamp socket). The technology improved, but the next generation of CF bulbs were smaller and cheaper, but they didn’t last very long as electronic ballasts were not very good at dealing with transient voltage spikes and most of the ones I bought were dead in about a year. The light flickered at 30 Hz and did indeed give people headaches.

Innovation in LED technology has been the game changer. It wasn’t the stupid law that made me change 95 % of the bulbs in my house to LED, it was the fact that they work well, do indeed pay for themselves, and the light that they give off was successfully designed to be aesthetically pleasing and comfortable to the eye.

I still have traditional bulbs in some areas of my home. They do their job better than LED bulbs. That’s MY choice. Not the government.

Oh, and if you could break a CF bulb, have you read the procedure for cleaning up the toxic mess?

I’m glad you are happy with your lighting choices. I’m happy with mine. I’m also open to seeing what the next generation of LED lighting will bring. In the mean time, I’m glad that another idiotic piece of regulatory crap is being added to the scrap heap.

    amatuerwrangler in reply to vinnymeyer. | December 21, 2019 at 1:13 pm

    They only appear cost effective when your power company passes them out “free”. Free to the recipient, but paid for by all the company’s customers. Wait until the lower consumption of ‘twicity begins to hit the bottom line because they charge based on KWH used. Do not be surprised to see a surcharge attached to your bill. It costs as much to produce a bill for $10 as it does for one of $100. Fixed costs are called fixed costs for a reason.

    Between the dozens of 100 watt bulbs I bought and the boxes of LED’s that Duke Energy sent me, I’m good on light bulbs for few years.

    Each have a place in my home

    I replaced all of my light bulbs and my electric bill went down substantially. They are a hands down superior light bulbs to the incandescent bulbs. If people want politics to run their lives, that’s their choice. I have a list of very “conservative” (whatever that means today) values and politics is not anywhere near the top of the list.

      Define “substantially” please…

      60 watt bulb x 10 hours = 600 watts

      10 bulbs x 600 watts = 6000 watts or 6Kw.

      30 days x 6Kw = 180Kw x nat average per Kw = $18.00 approximately

      15% of LED = $2.70, so net savings is $15.30.

      That’s a fair amount of lighting for a normal home.

      I have LED’s everywhere and in two homes. Doesn’t make a noticeable dent in my power bill.

That clinches it. I am definitely voting for Trump.

Obsessive LED user here. They are simply a better value now. However, I’m against mandating them. Getting rid of a useless/needless regulation and the attendant servicing bureaucracy is fine with me. More than fine, actually.

How was behind the spaghetti bulbs, 1 gal toilets and no child left behind?? I’ll give you a hint he couldn’t drive an Oldsmobile across a bride.

Amatuerwrangler, have you looked at the price of these in a Home Depot or even your local hardware store? THEY ARE DIRT CHEAP.

“They only appear cost effective when your power company passes them out “free”. Free to the recipient, but paid for by all the company’s customers. ”

On what planet? I bought my bulbs. Retail. You know, with my after tax earnings. When I first started changing over Cree had a beautiful 60 watt equivalent for about five bucks on sale. There are now a number of manufacturers selling LED bulbs at about the $2 price point.

    Yep, for those that haven’t looked lately, LED bulbs are dirt cheap now.

    I can even get smart bulbs with built in dimming and on/off control that work with my home control system for $6-8 bucks.

Not to steal the thread, but I can’t stand the Govt telling me the water temperature I can wash my clothes in, and how much water I can use to wash my dishes, I know what is right for my clothes and dishes. I also can’t stand the Govt telling me how long I can idle my car on a cold morning.

A terrible waste.
In theory what LED lamps should be like is a separate bulb with a separate form factor distinct from incandescent bulbs.

LED bulbs would form a new bridge to LED lamps, but are a waste. Every time you change the bulb you toss a lot of electronics to step down the voltage away which should be built in to the lamp. Hell maybe in the future homes would have extra 5-10V wiring for lights which would mean, the electronics would be in some transformer box and could easily be replaced.

    gospace in reply to RodFC. | December 21, 2019 at 4:35 pm

    This is true. I could easily wire my house so all the fixed lighting fixtures were fed by a DC power source – fed through through a battery backup. So if the power went out for any reason, the house would still have lighting.

    Barry in reply to RodFC. | December 22, 2019 at 1:13 am

    Since the bulbs last for a long time there is simply no real waste involved.

    Barry in reply to RodFC. | December 22, 2019 at 3:34 pm

    By the way, the electronics that get tossed with the bulb are worth about 25 cents even at low volume.

    So, if one through away 5 bulbs a year, $1.25.

Also, I think conservation of energy is very important to the security of our country. We cannot allow any foreign country to push us around because we need their oil.

It is quite understandable why politicians do not think we are smart enough to make our own choices. After all they got elected by the same people.

Ouch. I hope that’s a typo: “he couldn’t drive an Oldsmobile across a bride.” What about spinsters?

RodFC, if there were a separate form factor, there would be no transition. Pretty easy to convince someone to buy a $5 bulb. A lot harder to convince them to replace a lamp or fixture.

The electronics in most LED bulbs is simple. One chip and a couple passive components in a lot of the bulbs, that’s what’s bringing the costs down. The electronics limit the current, not regulate the voltage. Forward voltage on an LED if I remember correctly is about 0.7 volts.

They tried using a different form factor with compact florescent bulbs. Was a two pin base instead of threaded socket. When the bulbs go bad they’re hard to find because the paradigm didn’t shift – the new lamp base didn’t catch on.

We’re starting to see new form factors for LED lighting. The change will be market driven, not government mandated, because the new fixtures are better, but in the mean time it’s nice to be able to update by simply changing a bulb.

Anacleto Mitraglia | December 21, 2019 at 2:07 pm

Funny. In order to smear mr. Brouillette, the NYT says he worked for the auto industry. All new cars are using LEDs from quite a few years.

I’ll keep this short. The original incandescent light bulb ban was pure stupidity. There are places where you *want* an incandescent bulb. They would have been much better off passing a small tax on production/importation of incandescent bulbs, such as a tenth of a cent per watt, going up to five-tenths in five years, and CAPPED at 8/10th at fifteen years. At that point, the 100 watt light bulb you buy would have cost 80 cents in tax. (and the tax would have gone into the general fund instead of being siphoned off into various boondoggles)

This would have been a nudge along the general trajectory of light-bulb evolution, because in fifty years, everything will be LED, including nearly every niche that florescent now own.

-We tried replacing our incandescent bulbs as they burned out with florescents. The light was worse, and they burned out just as fast.
-We started using LED lights when they were expensive and still mostly 4k (stark white). Not too happy. Faces look like zombies.
-We now use a general mix of newer LED lights with ‘warmer’ light and halogens, and are quite happy.

    You do know that sunlight is up around the 4K range also, right? Zombies don’t like sunlight. Personally, I don’t like yellow (warm) light. It distorts colors, among other things.

      RandomCrank in reply to txvet2. | December 21, 2019 at 3:31 pm

      One of the pluses of LED is that you can select color temperature. You don’t like softer light? No problem. Just buy a 5000-temp LED bulb.

All too complicated for us dim bulbs who like to flip the switch and have lights cone on .

The move is part of the administration’s push to ease regulations by requiring agencies to ditch two old regulations for each one they propose.

This may be the most significant contribution to American political theory of the past century. It’s such a fundamental statement on the limitation of arbitrary government power, it could have saved us all a boatload of grief if it had been included in the Bill of Rights.

Unfortunately, this one is weakened by this—

Innovation and technology are driving progress and increasing the efficiency and affordability of lightbulbs

The government should get off our damn backs just as a matter of principle, not because of innovation and technology.

If the government can force me to buy small, globular, glass containers filled with hazardous materials to light my home, against my express and common sense wishes, I might as well consider myself a slave of government.

The fact is LED bulbs have progressed to the point they are not only better for most applications, but far safer. Them energy load has been reduced to the point where floor receptacles ever reach load. Reducing light wattage by 90% is significant.

the heat from them helped me a lot, prior to the ruling had been using cfl in summer and incandescent in winter (Maine…gets cold) and it worked well.
now…not so much. rough service incandescent bulbs don’t have the lower wattage I used in some lamps and the light is not as soft, I use incandescent in reading lamps.
any savings from having to use cfl offset by rise in heating oil in winter.
was no need for the regs, just another low flow toilet fiasco where you need to flush twice (for us “power” users) to do the same job old toilets used to do in one flush.

    RandomCrank in reply to dmacleo. | December 21, 2019 at 3:28 pm

    We have small-tank toilets in our newly-built house. I’ve never had to flush twice, and it’s not because I come up short on the waste production side of things.

      I ended up going with american standard champion series with the 4″ flush valve.
      have tried all sorts of new (as in 2019) kohler, american standard, etc. they don’t hold up to heavy crap. the champion with the large flush valve does.
      when I say power user I mean power user…..I am literally full of shit….

The marketplace will drive lightbulb usage.

It looks bad, but on substance I can’t argue with the rollback because I think the market has gone LED. I’m not sure there’s any need for gov’t involvement now.

I’ve always been a bit of a gadget guy, so I tried some of the first LEDs and hated the harsh, flickering light, and their non-dimmability. So when we had a new house built 2-1/2 years ago and the builder’s lightning subcontractor recommended LEDs throughout, I was skeptical to say the least.

But all that had changed. The only downside of LEDs now is the up-front expense, which is more than offset by much longer life and 1/8 the electricity consumption. All of the other quality issues have been solved. In fact, color “temperature” is selectable in LEDs, which I regard as an important selling point for the category in general.

I started this comment by saying “it looks bad.” Look, folks, I get the libertarian side of it, and agree in principle. But then there’s the practical side, in this case how it looks. The Trump admin now appears to be against LED lights, which are an undeniable step forward from just about any angle.

At the very least, they should have come up with a better explanation. If it had been me, I’d have compared retiring the regulation to states that have ended car emissions testing because it’s no longer necessary in light of changing technology. Casting this as a freedom of choice issue at a time when everyone and his brother is making the switch to LED anyway? That’s just dumb politics.

    “The Trump admin now appears to be against LED lights…”

    Apparently you’re hearing voices in your head as nothing stated remotely suggests such a thing.

    “Casting this as a freedom of choice issue…”

    is sound politics for all of those that value freedom and liberty. For communist cranks, not so much.

Could we now get the government out of the business of gas cans ?

Over the past two decades they have forced the design of gas cans to change such that they spilled more that the original, in the name of spill prevention.

    RandomCrank in reply to Neo. | December 21, 2019 at 5:29 pm

    We moved to the countryside 2-1/2 years ago, and when you’re out here you wind up with all kinds of gasoline-powered appliances of various kinds: string trimmers, a snowblower, chain saw, UTV. And that means gas cans. I’ve always had a gasoline can, but I use gasoline for small engines at least 5 times as much now as I ever did, and probably more.

    The only difference I’ve seen with gas cans is that some of them have an additional mechanism to use while pouring. All of them have attached caps that go on the front of the spout, but those aren’t new. In any case, the new gas cans do NOT spill more than the old ones did. I’m not real sure that they spill any less either, but they definitely don’t spill more.

To begin with I purchased 2 gross of incandescent 100w bulb. Then as the led bulb industry developed over time and the product grew better I began to research. Now I have a house full of 20w 6000k light bulbs, I see better, they emit less heat and use less electricity. Evolution.

I never understood the wasted heat argument. a one size fits all regulation does not fit the country as a whole due to HUGE differences in local climates.
as stated earlier, I used to swap to cfl in warm weather BUT in winter (eg yesterday morning it was 1 deg F with wind chills around -20) I used incandescent due to the heat they produced. best of both worlds….until idiot bush stepped in.

    RandomCrank in reply to dmacleo. | December 21, 2019 at 3:57 pm

    If you’re using incandescent bulbs as little heaters, you surely flunked the I.Q. test. They are extremely inefficient for that use.

      Morning Sunshine in reply to RandomCrank. | December 21, 2019 at 7:48 pm

      but keeping that incandescent bulb on in the well house all winter kept that 4×4 insulated building warm enough that my pipes did not freeze. The next winter we discovered heat tape. But that lightbulb saved our pipes.

        RandomCrank in reply to Morning Sunshine. | December 21, 2019 at 9:27 pm

        I’ve heard that from some other people. You can also stick an incandescent bulb in a cold frame and grow veggies outdoors in the winter. To me, these are worthy arguments in favor of some niche uses, but they ARE just niches.

        Now, I’m all in favor of niche uses and of the freedom to choose. My basic criticism of the new reg is not with the repeal itself, but with how it was positioned. Of course, no matter how it was positioned, the Democratic “news” media would trash it, just as they’d trash Trump if he announced a cure for cancer.

        Still, though, politics is often a matter of picking your battles, and of how you sell it. I look at Trump’s administration and marvel at their ability to screw up the sale.

          “I look at Trump’s administration…”

          It’s President Trump.

          You crank neverTrumpers are always full of it. You love more regulation because you are a prog. It’s just what you do.

          Walker Evans in reply to RandomCrank. | December 22, 2019 at 3:01 am

          They’re also quite good for keeping a doghouse toasty warm in harsh Midwestern winters. Keeps the pups happy and eliminates us crawling out of a nice, warm bed at 0-dark-thirty to serve as canine doormen! Well worth the miniscule cost of running the bulb.

        I used one in an insulated enclosure for oil tank, can’t use heat tape there and in really bad nights (like -40 wind chills) turned it on to keep the filter warm and flowing.
        yeah I know its a low iq solution (tested many times WELL into triple digits but whatever) but it worked for me.

      beagleEar in reply to RandomCrank. | December 22, 2019 at 11:57 am

      Not if the radiant heat heats up the spot you were sitting in, allowing you to turn the thermostat down for the entire house.

      BierceAmbrose in reply to RandomCrank. | December 22, 2019 at 2:40 pm

      Unless you’re powering a heat pump (or the uncommon solid-state “pumps”) grid-energy in = heat energy out for every kind of “heater.”

      Light bulbs just route some of that energy through light bouncing around the room for a while before it becomes heat.

      “Radiant heaters” emit a larger fraction of consumed energy in the sensible IR, which lets you essentially point-warm targets. Same gross “heat out = power in” as light bulbs.

      Mixed-input “heaters” can seem to produce “more” heat, like an oil burner emits more heat than the blower consumes. BUT that heat comes from the oil fuel; or gas; or wood pellets, or whatever.

      An incandescent light bulb may not be the most aligned choice for any given heating application, but it’s exactly as efficient as every other device that converts grid-power to output energy in another form.

    Barry in reply to dmacleo. | December 22, 2019 at 3:40 pm

    A note of caution using an incandescent bulb to provide heat –

    If freezing is a disaster, find another solution. The bulbs are prone to burning out and unless it is something you monitor often, failure and freeze up are inevitable. You might get away with it – right up until you don’t.

Seems simple to me–make better products, convince people they are better products, sell better products. No .gov needed.

I’ve had nothing but trouble out of bulbs since bulbs started disappearing.

The labels are written in small light print to make them harder to read, so all the warnings are less obvious.

They’ve made it dangerous to buy bulbs. I bought one thinking it was a harmless incandescent. Turns out, it was not a true incandescent and it EXPLODED in my home office. I’m so lucky I wasn’t facing it when it exploded because shards of glass went EVERYWHERE.

I’m extremely dissatisfied with bulb manufacturers.

Agree with most of the comments. My big beef is government intervention, which did NOT give us LEDs. The original incandescent replacement bulb forced on the public was the utterly crap CFL. They were expensive, with ugly light.

LED technology has been booming for a long time. I remember using LEDs in computers. Then they showed up in cool flashlights. The new consumer market is an extension of LED technology. I believe it happened w/o help from Bush.

LED light can be terrific. No complaints there. I suspect we would have gone from incandescent to LED without help from that ignoramus W. Bush. CFLs only pissed people off.

Sidebar: it’s been my experience that incandescent bulbs are cheap and they do last. LEDs probably last longer. And I was never against halogen light either. And those new Edison bulbs are very cool looking. They’re everywhere.

I do confess to stockpiling incandescents because I simply hated, hated those CFLs.

    RandomCrank in reply to Titan28. | December 21, 2019 at 5:38 pm

    LEDs absolutely rule the flashlight world now. They are much, MUCH better than the incandescents. Not even any comparison.

    We had a 1920s house for 15 years, and when I renovated the place I wound up with all kinds of lighting: incandescent in some places, flourescent elsewhere (including a few CFL bulbs, LED, and halogen.

    The early LEDs were crappy. They flickered, and the color temperature was was too high for a lot of in-house use. CFL light sucked for the same reason. Fluorescent under-cabinet lighting worked fine, but the bulbs didn’t last very long, and it always seemed like I had run out of the correct size.

    Halogen was more efficient, and the temperature of the light was fine, but they burn VERY hot. We had some halogen in a bathroom light fixture, and mistakenly put in the wrong halogen replacement and came damn close to starting a fire. Very easy to do this, because the different strengths are in very fine print on the packages.

    Our new place built 2-1/2 years ago is all LED, with the exception of a couple of old lamps where I still use leftover incandescent bulbs. LEDs have made huge quality strides in this decade, and as far as I’m concerned they’re the only thing to use.

CFL and LED can have their uses. Here in Minnesota in the winter, they do not work at all in temperatures below 10°F (unheated shed, garage, driveway, security ….)

Disposing of broken CFLs is a hazard.

So I’ve put 25W incandescent bulbs, always on, under the essential LEDs to keep them warm for the winter — and working. I can imagine ways to build “low temperature LEDs”, but they’re not made yet (maybe they’re illegal?)

Maybe Minnesota (and the rest of the frozen north) should apply to join Canada?

    Barry in reply to htom. | December 22, 2019 at 1:28 am

    “Maybe Minnesota (and the rest of the frozen north) should apply to join Canada?”

    puhiawa in reply to htom. | December 22, 2019 at 2:50 pm

    Cold temp. LEDs are now common, being operational down to -20F. In fact refrigerators and freezers now use them.

      Interesting; I’ll keep looking. A garage is a lot bigger than a refrigerator, though, and our local record low is -36°F that’s temperature, not wind chill.)

    RandomCrank in reply to htom. | December 22, 2019 at 7:57 pm

    Where I live in rural Eastern WA State, winter temps typically bottom out at 0 to -10. All of our exterior lighting in LED, and they worked just fine in the two winters we’ve been here. The coldest weather hasn’t hit yet, but I’m not worried about the LEDs failing to work in January.

    mrzee in reply to htom. | December 22, 2019 at 8:14 pm

    Canada got rid of incandescent bulbs before the US did.

It’s almost like you only need to use policy to drive use toward “better” solutions, when the solutions aren’t so “better.”

As several commenters have pointed out, the so-called “waste heat” from conventional incandescent bulbs isn’t wasted. It helps heat the rooms in which the bulbs are lit, thus reducing the energy needed for central heating. This is particularly important in winter months with their early darkness…