Incandescent Bulb Ban Overturned

Tam reports that the Incandescent Bulb Ban that Congress passed a while back has been quietly repealed, joining an unfortunately short list of times when Congress has actually repealed a law that limited people’s freedoms. By this point, we’ve replaced most of our bulbs with CFLs, and for the same reason Tam has. I find the quality of light put out by modern CFLs acceptable for most purposes. My only real pet peeve left with them is warmup time. Nonetheless, the cost savings of running 15 watts versus 60 watts for the same amount of light, and not having to replace bulbs as often, makes the deal for me.

That said, I don’t want the government mandating that I use them, and nothing else. I have fixtures that won’t take acceptable CFLs, and they absolutely suck for outdoor lighting in the winter because of the warm-up time, unless you leave them on all the time. Much better to use halogens on a motion sensor.

We can also rest easy that the old EZ Bake oven you might want to pass onto your kids will still find an ample supply of light bulbs, even though the new ones apparently don’t require it. At least we can rest easy until the CPSC figures out that ovens are hot, and could burn children, and that it’s powered with electricity, and kids might try to take a bath with their favorite toy.

18 thoughts on “Incandescent Bulb Ban Overturned”

  1. Not quite. The slizzards in Congress have merely de-funded enforcement of the ban…. for now. The light bulb ban is still fully in place.

    1. Defunding, if vigorously pursued, is damned near as good as repeal. Ask anybody who’s tried to get their federal firearms rights restored after a petty procedural felony… :(

      1. There’s a difference in that this temporary-maybe-permanent ban will have an impact on the relevant businesses. If a window opened up in rights restoration people could at that point pursue it. But if you’re in the light bulb business at any level you have to deal with the fact that at the end of the fiscal year you’re stuck, unless and until another measure is passed.

        At the very least I would expect prices to go up.

  2. I want to beat the people who passed that requirement with an economics textbook.
    You want people to save electricity by buying more expensive bulbs? [b]Tax Electricity[/b], and they’ll do it themselves!
    Congress mandating certain economic activity to increase efficiency is like a plumber trying to fix a pocketwatch with a spanner…

  3. There is another advantage to the CFLs.
    Here in sunny warm south Florida we use air conditioning almost year round. The CFLs emit much less heat than incandescent bulbs, thus reducing the heat load on the AC units.
    It takes roughly 400 watts of AC to extract 100 watts of heat energy. Multiply that by 6 or 8 lights in your house for a lot of electical costs at the new obama skyrocketed price.


  4. The 2012 sale of regular 100W incandescents was never banned
    Only the manufacture and import.
    Since stores are stocking up, it will not change things for consumers short term.

    But it should be added that the Republican amendment was not pointless:
    It was all they could do in a Democrat controlled Senate,
    and it means Congressmen are forced to look again at the whole issue in election year 2012.

  5. Besides, long term it is a different story:
    incandescent technology for ordinary lamps will effectively be banned, on the mandated 45 lumen per Watt end regulation standard

    Explanation of light bulb regulations,
    official links,
    and updates on the 7 US local state repeal bills

  6. There’s no mandate for CFLs specifically, just a mandate for improved efficiency. CFL technology is only one way to produce more light per Watt.

  7. I remember reading somewhere that “hard use” 100w bulbs (the plastic coated shatter-proof bulbs you see in temporary construction site lighting) were excluded from the original requirements, so they would have been available anyway.

    I use incandescant bulbs outdoors, where cfl’s take too long to warm up in cold weather. I also use them in the kitchen where my lights are on a dimmer. Those exceptions aside, it makes no economic sense to use incandescants for me.

    1. The hard use bulbs were exempted with the caveat that if the number sold per year went up too much because of people switching to them instead of CFLs, they also would be banned.

      1. yes there’s a lot of provisos like that
        = same with 150W+ bulbs …see above comment re regulations

  8. When the congressholes are sent to their forced labor camp, so that they can work off the $15 trillion that they ran up in our name and stuck us with, the camp will be illuminated exclusively with 100 watt incandescent bulbs.

  9. Defunding is a start, but it’s not enough. This ban has to be repealed, along with all the other “green” social engineering along with it.

  10. Too bad domestic production of light bulbs stopped when the last factory closed in September of 2010 in anticipation of the ban. Not getting those jobs back.

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