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Australia Outlaws Incandescent Light Bulb

Zonk posted more than 7 years ago | from the lots-of-quiet-nights-down-there dept.

Science 944

passthecrackpipe writes "The Australian Government is planning on making the incandescent light bulb a thing of the past. In three years time, standard light bulbs will no longer be available for sale in the shops in Australia (expect a roaring grey market) and everybody will be forced to switch to more energy efficient Fluorescent bulbs. In this move to try and curb emissions, the incandescent bulb — which converts the majority of used energy to heat rather then light — will be phased out. Environmental groups have given this plan a lukewarm reception. They feel Australia should sign on to the Kyoto protocol first. A similar plan was created together with Phillips, one of the worlds largest lighting manufacturers."

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More than Australia (5, Interesting)

Kelson (129150) | more than 7 years ago | (#18083418)

For those with short memories, there's a legislator in California proposing the same idea [slashdot.org] , though over a five-year period instead of three.

I find the difference in approach interesting, though. The California proposal, judging by the press releases, seems to be about banning sale of incandescents. The Australian proposal is simply upping the energy efficiency standards to the point where incandescent bulbs no longer qualify.

Considering California actually has a higher population than Australia (estimated 36 million in 2005 vs. estimated 20 million in 2006), the California ban, if adopted, would actually have a greater effect.

Re:More than Australia (3, Funny)

beefubermensch (575927) | more than 7 years ago | (#18083508)

Dude, if this goes in to effect in California, I'm importing my Edisons from Guam or something. The color temperature and 60Hz. oscillations of fluorescents make me want to light fires. (literally)

-Carl

Re:More than Australia (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18083562)

Modern CFLs do not oscillate at anything nearly as slow as 60Hz.

It's 2007, not 1997.

Re:More than Australia (1)

R2.0 (532027) | more than 7 years ago | (#18083666)

Dude, California is a state, not a nation, even though they pretend otherwise. Why go to Guam (lovely place, btw) when you can "import" them from, say, Arizona or Oregon?

Re:More than Australia (4, Informative)

jandrese (485) | more than 7 years ago | (#18083940)

Compact Fluorescents don't use old fashioned ballasts so they don't oscillate at 60Hz. They use electronic ballasts that oscillate somewhere in the thousands of Hz.

Re:More than Australia (3, Insightful)

UbuntuDupe (970646) | more than 7 years ago | (#18083578)

I find the difference in approach interesting, though. The California proposal, judging by the press releases, seems to be about banning sale of incandescents. The Australian proposal is simply upping the energy efficiency standards to the point where incandescent bulbs no longer qualify.

So? They're both mind-numbingly stupid.

Those of you who follow my posts know that restrictions on incandescents (and any other input-based methods [slashdot.org] of getting people to reduce an output) make me absolutely livid. They unfairly single out those who want to feel comfortable (rather than institutionalized) at home, with no regard whatsoever for people's total output.

Apparently, if I use CFLs, but keep them on ten times as much -- hey, that's fine! If I want to have a HUGE house with enormous heating/cooling requirements -- hey, that's fine! If I want to drive around for no reason whatsoever -- hey, that's fine! If I want to heat my pool -- have at it!

The more realistic result of conversion to CFLs is "Hey honey, our electric bill is a lot lower! Look at that!" "Great, dear! Now we don't have to worry about turning up the heat in winter!"

If you want to control carbon emissions, calculate the marginal externality cost and charge it to people. If they reduce -- great. If they don't -- you can fix their damage. Plus, it lets them pick whichever method is least inconvenient. The market would then incorporate externalities into prices.

Environmentalists: isn't that solution a LOT better than setting up millions of pages of regulations for how big a house you can have, how fuel-efficient your car can be, who needs to get a prescription for a light bulb, etc?

The extent to which a person wants to control individual behaviors rather than ascertain that the quantifiable damages have been compensated, is the extent to which that person is merely using supposed environmental concerns as a pretense to control others.

Refusal to quantify the damage, and instead say "Just don't do it" is the mark of a charlatan.

Kneejerk Bans Don't Work (5, Interesting)

TheMeuge (645043) | more than 7 years ago | (#18083582)

I think that a total ban, as all total bans, is really arrogant and short-sighted. After all, there are many decorative lights that will look simply horrendous with incadescent light bulbs. Aesthetics are important, and forcing people to make their households less appealing isn't going to help anyone live a better life.

Instead of a ban, let's create an economic pressure. Tax the incadescent light bulbs, so that they are significantly more expensive than compact fluorescents, and use the money for conservation. This way, the shift will be natural, and the people who prefer/need incadescent bulbs, can still purchase them, albeit at 10X+ the current price.

Re:Kneejerk Bans Don't Work (1)

TheMeuge (645043) | more than 7 years ago | (#18083694)

*It was supposed to say "look simply horrendous with fluorescent light bulbs"

Re:Kneejerk Bans Don't Work (1)

GeneralAntilles (571325) | more than 7 years ago | (#18083724)

Or just let the market forces work it out. When it becomes reasonably compelling to replace incandescent with fluorescent, people will do it. Until that point, why screw with it with legislation? It's not like fluorescent or incandescent is a decision that will decide the fate of the planet.

Re:Kneejerk Bans Don't Work (3, Interesting)

David Horn (772985) | more than 7 years ago | (#18083740)

I'm all for it. Our house uses solely compact fluorescent lamps and I'm planning to add low level LED lighting that's on all the time to further cut the bills. The main reason we use the low energy lights is to save electricity, rather than the environmental benefits.

On a related matter - all our Christmas tree decorations were LED this year, looked a lot better than incandescent and in the UK, at least, sold out well before Christmas.

Re:Kneejerk Bans Don't Work (-1, Flamebait)

ResidntGeek (772730) | more than 7 years ago | (#18083860)

Aesthetics are important, and forcing people to make their households less appealing isn't going to help anyone live a better life.
That's one of the stupidest things I've ever heard. Aesthetics might be important to some people with nothing better to think about, but in the grand scheme of things there are many things more important. Your house would be cleaner if you had a slave to clean it for you, so does that mean that outlawing slavery isn't going to help anyone live a better life?

This is hopeless, isn't it? I bet you're one of those people who spends a half-hour every day making your hair look good. I'm not even going to touch your "the shift will be natural" comment.

Re:More than Australia (5, Funny)

deft (253558) | more than 7 years ago | (#18083664)

"I find the difference in approach interesting, though. The California proposal, judging by the press releases, seems to be about banning sale of incandescents. The Australian proposal is simply upping the energy efficiency standards to the point where incandescent bulbs no longer qualify"

Thanks man, I'm going to use that one today. "I'm sorry babe, just remember, we're not breaking up, I just upped my standards till you no longer qualify."

Re:More than Australia (4, Informative)

LWATCDR (28044) | more than 7 years ago | (#18083710)

Maybe not.
Australia gets almost 100% of it's power from fossil fuels. As far as I know they burn a lot of coal.
California has a much more diverse energy base than Australia. In fact Australia has the highest carbon output per person in the world last time I checked.
They are a large country with a low population density. Australia doesn't have a lot in the way of hydroelectric resources and they have not embraced nuclear power. They do have a lot of coal.

Re:More than Australia (1)

Overzeetop (214511) | more than 7 years ago | (#18083886)

So what you're really saying is that perhaps Australia should consider dropping this ban and take a harder look at the generation side of the equation.

It's a shame that we can't figure out a way to generate energy using the power expended by having people throw insane amounts of money at real estate - California could become self sufficient overnight.

Re:More than Australia (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18083936)

Jesus.

If fucking Australia can't make a go of solar power, who the fuck can?

Hello Australia, why not try building some fucking solar furnaces already? Wouldn't that be a much more practical plan than pissing around with lightbulbs? LED tech will eventually solve that problem for us anyway.

Let's call it what it is -- prohibition. (2, Insightful)

dada21 (163177) | more than 7 years ago | (#18083436)

It doesn't matter if you are trying to prohibit drinking alcohol or paying someone else for sexual favors, prohibition doesn't work -- all it does is create artificial scarcity which then develops a black market for the product or service. When alcohol was prohibited in the U.S., the mob was created. When incandescent light bulbs are banned, the black market will flourish, unless people see a real reason to switch.

We tried CFLs in my household and we hated them. We found some random buzzing issues, hated the color of our walls and furniture, and didn't really see a huge savings over incandescent because we turn off lights we don't use (and we use home automation in the bathroom and bedroom). I don't see how the Australian government can really enforce this law other than going after retailers who try to circumvent it. Putting the onus on the retailer will just make Australia that much less competitive -- you can bet that eBay.com.au will have thousands of listings for the old bulbs -- and there is no way that the Australian customs office can afford to search every box for illegal bulbs.

I'm sure it will work in the short run, but I wonder who is really behind this. It could be Phillips, who is sure to gain a huge profit from the mandate. Maybe it is the mercury disposal company that has a brother in office -- CFLs do contain mercury and need to be disposed of properly (I know there are alternatives, but the seem to reduce the cost-effectiveness of the bulb in the first place). When your CFL bulb dies, you're supposed to return it to the store for recycling or disposal. I'm sure everyone does that, right? *sarcasm* Of course, it is debated that coal-burning plants create a lot of mercury, but I assume that mercury is disposed of properly, unlike the mercury that is in your CFL bulb and ends up in the trash.

I prefer what Wal*Mart is doing -- working to convince the market that these bulbs MIGHT be better for them. I also wonder about the ancillary effect of the incandescent -- namely, heat. In the cold Midwest, I actually like reading under my incandescent lamp over my bed -- the warmth is nice, it is focused, and it is better than overheating my entire house. This way, I get just enough heat that I need when I am awake, as when I am asleep I can tolerate much lower heat requirements.

The other two problems with the CFLs is the ugly light they give off (although it is getting better), and how few of them fit into the lamps I have in my household. I also can't dim them (there are dimmable units now, I've heard), which we utilize all the time for effect, especially when watching movies or for social parties we host.

I'll take a prop bet with anyone here that the black market of light bulbs in Australia after 2010 will be very profitable -- and very easy to maintain.

Re:Let's call it what it is -- prohibition. (1)

rwven (663186) | more than 7 years ago | (#18083500)

The difference is, there's no downside here. Incandescent bulbs produce less light per watt, waste far more exlectricity, and they don't last near as long as their flourescent counterparts. Flourescent's are more expensive at the get-go, but that is easily made up for by their low power usage and extremely long life.

Re:Let's call it what it is -- prohibition. (1, Informative)

flynt (248848) | more than 7 years ago | (#18083624)

The downside is that my eyes start to bleed when I turn on the flourescent lights that came with my apartment because of the light it's giving off. My ears also panic with the buzzing noise. And I'm supposed to have someone over for dinner with that light above my kitchen table? It feels like an interrogation room with it on. Ugly, ugly, ugly. How can anyone stand it?

Re:Let's call it what it is -- prohibition. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18083824)

You are not alone, but it wont take long for companies to develop better fluorescents once there is demand.

Re:Let's call it what it is -- prohibition. (1)

ReidMaynard (161608) | more than 7 years ago | (#18083650)

except:
(1) these flourescents have mercury, so they are worse for the environment once in the landfill.
(2) they last longer if you leave them on - flourescents have limited on/off cycles and can burn out faster than incandescents in many home applications.

But what about the energy cost of manufacturing? (2, Interesting)

Erioll (229536) | more than 7 years ago | (#18083746)

The difference is, there's no downside here. Incandescent bulbs produce less light per watt, waste far more exlectricity, and they don't last near as long as their flourescent counterparts. Flourescent's are more expensive at the get-go, but that is easily made up for by their low power usage and extremely long life.
But what about the energy cost of manufacturing? How much energy does the entire manufacturing process for a CFL take compared to an incandescent bulb? I really don't know the answer here, so if somebody has numbers, that'd be great. If it's drastically more for CFLs, then it's just useless switching to them (the energy consumption is shifted to the factory, not actually reduced). If it's truly less, then that part at least is a real benefit.

Unfortunately, there's also the environmental cost, as I see the probability of these being recycled at a high rate as a near-zero probability concept. People only do it with Cans because of the deposit. You'd NEED that to have it happen here, and even then plenty of mercury will be going into landfills. It'd be interesting to me to know what the current rate is with all types of fluorescent bulbs.

Re:Let's call it what it is -- prohibition. (1)

SCO_Shill (805054) | more than 7 years ago | (#18083760)

"The difference is, there's no downside here."

What about CF bulbs for your garage in the middle of the winter? They're probably OK in Arizona, but what about freezing or subzero temperatures, like where I live? They don't work under those conditions (I've tried it).

I'm sure there are plenty of good uses for CF bulbs, but prohibition of them will cause too many unintended consequences. Consumers should be encouraged to use CF bulbs where they make sense, rather than being forced to.

Re:Let's call it what it is -- prohibition. (2, Interesting)

zippthorne (748122) | more than 7 years ago | (#18083898)

My wasteful halogens on a one-minute motion sensor outside use a lot less energy than the fluorescents that would replace them since the fluorescent would have to be on all the time rather than a cumulative total of about ten minutes a night.

Similarly with bathroom lights.

CFLs are good, and we should all use them. But we shouldn't use them stupidly as if they're some kind of magic energy-reducing talisman.

LED's (3, Interesting)

DogDude (805747) | more than 7 years ago | (#18083522)

Your complaints about compact fluorescents are well-founded. Although, in reality, CF's will be replaced by much more efficient, and much prettier-light-producing, and even longer lasting LED's within the decade.

Re:Let's call it what it is -- prohibition. (4, Insightful)

WormholeFiend (674934) | more than 7 years ago | (#18083524)

When incandescent light bulbs are banned, the black market will flourish

I dont think that would happen... if stores are forced to sell only non-incandescent bulbs, that's what the majority of people will buy, if for no other reason than out of convenience.

How much effort are you willing to put into finding black market light bulbs?

Re:Let's call it what it is -- prohibition. (1, Funny)

AutopsyReport (856852) | more than 7 years ago | (#18083638)

Yeah, this guy is an idiot. Who wants black light bulbs?!

Re:Let's call it what it is -- prohibition. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18083904)

Hippies and stoners usually. And the occasional Hot Topic Goth.

Re:Let's call it what it is -- prohibition. (0)

Overzeetop (214511) | more than 7 years ago | (#18083744)

Thank god there's no way to shop, say, over some communication medium at a non-local store and have it delivered via post. If there were an easy way to place an order in another country and have it delivered, that would really cause problems for this law. You know, somebody should invent something like that - they'd probably make a fortune.

Re:Let's call it what it is -- prohibition. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18083896)

by flourish, i assume this means alot of light bulbs will be sold on the black market for a premium, but not as many as previously...

it will just make more people commit a crime that is kinda absurd if it has any real penalty... =P

Re:Let's call it what it is -- prohibition. (1)

hxnwix (652290) | more than 7 years ago | (#18083528)

I don't know about you, but I for one don't drink lightbulbs. Nor do I find them addictive. Lightbulb fetishes are also rather danergous - sure, I've heard about people getting the bulb up there without any trouble, but how do you get it back out? What if you sit down?

Look, I understand what you are saying, but seriously. One way or the other, you need help.

Re:Let's call it what it is -- prohibition. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18083686)

why then you pass glass

Re:Let's call it what it is -- prohibition. (2, Informative)

Ungrounded Lightning (62228) | more than 7 years ago | (#18083550)

... the ancillary effect of the incandescent -- namely, heat.

They're also used as an inexpensive heating element for things like battery houses and pump houses (to keep the tanks and pipes from freezing and the batteries at a temperature where they operate efficiently) in rural areas with cold climates. A 60 watt bulb on a thermostat will keep an insulated pumphouse above freezing in subzero weather. (Of course you use more than one for when they burn out...)

More roadblocks for people trying alternative energy in areas where it makes economic sense.

Re:Let's call it what it is -- prohibition. (1)

Overzeetop (214511) | more than 7 years ago | (#18083780)

So, just plug in a 60 watt fluorescent lamp, or a pair of 30s. They'll last longer than the incandescents, too.

The pumphouse is a poor reason. Fucking lousy light quality is a far better reason to no use fluorescents.

Re:Let's call it what it is -- prohibition. (1)

garcia (6573) | more than 7 years ago | (#18083568)

We tried CFLs in my household and we hated them. We found some random buzzing issues, hated the color of our walls and furniture, and didn't really see a huge savings over incandescent because we turn off lights we don't use (and we use home automation in the bathroom and bedroom).

I usually agree with you on many things and others I think you're a wacko. In this particular case, while I agree with you about the buzzing and color issues, I think you're a wacko to believe that home automation and self-savings by turning off lights not in use is common.

Most people can't turn on their computers or use all of the functions on a four-function calculator. You think that they are going to be investing in home automation? I really wonder how many people have a programmable thermostat in their homes and never use it the right way (I know that my neighbors, who are insulated on 3 sides of their home by other homes have a gas bill 6x as high as mine and I'm insulated by homes on only two sides and I have another 400 square feet of livable space as well as a larger unheated garage).

Also, while incandescents will likely go onto the black market (gray market, whatever) most people will not have access to that and will just settle for the annoying mandated light bulbs.

Re:Let's call it what it is -- prohibition. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18083788)

I usually agree with you on many things and others I think you're a wacko. In this particular case, while I agree with you about the buzzing and color issues, I think you're a wacko to believe that home automation and self-savings by turning off lights not in use is common.

Oh, I don't think he's a wacko. I think he understands the problems behind his defense, but chooses to ignore them.

Re:Let's call it what it is -- prohibition. (-1)

eldavojohn (898314) | more than 7 years ago | (#18083588)

I prefer what Wal*Mart is doing -- working to convince the market that these bulbs MIGHT be better for them. I also wonder about the ancillary effect of the incandescent -- namely, heat.
There is no "MIGHT", these bulbs are better for everybody.

I have seen conclusive evidence in theory and have experienced in real life in my implementation of paying large amounts of money to replace my bulbs but having it pay off in the long run. It is both better economically & for the environment. Why do you use the word 'might'?

In the cold Midwest, I actually like reading under my incandescent lamp over my bed -- the warmth is nice, it is focused, and it is better than overheating my entire house. This way, I get just enough heat that I need when I am awake, as when I am asleep I can tolerate much lower heat requirements.
I also lived in the Midwest. For your one example of the bulb maybe reducing your heating bill, there are millions of examples where people only wanted light but got heat with it. The bulb should serve one purpose instead of dividing the energy spent into two. It is simply common sense that it is more efficient to either heat or light instead of a mandatory both. Can you guarantee me that every summer you want your room heated when it is lit? I highly doubt that.

I'm not even going to discuss the fact that most bulbs are situated at the top of the room and--since heat rises and with relatively little air circulation--they have to heat the entire ceiling on down before you start to feel it.

Your argument against CFLs and their 'ugly light' or the time it takes for them to turn on is preposterous. It's time we start owning up and educating ourselves about how insanely stupid some of our energy consumption is. Australia and the California government see it so severe that they have to force their citizens to do this. It is evident that people like you will require the government to ban these "illegal substances" so that they aren't used even after the consumer is educated.

Re:Let's call it what it is -- prohibition. (1)

slim (1652) | more than 7 years ago | (#18083798)

There is no "MIGHT", these bulbs are better for everybody. ...

Your argument against CFLs and their 'ugly light' or the time it takes for them to turn on is preposterous. It's time we start owning up and educating ourselves about how insanely stupid some of our energy consumption is. Australia and the California government see it so severe that they have to force their citizens to do this. It is evident that people like you will require the government to ban these "illegal substances" so that they aren't used even after the consumer is educated.
Are you denying that (a) the light looks different (whether ugly or not is subjective) (b) they take a significant time to reach their full brightness?

I fully support anyone who cares about the environment and puts up with the inconvenience of these bulbs in order to have a lower impact. But don't pretend the inconvenience isn't there.

Re:Let's call it what it is -- prohibition. (1)

dada21 (163177) | more than 7 years ago | (#18083802)

There is no "MIGHT", these bulbs are better for everybody.

I have seen conclusive evidence in theory and have experienced in real life in my implementation of paying large amounts of money to replace my bulbs but having it pay off in the long run. It is both better economically & for the environment. Why do you use the word 'might'?


Because a "one-size fits all" mandate harms people, even if they are just a minority. I hate the buzzing of the CFLs, and I hate the color. As I said in my OP, I hate the fact that they give off no heat. I can afford to spend a bit more for incandescents (about $10 a month more, according to my 6 month trial of CFLs), and that $10 a month more gives me more happiness than being forced to use substandard lighting. Freedom means you get to choose what you want, and you have to pay for the level you expect.

The bulb should serve one purpose instead of dividing the energy spent into two. It is simply common sense that it is more efficient to either heat or light instead of a mandatory both. Can you guarantee me that every summer you want your room heated when it is lit? I highly doubt that.

It is common sense that the market of consumers decides what it wants. Wal*Mart's campaign will likely change millions if not tens of millions of consumers on to the possible advantages of CFLs for their situation and needs and budget. It won't convince me, and it won't convince millions more who are accustomed to incandescents and prefer them. My entire office in Chicago was CFLs and fluorescents until we switched to incandescents and even indirect incandescents. My employees were and are happier -- less headaches, more productive work and a better environment. If I was forced to use CFLs, I'd have to defend a choice that isn't mine. Freedom is what I want, not coercion because SOME people think something is better for me.

You, though, probably would love to force people to drive battery-operated solar-driven cars with 5 horsepower. I love my 5.8 liter SUV, because it tows my two box trucks, drives through any hill grade and also gives me decent gas mileage when I need it, but the power is there when I need it. The pro-socialist crowd forgets that freedom means freedom to figure out what is best for your situation, that might change over time.

Re:Let's call it what it is -- prohibition. (1)

bear_phillips (165929) | more than 7 years ago | (#18083590)

but I assume that mercury is disposed of properly, unlike the mercury that is in your CFL bulb and ends up in the trash Actually that mercury is spewed out into the atmosphere http://www.epa.gov/oar/mercuryrule/basic.htm [epa.gov] Since air contamination causes more health problems than ground contamination, I don't think mercury is much of an issue.

Re:Let's call it what it is -- prohibition. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18083594)

What a stupid comment.
I wonder if you still use coal ?
Incandescent bulbs are finished, technology has replace them with something a lot better.

Re:Let's call it what it is -- prohibition. (1)

Yer Mum (570034) | more than 7 years ago | (#18083604)

It doesn't matter if you are trying to prohibit drinking alcohol or paying someone else for sexual favors, prohibition doesn't work -- all it does is create artificial scarcity which then develops a black market for the product or service. When alcohol was prohibited in the U.S., the mob was created. When incandescent light bulbs are banned, the black market will flourish, unless people see a real reason to switch. I'm not sure about you, but for the average person, looking for alcohol or sex on the black market is probably worth the inconvenience and possible legal consequences. Looking for incandescent light bulbs is probably not.

Re:Let's call it what it is -- prohibition. (1)

slim (1652) | more than 7 years ago | (#18083618)

The other two problems with the CFLs is the ugly light they give off (although it is getting better), and how few of them fit into the lamps I have in my household. I also can't dim them (there are dimmable units now, I've heard), which we utilize all the time for effect, especially when watching movies or for social parties we host.
Plus the time they take to reach their steady on state. I can't think of a room in my house where I don't, reasonably often, need to switch on a light for 10 seconds then switch it off again. With a CFL (unless they've improved dramatically since I last checked) you're in half-light for that time.

Re:Let's call it what it is -- prohibition. (1)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 7 years ago | (#18083620)

I'll take a prop bet with anyone here that the black market of light bulbs in Australia after 2010 will be very profitable -- and very easy to maintain.
I'll take a prop bet that I'll be making TONS OF PROFIT selling incadescent light bulbs to Australians in dire in need!

1. Go to Home Depot
2. Buy contractor cases of incandescent light bulbs
3. Open account on Ebay
4. ???
5. PROFIT!!!

Re:Let's call it what it is -- prohibition. (1)

squarooticus (5092) | more than 7 years ago | (#18083668)

I'm sure it will work in the short run, but I wonder who is really behind this. It could be Phillips, who is sure to gain a huge profit from the mandate.

Exactly the right kind of thinking: follow the money. The money will always lead you to the actual culprit.

Re:Let's call it what it is -- prohibition. (1)

Stile 65 (722451) | more than 7 years ago | (#18083680)

I agree that prohibition in general is not the way to go. However, I disagree that this will be as dire as you expect.

CFLs do suck to some extent. This law, and the proposed law in CA, may increase the incentive to develop home lighting based on LEDs instead. LEDs use even less energy than CFLs for the same level of light output, and the light is consistent, instant, and does not flicker due to rectification/smoothing of the current to (usually) 12VDC. LEDs also last longer than CFLs. The technology is there, it's just a matter of product development and ramping up production.

When this happens, it'll be like prohibiting muskets. The only people that will actually want incandescents (or CFLs) will be collectors.

Re:Let's call it what it is -- prohibition. (1)

L. VeGas (580015) | more than 7 years ago | (#18083690)

It might be prohibition, but it exists for a reason. Incandescents are obviously gateway electric light producers. Many, many people get hooked on incandescents and begin using them compulsively. They leave them on while they sleep or fill a room with Christmas lights and dance about in radiant ecstasy.

From there, it's just a small step to even bigger energy wasters. Kerosene lamps, then candles, then sterno. Eventually, entire neighborhoods are set ablaze to fulfill the cravings of these light-loving energy wasters.

Re:Let's call it what it is -- prohibition. (1)

jdigriz (676802) | more than 7 years ago | (#18083782)

Sorry, but you shoot your own argument down in the first sentence:

"It doesn't matter if you are trying to prohibit drinking alcohol or paying someone else for sexual favors, prohibition doesn't work -- all it does is create artificial scarcity"

The goal here is to create artificial scarcity of incandescent light bulbs, not to eliminate all incandescents everywhere. If they eliminate 90% of the supply of lightbulbs then that's 90% of lightbulbs that can't be put into service wasting wattage. That's achieving their conservation goal. So in this case, prohibition does work.

Re:Let's call it what it is -- prohibition. (1)

Bastian (66383) | more than 7 years ago | (#18083808)

It doesn't matter if you are trying to prohibit drinking alcohol or paying someone else for sexual favors, prohibition doesn't work -- all it does is create artificial scarcity which then develops a black market for the product or service. When alcohol was prohibited in the U.S., the mob was created. When incandescent light bulbs are banned, the black market will flourish, unless people see a real reason to switch.

That really only happens when the ban is on something with relatively inelastic demand. I severely doubt most people will go through the effort of finding a black-market source of light bulbs just to get a hold of incandescents. Nor do I think that demand is inelastic enough to support much of a black market. People would have to prefer incandescent light to all other options strongly enough that they'd be willing to pay a much higher price to cover the costs associated with smuggling the bulbs into Australia. In California there will probably be some small mom-and-pop retailers who get incandescents shipped in from other states, but chain hardware and big box stores aren't going to be able to get away with that and really, who cares if the local hardware store is selling gray-market incandescent bulbs?

More likely, this will just increase the rate at which LED lights are adopted as light bulb manufacturers try to accommodate people who have a problem with CFLs and to fill the gap created for applications in which fluorescent lighting really isn't appropriate, such as bathrooms and closets.

There will probably be increased consumer knowledge about fluorescent lighting, too - for example, realizing that you really do get what you pay for with fluorescent lights. Buzzing and flickering are really only a problem with cheap CFLs, and in the long run the more expensive ones are cheaper, too, since they tend to last much longer. CFLs will also improve, since manufacturers will have to (finally) start producing bulbs that are small enough to fit in most globe fixtures and with increased marketshare there will be increased incentive for manufacturers to develop bulbs that produce a better quality of light.

While I don't feel that bludgeoning people into switching their lights is the right choice, the period of growing pains really shouldn't be that long (or bad) and I certainly don't believe that a ban on incandescent lighting is going to be a huge boon for organized crime like you seem to suggest.

Re:Let's call it what it is -- prohibition. (1)

Rutulian (171771) | more than 7 years ago | (#18083812)

It doesn't matter if you are trying to prohibit drinking alcohol or paying someone else for sexual favors, prohibition doesn't work -- all it does

I hardly think that comparison qualifies. I just don't see somebody walking downtown to make a shady deal on 4th avenue for an incandescent light bulb. It would cost a hell of a lot more than just buying a CFL in the store.

All of the problems you mention with CFLs have been resolved: they are dimmable, fit into all light fixtures, they don't buzz, they don't flicker, and the light is a nice soft white (you can get filters to adjust the spectrum if you want).

I'm not sure I think the ban is a good idea, but I don't think it is all that bad either.

Re:Let's call it what it is -- prohibition. (1)

vertinox (846076) | more than 7 years ago | (#18083866)

t doesn't matter if you are trying to prohibit drinking alcohol or paying someone else for sexual favors, prohibition doesn't work -- all it does is create artificial scarcity which then develops a black market for the product or service.

Eh. I don't think the alcohol or prostitution analogy works.

Unless we are talking about only banning of cheap alcohol that gives bad hangovers while keeping higher grades legal or outlawing prostitutes who are overweight or ugly but keeping the higher class more expensive prostitutes legal.

So unless they outlawed light bulbs outright is the only thing I can think of that would be real prohibition. Otherwise I seriously doubt anyone is going to a speak easy to get their weekly hits of gin, girls, and light bulbs.

Unless there is some meth lab chemical you can extract from a incandescent light bulb I don't know about.

Re:Let's call it what it is -- prohibition. (1)

Mattwolf7 (633112) | more than 7 years ago | (#18083900)

A ton of other people already replied to you, but the problem that prohibitions you allude to, alcohol and drugs, failed is because they are prohibitions on morality. The prohibition of CFCs (Chlorofluorocarbons) was a complete success. There isn't a thriving black market in old aerosol cans because an equivalent was in place that caused no problem to consumers.

Consumers will buy CFLs because they are going to be easy to get, near equivalent and have a cost benefit to the users.

Re:Let's call it what it is -- prohibition. (1)

Frymaster (171343) | more than 7 years ago | (#18083920)

We tried CFLs in my household and we hated them. We found some random buzzing issues, hated the color of our walls and furniture...

and how long ago was this? the state of cfl tech has advanced dramatically in the last couple of years.

when i bought my first cfl in 1988, it cost me $30, was the size of a football and was about as loud as a washing machine. furthermore, in order not to totally destroy the bulb's longevity, it needed to run for at least 15 or 20 minutes at a time and took over a minute to 'warm up'. i had to mail-order it and the bulb came with a 30-page manual.

six months ago i bought a box of 8 cfls at the local hardware store for just over $20... about 10% of that original bulb. they start instantaneously, have a minimum run time of a few seconds and are perfectly silent. and there's no manual.

the big difference between that first bulb (and even a lot of cfls from two or three years ago) and the new ones is that ballast. basically, the ballast is responsible for building up the charge to get the phosphors in the bulb emitting light and regulating the charge. older ballasts tend to be of the "magnetic type"... the run the bulb at lower frequencies, take much longer to warm up and generate a lot of heat. modern "electronic" ballasts, by comparison can run a bulb at a very high, flicker-free, frequency, produce far less heat and get the phosphors up to full excitement very quickly (usually less than a second).

so... don't write off the cfls yet.

Re:Let's call it what it is -- prohibition. (1)

VEGETA_GT (255721) | more than 7 years ago | (#18083954)

black market of light bulbs, ok what is a cheep bulds worth, is it relay worth the risk of someone sneaking them into the country to sell. To be honest, I do not see how. I am already running mostly energy efficient bulbs, not having to change them for 5 years and such is a great thing to me. The price of the energy efficient ones in general is not that high, so why would anyone relay go out of there way to find cheaper standard bulbs. I know you said prohibition doesn't work, but lets be honest here, the prohibition you are thinking of is on liquor, and darn right there thats one thats not going to work. but in thta case, there is cash to be made, but with light bulbs, how many would you need to sell to make a profit, and a great enough one to make it worth while. I just don't see black market in these things being a HUGE issue.

If every house hold in the world moved to energy efficient bulbs, imagine the savings in fuels burnt, it would be massive AND would drive the price of the new style bulbs way down. Now I know you did state a recycling concern, well again how many people recycle canes of coke, LOTS. This could become the same thing to be honest, So I believe it could be a non issue.

Mercury Contamination (4, Insightful)

rlp (11898) | more than 7 years ago | (#18083452)

Hope they're putting a big recycling effort in place for used compact fluorescent bulbs.

Re:Mercury Contamination (3, Insightful)

Stormx2 (1003260) | more than 7 years ago | (#18083640)

Were you listening to the same radio station I was last night?

The issue is that they are small and discreet enough for most people to throw in the trash. Workers will easily get mercury on em, and the mercury will seep into the ground, which won't be very good. That stuff as a habit of giving everything cancer!

They spoke to a guy who ran the only recycling business for these things in a state (I can't remember which). He basically said people aren't natural recyclers, and the issue with the new bulbs is they need to be recycled, its not just helping mother earth, its actually a huge extreme-short-term risk for humans.

Re:Mercury Contamination (1)

Bastian (66383) | more than 7 years ago | (#18083926)

The only way something like this could work is if every municipality were to have a recycling program in which people don't have to sort their recyclables. However, right away I see a serious problem with bulbs breaking and releasing their gas into the atmosphere.

I also have to wonder what the total energy equation for incandescent vs. CFL looks like - just looking at the two side by side suggest to me that the total energy cost of a CFL must be massive compared to an incandescent, possibly enough to mean that the incandescent actually produces less pollution over its entire lifecycle.

Re:Mercury Contamination (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18083978)

Ironically, a regular incandescent light bulb actually releases much more mercury into the environment than a CFL. CFLs prevent mercury from entering our air, where it most affects our health by reducing energy demand at the power plant. The highest source of mercury in our air comes from burning fossil fuels such as coal, the most common fuel used in Michigan to produce electricity. A CFL uses up to 75% less energy than an incandescent light bulb and lasts up to 10 times longer. A power plant will emit 10mg of mercury to produce the electricity to run an incandescent bulb compared to only 2.4mg of mercury to run a CFL for the same time.

Source: USEPA 'Fact Sheet: Mercury in Compact Fluorescent Lamps CFLs', 2003

Re:Mercury Contamination (1)

oni (41625) | more than 7 years ago | (#18083792)

You're right, they do need to be recycled. I actually don't know where I would take them. I'm not sure they *can* be recycled in my area.

Yes, but... (1)

romland (192158) | more than 7 years ago | (#18083482)

Q: How many Australians does it take to screw out a light bulb?

A: 16. One to change the bulb and 15 to say "Good on yer, mate!"

Shameful Populism (1)

ndverdo (799508) | more than 7 years ago | (#18083504)

Aussies screw themselves with CFLs and their politicians. Join the Kyoto Agreement - then screw in the light bulbs.

I'd be incandesent too (1)

Timesprout (579035) | more than 7 years ago | (#18083516)

If they outlawed me.

So they don't actually outlaw them... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18083526)

They just plan to outlaw them. There are sensationalist headlines and there are wrong headlines. This one is both.

I wonder - have the safety issues been considered? (1, Interesting)

Panaqqa (927615) | more than 7 years ago | (#18083542)

Fluorescent bulbs running on AC are in fact strobe lights. If the frequency of the AC matches that of some repetitive motion (such as a spinning blade, cog, or other machine part) then the machine will give the appearance of standing still.

I wonder how many hands people will have to lose before they consider allowing exceptions to this one? All in all I am in favor, but not of a blanket ban.

Re:I wonder - have the safety issues been consider (1)

Overzeetop (214511) | more than 7 years ago | (#18083672)

You do know that that is true of incandescent lamps as well, right? There is a dip in the light output at the main frequency, it's just not as significant. It's worth mentioning that CFLs (actually, most modern flourescents) are not on/off stobe lamps, but use longer persistance phosphors to overcome the effect.

This used to be noticable on HP calculators which had display refreshes that produced a beat frequency that was very visible under 60 hz lighting. FWIW, I've used fluoresents in my shop most of my life, and I still have ten fingers. Of course, it might have been that I can hear my tools when they're running, too. *shrug*

Re:I wonder - have the safety issues been consider (1)

Panaqqa (927615) | more than 7 years ago | (#18083820)

Good points. And as far as persistent phosphors being used, I believe that is true - in well made fluorescent bulbs. But with CFLs, you can pay $10 for a good bulb or buy cheapies at 6 for $10 - and I have serious problems with the quality of the cheaper ones. Perhaps standards for bulbs in machine shop settings? But then again, I hate to invite the government to interfere more than it already does. At the very least this one deserves more though that it has been given (the blanket ban that is).

Re:I wonder - have the safety issues been consider (2, Informative)

SirMeliot (864836) | more than 7 years ago | (#18083818)

I wonder how many hands people will have to lose before they consider allowing exceptions to this one?

Not a big risk in the home but in the UK at least, the wiring/lighting regs for industrial use say that adjacent flourescent lights must be spread across the three phase supply to eliminate the possiblity of the 'stroboscopic accidents' you suggest.

Will do little (4, Interesting)

llZENll (545605) | more than 7 years ago | (#18083544)

Austrialia will do little to curb overall output, North America and Western Europe are the problems.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:Carbon_Emission _by_Region.png [wikipedia.org]

I also wonder what the environmental manufacturing cost of a CFL vs a plain lightbulb is.

Re:Will do little (1)

Lev13than (581686) | more than 7 years ago | (#18083838)

Austrialia will do little to curb overall output, North America and Western Europe are the problems. As a hot country, Australia makes a lot more sense than a northern country such as Canada or Scandanavia. There isn't really any energy saving between incandescent and CF in a heated home, since an incandescent bulb will contribute BTUs to the overall heating of the house.
It's only when you are in an unheated space, or even worse in an air conditioned space, that the difference becomes material. In Canada/Northern Europe you'll typically seat furnaces in use up to 8 months of the year. Most of Australia probably run air conditioning for at least that long.

Here's a great idea that uses no electricity! (1)

gasmonso (929871) | more than 7 years ago | (#18083546)

Why doesn't the Australian government mandate the use of candles? They use no electricity and have little impact on the environment. Brilliant!

gasmonso

http://religiousfreaks.com/ [religiousfreaks.com]

Re:Here's a great idea that uses no electricity! (1)

rlp (11898) | more than 7 years ago | (#18083630)

> Why doesn't the Australian government mandate the use of candles?

Or whale oil lamps

Re:Here's a great idea that uses no electricity! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18083754)

Mod parent down. Sig spamming sucks.

If they outlaw Incandescent Bulbs (2, Funny)

0racle (667029) | more than 7 years ago | (#18083576)

Only Aussies will have incandescent bulbs.

Crazy (1)

stry_cat (558859) | more than 7 years ago | (#18083592)

The new bulbs cost more because they cost more to make. Costing more to make means it takes more resources or rarer resources. In the long run this is not sustainable.

Plus my experience with these bulbs is that they burn out almost twice as fast as regular bulbs.

All this will do is benefit certain bulb makers and their suppliers and will cost the public millions in the long run.

FUD (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18083776)

FUD

heh heh (2, Funny)

andyr0ck (847274) | more than 7 years ago | (#18083902)

"faster"??

sounds like he got the ones made of paper and dry twigs...

So much for rheostats (4, Insightful)

glindsey (73730) | more than 7 years ago | (#18083596)

Thereby making almost any dimmer switch entirely useless, as well as forcing people to use CFLs in dimmer circuits that could damage them.

Brilliant, guys.

Re:So much for rheostats (4, Informative)

garcia (6573) | more than 7 years ago | (#18083688)

Thereby making almost any dimmer switch entirely useless, as well as forcing people to use CFLs in dimmer circuits that could damage them.

I think you mean using CFLs designed to work with dimmer switches. Like the ones made by GE [gelighting.com] and numerous others?

Re:So much for rheostats (1)

TheGratefulNet (143330) | more than 7 years ago | (#18083718)

my first thought, as well.

the triac or scr based dimmers will fail. or catch fire!

swift move ;(

if they could somehow make the interface the to bulbs safe so that only pins that are dimmable contact the right pins in the socket, etc. not just a univerval fit like today but something 'smart'. so if it physically fits, it should work. sort of like how they did the 3way bulbs.

Re:So much for rheostats (4, Informative)

SydShamino (547793) | more than 7 years ago | (#18083822)

"GE makes a dimming compact fluorescent light bulb (called the GE Longlife Plus Soft White Energy Saving Bulb) that is specially designed for use with dimming switches."

http://www.gelighting.com/na/business_lighting/faq s/cfl.htm#3 [gelighting.com]

Re:So much for rheostats (1)

modecx (130548) | more than 7 years ago | (#18083840)

First off, it's doubtful anyone has a rheostat dimmer any longer. Those went out a long, long, long time ago, and were brutally inefficient anyway. You might have found such a beast installed in a theater built no later than the 60's. Any modern dimmer is triac (for cheap dimmers often built into lamps) or SCR based (for more expensive units), and the pot controls how the circuitry changes the waveform.

Secondly, they make dimmable CFLs. Problem solved.

Environmental Groups? Bah. (3, Interesting)

R2.0 (532027) | more than 7 years ago | (#18083600)

"Environmental groups have given this plan a lukewarm reception. They feel Australia should sign on to the Kyoto protocol first."

So Australia does something concrete, something difficult, by itself instead of signing on to a flawed international agreement with limited enforceability. And "environmental groups" are upset.

I'm shocked, I say! Shocked!

Re:Environmental Groups? Bah. (5, Informative)

mypalmike (454265) | more than 7 years ago | (#18083806)

It's very misleading for the summary to claim that, "Environmental groups have given this plan a lukewarm reception." The article doesn't mention this. In fact, the article interviews a guy from an environmental group who is very happy with it:

Founder of environment group Planet Ark, Jon Dee, said he had been working with Mr Turnbull's predecessor, Ian Campbell, and lighting company Phillips on the idea since late last year... "The fact that the Government is committing to this idea is absolutely fantastic."

Tax high wattage bulbs instead (5, Interesting)

denis-The-menace (471988) | more than 7 years ago | (#18083610)

Tax high wattage bulbs like 100W and up.
Better yet, establish a lumens per watt minimum and tax accordingly.
That way you don't force people away from certain technology, just the inefficent ones.

While they're at it, do the same for air conditioners.

Re:Tax high wattage bulbs instead (1)

CosmeticLobotamy (155360) | more than 7 years ago | (#18083914)

Tax high wattage bulbs like 100W and up.

Since you can now get 100W performance (give or take) out of 37W, high wattage is like 50W and up.

But other than that, I'll back you.

So how about recyling them (1)

arivanov (12034) | more than 7 years ago | (#18083626)

This will do some good to energy consumption, but the jury is out as far as the overall environmental impact is concerned. The high frequency fluorescents contain all kind of environmentally unpleasant stuff in them (rare earth metals as well as electronic circuitry from the board). Personally, I do not like the idea of simply chucking them in the bin once they fail. So does Australia also intend to mandate their recycling?

Also, what are people with dimmers going to do?

Do not support Kyoto (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18083674)

The Kyoto accord Will not decrease Greenhouse Gasses and supporting it is useless ... If everyone in the world meets their targets the growth in Greenhouse Gasses released in China and India (which are not required to stop/slow growth in Green house gasses) will be greater than the ammount reduced by everyone else; in fact most countries will lower their greenhouse gas volumes by buying credits from China/India so growth in Green house gasses will continue ...

Kyoto is the a wonderful concept poorly implemented with no real use ...

What about disposal? (1)

Nino the Mind Boggle (10910) | more than 7 years ago | (#18083676)

Isn't it California that prohibits tossing flourescent lights in the trash because of the mercury content? (And they're also going to ban the sale of incandescents, putting Joe and Jane Consumer in a bit of a bind: forced to buy something with a limited lifespan that's a pain to dispose of.)

Seems to me that the law of unintended consequences may bite them.

Re:What about disposal? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18083858)

Stores that sell CFLs will soon have recycle tubs, if they haven't already. Open your eyes perhaps?

non-home applications? (1)

Devil's BSD (562630) | more than 7 years ago | (#18083696)

What about professional applications that require non-fluorescent bulbs? Theater lighting, photography studios, art studios, et cetera mostly rely on incandescent bulbs and halogen bulbs because they provide a more "real" lighting scheme. The fluorescents tend to take the warmness out of any colors.

Incandescent tax would be better (5, Insightful)

bear_phillips (165929) | more than 7 years ago | (#18083720)

A tax on incandescnt bulbs would be better. 90% of the lights in my house or CFL. But a few lights are incandescent. Those lights have the fancy shaped bulbs. As a kid I used incandescent bulbs to keep the chickens warm in the winter.There are a lot of niche areas where CFLs make no sense. Don't outlaw incandescents, just tax them more. Then you get the energy savings and the minority of people that need incandescents can still legally get them.

Market Forces (1)

coolmoose25 (1057210) | more than 7 years ago | (#18083742)

Why can't we just let the market take care of it? CFL's cost more, but their price has steadily been declining. Incandescents are cheaper right now, but thinking people replace them with CFL's (where appropriate). I buy CFL's in an 8 pack at Sams Club. When an incandescent burns out, I replace it with a CFL. Sure, some people don't do that, but eventually people will figure out the cost savings, savings in time of replacing bulbs (particularly hard to reach bulbs) and this will force the demise of non-CFL bulbs.

Taxes and prohibitions are simply not necessary.

CFL (1)

Apowers2023 (633580) | more than 7 years ago | (#18083756)

Australian for lightbulb.

Just a thought... (2, Insightful)

frostilicus2 (889524) | more than 7 years ago | (#18083772)

Recently I read that some Autistic people dislike fluorescent light bulbs because they can detect the light flickering [autism.org] , where as most other people do not. Although I support Australia's desire for greater energy efficiency, it seems a shame that so many could be adversely affected by this decision. Are there any alternatives for more stable light sources? DC lights and power supplies perhaps?

(I'm not autistic myself, but I hate fluorescent light sources).

mercury (1)

frovingslosh (582462) | more than 7 years ago | (#18083774)

What could go wrong here, with millions of mercury containing floresent bulbs soon finding their way to landfills all over Australia? But at least it's being done in the name of the environment.

But fluorescent bulbs won't work (2, Funny)

camg188 (932324) | more than 7 years ago | (#18083778)

in my Easy Bake oven.

Have they fixed the fault tolerance? (3, Interesting)

solios (53048) | more than 7 years ago | (#18083830)

I tried CF bulbs a couple of years ago, for about three months. Three months (closer to four) is how long it took every CF bulb in the house to stop working. These things are supposed to last longer than regular light bulbs (LASTS OVER FIVE YEARS!!!!1 the packaging said) - but in my experience, they were vastly more likely to die during a power surge, power outage, or other form of "electrical event" than traditional bulbs.

Of course, I rent a Fight Club house with old wiring, but that doesn't change the fact that the rest of my equipment (oldskool light bulbs, half a dozen computers, alarm clock, etc) is still plugging away. But I can't exactly put the ceiling fixtures on a surge protector. :P

So until I hear for sure that CFs will actually last on a power grid that looks more like an EKG than a nice straight line, I'm sticking with the older technology - I'd rather spend five bucks a year on lightbulbs than twenty bucks a month.

As for the OMG UR ELECTRIK BILLZ!! - I run my lights for about two hours a day, tops. Maybe four. I don't really live in my house, so the utility difference is nill.

Finally, a better pun (1)

mgiuca (1040724) | more than 7 years ago | (#18083868)

It's refreshing to see a new pun "Light bulbs get the flick".

In the Australian media today they've all been making "globe" puns such as "saving the globe by turning them off". Shameful!

Stock Market Opportunity? (1)

byKnight (819615) | more than 7 years ago | (#18083892)

Find a HazMat disposal company that operates in California and Australia and BUY, BUY, BUY!!!!

speaking of shortsighted efforts... (1)

ductonius (705942) | more than 7 years ago | (#18083968)

Money is a representation of resources and as such those things that cost more inherently consume more resources. Forcing people to switch to CFL is not of any environmental savings because the energy 'savings' (as represented by money) often cannot cover the extra resource cost (as represented by money in the price of the unit). I've seen the math on CFL packages that says they pay for themselves but I've also noticed that CFLs don't last nearly as long as they're supposed to. They also contain mercury and plastic and a PCB along with electronics, none of which incandescent have.

This leads to the conclusion that while CFL may appear to help reduce our impact on the environment (reducing emissions at the power plant) they actually do the opposite by speeding the consumption of resources. In addition, enforcing bans on incandescent bulbs consumes even more resources (money) which ultimately must be factored into the cost of CFLs or other alternative lighting.

So, how to help the environment? Take all that money that is to be spent on the CFL ban and put it into researching better CFLs or alternatives that can compete with incandescent cost-wise. Once they can compete in cost then the energy savings will truly be an savings, instead of just switching the pollution from the power plant to the plastics plant (or the mercury mine, or the glass works, etc).

Now they regulate your light (1)

nate nice (672391) | more than 7 years ago | (#18083970)

This is what you want governments doing? Telling you what kind of light you can use?

Fluorescent light is harsh and not as useful as incandescent. I don't use fluorescent when I want a nice, soft lighting. I use fluorescence in the basement and the garage or at the office. I don't use them over the dinner table because they do nothing for the mood or the food.

They might use more energy but they do produce much better light in many peoples opinions.

I ask how much energy is it going to take to convert every lamp to fluorescent? Every lighting fixture? Is there really much net savings?

Who's making all the money off this scam?
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