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I am going back to incandescent bulbs, man

So let me set this up for you so you can see who startling stupid these green laws really are, and I am gonna use someone else’s work to do this. Let’s set the stage:

Starting Jan. 1, the United States will no longer manufacture or import incandescent bulbs – although stores can still sell what they have in stock. The phaseout is a result of federal rules to switch to more energy-efficient bulbs. Energy-efficient bulbs cost more than incandescent bulbs but last much longer and save on energy costs in the long-term. So why are people still buying incandescent bulbs and what will the phaseout mean for you?

Get it? The greens passed a law banning incandescent bulbs because they were considered inefficient, energy wise, had a short life span compared to what they wanted to replace it with, at least so they claimed, and they created too much pollution, both on the energy generation/consumption/efficiency side of the calculation spectrum, and then they created lots of waste once they where spent and had to be done away with. But why take it from me? From the article:

Incandescent bulbs cost much less than their energy-efficient alternatives – mainly CFLs (compact fluorescent lamps) and LEDs (light emitting diodes). An incandescent bulb can cost as little as 70 cents. Meanwhile, a CFL bulb sells for at least a few dollars and an LED starts at $10 but usually runs around $20. The problem with incandescents is you end up paying more in electricity costs. Incandescents are inefficient – 90% of the energy goes toward heat and only 10% toward light.

Incandescent light bulbs also don’t last as long as CFLs and LEDs. The typical incandescent bulb lasts about 1,000 hours, while a 15-watt CFL bulb lasts 10,000 hours and a 12-watt LED bulb lasts 25,000 hours. In other words, incandescent light bulbs last about a year while CFLs can last 10 years and LEDs up to 25. All told, your energy costs can be 25%-80% less by switching to energy-efficient bulbs, according to Energy.gov.

The alternatives sure do look awesome compared to these incandescent bulbs if you were to take this information they peddle as gospel. Also notice what’s missing? The fact that LED and CFL bulbs cost tens of dollars, each unit, compared to the cheap incandescent light bulbs, making it a shitty buy for the consumer unless they really do last at least 10, or more, times as long. Remember that important detail. And for now lets ignore the fact that neither the CFL nor the LED bulbs that are replacing incandescent light bulbs, produce the same amount of light.

That’s not me making up shit. I have replaced some lights in my home with the ultra expensive CFL and LED bulbs, and in every case I had to drastically bump up the wattage to produce the same light. What used to take a 75W bulb to illuminate requires a 100W LED or a 120W CFL. And the higher the wattage on these replacement bulbs, the more pricey they are. Going from a $1.00 per unit (I am being generous since I used to pay less than $3 for a pack of 4 incandescent bulbs) price to anywhere from $6.99 to $25.00 for the alternative bulb (there is a wide distribution/swing in pricing, and the pricing also seems immune to competition since it’s another government mandated pile of shit that completely squashes the need for competition), one can see the conundrum.

These things better work – at least when it comes to life span, since they already failed the light producing test and required higher wattage bulbs to produce the same light – as advertised on their longevity. Bet you already see where this is going, don’t you? Be patient: there is a lot more. Back to the article and why so many are not bothering with these miraculous devices.

Despite the savings, many still stick with incandescents because they typically don’t spend that much in the first place on lighting in their homes. “There hasn’t been a lot of incentive to go more efficient because it’s not going to make a big deal on their electric bill,” said Joe Rey-Barreau, a lighting design professor at the University of Kentucky and a consultant with the American Lighting Association, about why some people haven’t switch to more energy-efficient bulbs.

While an office building may use 21% of its electricity for lighting, a house uses as little as 13%, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. Home improvement store Lowe’s did a study comparing electricity costs of an LED vs. an incandescent bulb. Energy costs for the LED added up to $30 over the bulb’s 22-year lifespan. Energy costs for using an incandescent bulb over that same period added up to $165 – savings, certainly, but perhaps not significant enough for many homeowners over two decades to alter their buying habits.

Wait a minute? If you were saving between 25-80% on energy, that should make a huge ding on your electric bill, right? So why are we not seeing that efficiency savings in our bills? I bet that’s because you have to use a higher wattage bulb, and that means you are actually not doing a good comparison of efficiency. Maybe someone should have done the efficiency test while factoring the candle power output of these bulbs? Then they would have realized they couldn’t just compare a 75W incandescent bulb to a similar CFL or LED bulb? Go figure! Bad information produced by people with an agenda!

And $165 (nice round number, huh?) spread over 22 years is not that big of a deal, I am sorry to say. I replaced my windows with energy efficient ones and my oil consumption to heat my home dropped to ½ of what it was. That saved me a shit load of money and made it worth it. Similarly, putting in a new central air unit and getting rid of 5 window units saved me about 48% on my annual electric bill.

I am also thinking of replacing my generator with a liquid propane one, since I spend $25 a day to keep my gasoline one running. I have done research and a liquid propane genny will run for $4 a day. Granted, I will not run that too often, but when we had no power in my state, 2 years in a row, for more than 10 days, it added up. The day I get a new generator, at least 4 years from now, since my unit is still in great condition even after 4 years (I do maintenance!), I will get a propane one.

But I ordered me a shit load of incandescent bulbs online, and plan to replace the LED and CFL bulbs I have now out, because they suck, and I got ripped off. The LED and CFL bulbs burn out in months, not decades as advertised, because a lot of my lighting is on dimmers and recessed, which neither unit handles well. Between the variable power and the heating, these super expensive bulbs flame out faster than the supposedly short lived incandescent bulbs. It’s not just my own experience, as the article covers this issue somewhat:

Some consumers complain that CFLs don’t last as long as advertised. One characteristic of CFL bulbs is they are “fairly fragile” and can succumb to overheating, said Terry McGowan, director of engineering for the American Lighting Association. “Those life ratings are established in a test lab and not established in somebody’s living room fixture,” McGowan said. “When you put them in a fixture and bottle them up in a glass shade, they get too hot and the life will be shortened.”

LED lights can also overheat. McGowan recommends using these bulbs in light fixtures that have good ventilation. CFL bulbs are also susceptible to shorter life spans when they are frequently turned on and off. A bathroom might not be a good place for a CFL, for example. A table lamp, floor lamp or hallway light would be more likely to extend a CFL bulb’s life span, McGowan said.

It’s not as if this fact was not brought up when the green scumbags pushed this into law! I know several people, including some on IEEE, that pointed this heating issue, as well as the candle power output inefficiency of CFLs and LEDs out, and they did this a long time ago. Long before our green government warlocks straddled us with this idiotic mandate. Those pointing out the problems with the tests and assumptions were basically told to shut up. A lot of people stood to make a shitload of money selling consumers super expensive crappy green shit, mandated by government threat of force, and thus, never subject to the usual pricing mechanism that would lower the cost, which wouldn’t really make that big of a difference in the long run. Don’t buy the nonsense that prices will come down. If they do it will be decades from now, after they lose their government enforced monopoly.

The lesson here is to verify the real life implications of these dumb studies that fool people. Thanks greenies!

11 comments

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  1. FPrefect89 says:

    What used to take a 75W bulb to illuminate requires a 100W LED or a 120W CFL.

    Just out of curiosity, where do you find a 100W LED or 120W CFL? An equivalent to a 100 watt incandescent is a 26 watt CFL where it would be around 20 for a LED.

    I have two 8 watt LED’s that I replaced two 60 watt incandescent bulbs. The light is much “whiter” and very much brighter than the bulbs that were replaced. Yes, I spent $25.00 on the two LED’s, but they will pretty much outlast the fixtures, or really even my mortgage. The other fixture I was going to put a 22 watt LED in to replace the 100 watt incandescent but there is not enough room in the fixture so I have to leave it as it is.

    As for lifespan, I have three CFL’s that I have been using for more than 10 years that I have not had to replace. Given that when I replaced the bulbs with a CFL, I was averaging about a month with an incandescent before putting in a new one. So given your $0.70 average cost per bulb, that would be (12*0.70)*10= $84 in bulbs versus the $14 or so I spent on the CFL’s at the time.

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  2. FPrefect89 says:

    Oh forgot to add this but I will agree with you on the stupidity of the regulations forbidding the manufacturing/importing of the incandescent bulb. It should be a market driven, not a dictate from the state.

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  3. Hal_10000 says:

    I’ve been very disappointed with the new bulbs. The CFL’s I have gradually get dimmer and dimmer and don’t last nearly as long as they promise. The LED’s are a bit better but they also seem to have brightness problems when left on for a long time.

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  4. AlexInCT says:

    Just out of curiosity, where do you find a 100W LED or 120W CFL?

    I was really talking about candle output FPerfect89, but you are right. And they label these stupid things with wattage equivalency for people that do not know better to figure out what the CFL or LED equivalent of a 75W incandescent bulb is.

    I have two 8 watt LED’s that I replaced two 60 watt incandescent bulbs. The light is much “whiter” and very much brighter than the bulbs that were replaced. Yes, I spent $25.00 on the two LED’s, but they will pretty much outlast the fixtures, or really even my mortgage.

    Mine did not burn brighter or even as bright, and being on dimmer switches, they burned out within a month. That was $100 down the drain (4 bulbs) in under a year. Not doing that again.

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  5. FPrefect89 says:

    The CFL’s I have gradually get dimmer and dimmer and don’t last nearly as long as they promise.

    I have found that the cheaper/off brand ones do that now. At least the ones I bought when I replaced all the incandescent in my house when I moved in. I’ve since replaced them with a brand name, and the only thing I notice is that they get brighter as they are left on for longer. As for the two LED lights, they seem to stay the same and they turn on now at 4:30 PM and are on until around 11:00 PM when the timer kicks them off. They are so bright that I may end up getting a pair of lower wattage bulbs because one of them shines onto my TV which sucks :).

    Mine did not burn brighter or even as bright, and being on dimmer switches, they burned out within a month.

    Sorry your experience was bad. I don’t have dimmers in my house so I cannot compare to just the typical switch. I know CFL’s have issues, I couldn’t use them in my outdoor fixtures with motion sensors, but the LED’s work. As for anything else, I cannot say.

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  6. Seattle Outcast says:

    I made an effort to switch over when the stupid things first came out over a decade ago. CFLs burned out very quickly, giving me less than 1/4 the life of a regular bulb. Additionally, they couldn’t be installed in dimmer switches or outside lights connected to an automatic daylight switch or they’d be dead in days.

    They also took too long to start, and yeah, you had to upgrade the theoretical output by about 50% to get the same amount of lighting, but the stark blue/white light was hard on the eyes.

    When we moved I had to replace all the bulbs in the house as buyers hated the CFLs and it would discourage people from bidding. I ended up with a box full of the damned things, which I have been slowly using up by placing them in places where lighting is less of a priority – like the garage.

    One of my in-laws is a real proponent of CLED lighting, but he also likes to get stoned all the damned time and has the technical background of a gopher. His word on anything other than BBQ and weed is rather suspect.

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  7. hist_ed says:

    I tried several brands of CFLs. Generally they didn’t seem to last any longer that regular bulbs. Then my daughter broke one in her bedroom and I looked up the clean up process. Here in Washington they are classified as hazardous waste and are not supposed to go in your garbage can. I removed the CFLs from my kids’ rooms. Then another one was broken (my oldest son was riding his little car and rammed a lamp). I got rid of all of them.

    A couple of months ago, the local Costco and had a deal on LEDS. With a power company rebate you got three 40 watt equivalents for $5 or a single 60 watt equivalent for the same price. I got a few, wrote their install date on them in sine point sharpie and we will see. Really can’t tell the difference in light from the regular bulbs. We’ll see.

    I also have been stocking up on regular bulbs-have about 100 or so in storage.

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  8. HARLEY says:

    I switched to CFL’s some time back and have found them wanting.. ugh the only ones that even preform close to Incandescent are the 6500K + bulbs, i actually like the hard blueish light, but we moderate them in the living room with glassed or frosted glass. However the life span is not wehre near what is claimed on the boxes, At some point ill either move up to LEDS.. or go buy industrial incandescence bulbs, which can still be made.
    This is just one more example of the hard left restricting choices..

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  9. Seattle Outcast says:

    I have LED mini-lanterns for emergency lights scattered around the house for the next power outage. They take 3 AA batteries, and I feel they’re a better alternative to aiming a MagLight at the ceiling or using a real lantern.

    But I don’t want to rely on LED lighting unless someone manages to tone done the harshness of it.

    Envirotards seem to forget that after over a century of use, we’ve engineered incandescent bulbs to exactly what we want out of a light source. All this new shit needs a bit of work before being adopted wholesale.

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  10. InsipiD says:

    I like some CFLs and hate others. I’ve been genuinely disappointed by the longevity of them, and this goes back several years, when they weren’t required. I love the daylight balanced light that most of mine have. I dislike the phony yellow incandescent color of the ones in the bathroom, and they take several minutes to get fully bright. I do like the fact that a lamp that is rated for 60w or less can have a robust CFL in it for more light. None of this is nearly as relevant as for me to say that I should also be able to choose incandescent if I want it.

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  11. Hal_10000 says:

    One thing that came up in a recent discussion: I am dubious that these things will actually save energy as such. This came out of a discussion about mercury. I was pointing out that CFL’s contain mercury that vaporizes when they break. And I got the usual “well, coal release more mercury”. But the idea that CFL’s, because of their efficiency, decrease mercury dangers seems based on three false assumptions:

    1) That mercury dispersed into the atmosphere is as dangerous as mercury dispersed into your home.

    2) that all power is coming from coal. Coal is decreasing and if coal mercury emissions are what keep you up at night, advocate for gas or nuclear.

    3) that people will burn less coal because of the bulbs. In fact, our energy use has either risen or remained flat as our devices have gotten more efficient. We simply plug in more devices.

    In that sense, I don’t think these things will save energy overall. They will be more efficient, as far as that goes. But we’ll just plug in more of them or leave them on longer.

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