Indecent Incandescents!

Did you know that very soon, your incandescent light bulb will be going the way of the Corvair?  In 2007, Congress passed a bill to phase out incandescent light bulbs by 2014.  In fact, beginning just next year, your beloved 100 watt incandescent bulbs will be axed.  Although if you live in California, this has already begun. 

Surprised?  Congress, in its infinite wisdom has decided that incandescent bulbs are energy wasters and are phasing them out in favor of more energy efficient options.  It’d be nice if we could do that for the politicians in Washington, except replace the words “incandescent bulbs” with politicians and  “energy” with money,  but I digress. 

So, what replaces our light bulbs and are we going to have to throw out all of our current lamps and fixtures and sit in the dark with candle light????  Well, never fear.  Our great nation of entrepreneurs will solve the problem.  Some of them are at it already, working on LED (light-emitting diode) replacements that will be more energy efficient but give the same warm glow you’re used to. 

Cree Inc.'s LED bulb. Looks like an egg sitting on a basket

Cree Inc. says that it has made the industry’s brightest, most efficient LED replacement for 60 watt incandescents.  It’s not yet available in stores, but it’s dimmable and consumes fewer than 10 watts.  Cooper Lighting’s Halo has come up with an LED  that can be retrofitted into recessed can lights.

What about the CFL or compact flourescent?  Truth is, that while they do use less energy than and incandescent, there’s a problem with their disposal.  You see, they contain mercury.  LED’s can be made mercury-free and some are even dimmable. 

LED replacement bulbs

Now if they could only make them good- looking.  I suppose in 10 or 15 years, we won’t even remember what a warm incandescent bulb looked like!  Call me old-fashioned if you like, but I’m going to miss this look:

Those nasty incandescent bulbs!

As with almost all changes, there will be both good and bad aspects and I’m hoping we’ll come to love the look of new bulbs…..I’m just not counting on it yet.

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