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Zoinks! New Light Bulbs are “Can Do?”?? This guy from USA Today Thinks So! February 4, 2011

Posted by Dr. Z Bulbs in cfl, compact fluorescent.
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Gadzooks! It seems everyone has an opinion about Light Bulbs these days! Nothing stirs up more conversation than saying “spiral bulb” in mixed company..Anyways this guy from USA Today thinks the “new light bulbs” are “can do”..Me to! As long as they don’t suck..

ZOinmks! Did I say that?

When it comes to energy, the United States is too often the nation of “can’t.” Can’t drill for oil in new areas offshore. Can’t build a new generation of nuclear power plants. Can’t raise gasoline taxes to discourage the use of imported oil. Can’t move quickly to site new offshore wind plants. By PR Newswire More efficient choices: Halogen, compact fluorescent and light-emitting diode bulbs. EnlargeCloseBy PR Newswire More efficient choices: Halogen, compact fluorescent and light-emitting diode bulbs. OPPOSING VIEW: Turn on the BULB Act What the nation can do is limp along with a status quo energy policy that takes many energy decisions out of Americans’ hands and weakens national security and the environment. More than half the oil Americans use is imported — a vulnerability underscored by the ongoing tumult in Egypt. Electricity production relies heavily on coal, which exacts a heavy toll on the global climate. Congress and the president spend far more time talking about these problems than solving them, but occasionally they get it right. One of those times was in 2007, when then- President Bush signed an energy bill that, among other things, raised car mileage standards and took aim at an extravangantly inefficient household item: the light bulb. The best way for government to boost energy efficiency isn’t to micromanage by picking winners and losers, a job better suited to free-market innovation. It is to set a reasonable standard — miles per gallon or light per watt, for example — and let the market sort it out. That’s what Congress did in 2007. Americans are already reaping the benefits of higher-mileage vehicles, but a rebellion is brewing against the new standard for more efficient light bulbs, which takes effect next New Year’s Day. Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn., complained in a response to President Obama’s State of the Union address that the government “now tells us which light bulbs to buy.” A group of House Republicans has introduced a bill to repeal the standard..  That would be a mistake. The familiar incandescent bulb is a 125-year-old design that’s handy and cheap but a huge waster of electricity. Roughly 90% of the juice that goes to a typical bulb generates heat, not light. The new rules require bulbs to be at least 25% more efficient, starting with 100-watt bulbs. Incandescents can’t do that, so they’ll begin to disappear. There’s a huge payoff for this. The Natural Resources Defense Council estimates that fully implementing the new lighting standards would make it possible to avoid building 30 new power plants and cut CO2 emissions by 100 million tons a year. But what will Americans switch to? The most common alternative now is the compact fluorescent light (CFL), the spiral bulb that uses far less electricity than incandescents. It costs two to four times as much as an old-fashioned bulb but lasts five to 10 times as long —a big saving for consumers and country. CFLs aren’t perfect. Some people don’t like the light they give off, the delay before they reach full brightness or the extra care required because CFLs contain tiny amounts of mercury. Even so, millions of early adopters are perfectly happy with them because they reduce electricity bills. But light bulb makers know that some people hate CFLs, so manufacturers have produced an alternative: a halogen bulb that looks just like an incandescent and produces similar light but meets the new standard. You can buy them today. The evolution won’t stop there, which is the virtue of unleashing market forces. Manufacturers are working on next-generation LED bulbs that last roughly four times as long as long-lived CFLs. They’re wildly expensive now — as much as $30 to $40 or more for a single bulb — but the price inevitably will drop. Some of this innovation would have happened without the new law, but not as much, or as quickly. Faced with deadlines and a market for their new products, manufacturers intensified efforts to develop better bulbs. It would be a shame to undo that progress — and produce yet another energy “can’t.”

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