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Just for Fun! Weird Light Bulb Illusion! July 14, 2009

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Zoinks! Check out this video.For maximum effect view in full screen!

Dr. Z



New York Times Article: Obama Toughens Rules for Some Lighting July 6, 2009

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let the light bulb wars begin

let the light bulb wars begin

GadZOoks! More info coming from the New York Times on Obama’s tougher lightening standards. Who knew light bulbs could stir up so much controversy?
Dr. Z
Published: June 29, 2009

President Obama announced tougher energy efficiency requirements for certain types of fluorescent and incandescent lighting on Monday, the latest step in the administration’s push to cut the country’s energy use.

The new rule , scheduled to take effect in 2012, will cut the amount of electricity used by affected lamps by 15 to 25 percent and save $1 billion to $4 billion a year for consumers, the White House said.

“Now I know light bulbs may not seem sexy,” Mr. Obama said, “but this simple action holds enormous promise because 7 percent of all the energy consumed in America is used to light our homes and our businesses.”

Of the two types of lighting covered by Monday’s announcement, the most important is “general service fluorescent lamps,” which commonly take the form of tubular office lights (but do not include the squiggly compact fluorescents commonly found in home lamps).

The other type of lighting covered by the new rule is incandescent reflector lamps; these cone-shaped fixtures can often be found in track lighting.

“We believe this will be the biggest efficiency savings from any appliance standard ever,” said Steven Nadel, executive director of the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy, an advocacy organization.

The Energy Department has not updated the efficiency requirements for these lighting types since they were established by Congress in 1992. The department was supposed to update the requirement in 1997, according to Mr. Nadel, but it fell well behind on this and other appliance standards. In 2006 a federal court settlement required the department to move expeditiously to clear its backlog.

A broader push is under way to make lighting more efficient, aided by improving technologies. A 2007 energy bill mandated stronger efficiency requirements for the pear-shaped incandescent bulbs commonly found in homes. New efficiency requirements for two more types of lighting, floor and table lamps and outdoor lighting fixtures, are under consideration in Congress.

Susan Bloom, a spokeswoman for Philips, a major lighting manufacturer, said that her team was still combing through the lengthy document, but strongly supported the Energy Department’s efforts. “We’re all about helping to increase energy efficiency standards for lighting,” she said.

Who says Light Bulbs aren’t sexy? umm..the President does.. July 1, 2009

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who says light bulb aren't sexy?

who says light bulbs aren't sexy?




Zoinks! Its me Dr Z! Pharoah of the fluorescent and lord of light!.. So now the President Obama is weighing in on light bulbs..The article below explains his commitment to us all getting better lighting.. But lightbulbs not sexy?? I don’t know what you see but they sure warm my cockles up!

Get Lit Stay Lit


Dr. Z

President Obama on Monday announced new federal efforts to promote energy efficiency in the United States, through stricter standards on fluorescent and incandescent light and other measures.passed in the House on Friday.

“I know light bulbs might not seem sexy,” Mr. Obama said, “but this simple action holds enormous promise because 7 percent of all energy consumed in America is used to light our homes and our businesses.”

He framed the efforts as part of his goal to reduce the nation’s dependence on foreign oil through a variety of means, including through the cap and trade legislation that

“When we put aside the posturing and politics… a simple choice emerges,” Mr. Obama said. “We can remain the world’s leading importer of oil, or we can become the world’s leading exporter of clean energy. That’s our choice: Between a slow decline and renewed prosperity. Between the past and the future.”

The president said the new look at light bulbs is starting at the White House.

“Secretary Chu is already taking a look at our light bulbs,” he said.

Energy Secretary Steve Chu will also expand and accelerate the deployment of energy efficient technologies in new buildings, something that the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act began, the president said.

He pointed to the state of California as an example of what stricter energy efficiency standards could achieve. In the late 1970’s, California enacted tougher energy policies, which the president said, helped create millions of jobs. Today, he said, Californians consume 40 percent less energy per person than the national average.

“One of the fastsest, easiest and cheapest ways to make our economy stronger and cleaner is to make our economy more energy efficient,” he said.

The American people, Mr. Obama said, “expect us to move forward right now” to create a clean energy economy.

To that end, the president praised the House for passing the climate change measure, which he said “will finally open the door to decreasing our dependence on foreign oil,” and he added, “create new business, new industries and millions of new jobs… all without placing untenable burdens on the American people or business.”

Mr. Obama said he is confident the Senate will also “choose to move this country forward.”

‘Lightbulb’ molecule has a bright future June 23, 2009

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The discovery of the light bulb particle

The discovery of the light bulb particle

Gadzooks! Its me Dr.Z here to spread the gospel of good lighting. LEDs are in the news again. Its seems the “lightbulb” molecule may have been discovered and could possibly revolutionize the lighting industry.

Listen Learn Read ON

Dr. Z




A single molecule that reliably emits white light could speed the development of low-energy LEDs for the next generation of light sources and displays, say chemists. Energy-efficient LEDs are widely tipped to become the predominant lighting source of the next decade and beyond, replacing the fast-disappearing incandescent bulb, as well as the compact fluorescent lights that are replacing them. Tipped to become the standard in this area are organic LEDs – thin films made from organic polymers that can be coated onto large areas at low cost. But generating white light from OLEDs is difficult as organic compounds within the films generate light only at very specific colours. Making white involves mixing two or more compounds to create a white light balance, and that drives up the price. Jekyll and Hyde Soo-Young Park at Seoul National University, South Korea, and colleagues at the University of Valencia in Spain, have created a molecule able to behave like two separate light-producing molecules. When stimulated with a voltage it produces orange and blue light that mix to create white. Previous attempts using the same basic concept involved linking together two separate molecules into one. But, because energy is able to flow between the two molecular sub-units, one unit typically emits more light than the other, resulting in an unwanted tint. The new molecule does not suffer that problem, and only contains one light-emitting chemical group. When connected to a voltage, this group switches to a high-energy form that emits blue light as it reverts to its original state. Roughly half the time, though, the high-energy form picks up extra oxygen and hydrogen atoms, becoming a short-lived form that produces orange light before reverting to the original state. A large population of the molecules reliably produces equal quantities of orange and blue light that mix to produce an even white. Efficiency boost “This allows us to create white emission in much the same way as creating white light from independent [lights],” says Park, potentially saving money and increasing efficiency. “The science is excellent and very impressive,” says Colin Humphreys who works on LEDs at the University of Cambridge in the UK. But, he adds, it needs an efficiency boost before it can be used in commercial lighting and displays. Currently, the molecule converts electrons into photons at least 30 times less efficiently than commercial LEDs. Park responds that the study was more about proof of principle and that the efficiency figures will rise as the method is optimised.

LED there be light part II. Miami Herald LED article June 22, 2009

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Are LEDs the light of the future?

Are LEDs the light of the future?

Zoinks! Its me Dr. Z, pharoah of the fluorescent and loony for light bulbs. Here is a great article just published in the Miami Herald that discusses some of the merits of LED lighting. I have posted some articles like this in the past but this one brings up some nice points as to what LED lighting means to you and me. Listen Learn and Read On!

Dr. Z





Q: How many LED engineers does it take to change a light bulb?

A: Why on Earth would you ever need to change a light bulb?

While LED (light-emitting diode) costs are still high, this type of lighting is extremely long-lasting. And as prices come down, its efficiency could lead to huge energy savings.

The first consumer LED products lit up in the 1970s, with red light numbers on pocket calculators and push-button displays on big, geeky Pulsar watches. Then came those centered, high-mounted brake lights in the rear windows of cars. Now LEDs are found in everything from traffic lights to operating rooms to greenhouses.

An LED is a device that produces light when an electrical current flows through it. The color it emits depends on the materials used to make the diode.

“It won’t be long before LED lighting technology has a space on your desk, has a space on your ceiling, certainly has a space on your car,” says Russell Dupuis, an electro-optics professor at the Georgia Institute of Technology. Dupuis was awarded the 2002 National Medal of Technology for his work on LEDs.

“Most cars today have a whole lot of LED, certainly the instrument cluster,” he says.

And some cities are also investing in LED for their roads. Dupuis says LED traffic signals would pay for themselves in about three months because of energy savings. And how long do they last? “Until somebody knocks the pole down!” he laughs.

Here are some numbers from the U.S. Department of Energy comparing lifetimes of LEDs to traditional lighting:

– Incandescent bulbs (750-2,000 hours): These bulbs haven’t changed much in 120-plus years; they give off 80-percent heat and only 20-percent light.

– Compact fluorescent bulbs (8,000-10,000 hours): CFLs are more efficient than incandescent, but do contain small amounts of mercury.

– High-power white LEDs (35,000-50,000 hours): The Department of Energy estimates a quarter of the electricity in the United States is used for lighting, costing $50 billion per year. The agency says new technology could reduce lighting energy use by 50 percent.

For some big companies, the transition already makes sense. “Walmart decided to replace the lighting in all of its refrigerated cases with LED lights,” Dupuis says. “Every store is going to save enough in six months to pay for this change.”

There’s also a niche for special lighting needs. Some surgical teams are using LED headlamps and operating-room lighting. LEDs also light up the words of the Constitution and Declaration of Independence at the Jefferson Memorial. And at the British Museum they illuminate the Beatles’ “Sergeant Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band” uniforms so the fabric doesn’t decay.

OLEDs, or organic light-emitting diodes, have other intriguing potential. They can be created on paper-thin plastics, and made into wallpaper, window blinds, even clothing.

But it will be several years before consumers can pick up a pack of LEDs at the hardware store. “Designing lights with LED has inherent challenges,” says Michelle Murray, a spokeswoman for LED lighting manufacturer Cree Inc.

Those challenges prompted the Department of Energy to launch the L-Prize, a competition offering millions in cash prizes for the creation of a “high-quality, high-efficiency solid-state lighting products to replace the common light bulb.”

The Department of Energy admits major consumer confusion when it first started promoting the efficiency of compact fluorescent lights. It says the United States cannot afford to squander the enormous energy-saving potential of LEDs, so it wants to make sure the products are ready for prime time when they do hit the market.

The Department of Energy is setting 2012 as a target for large-volume production and replacement of incandescent lighting.


Blanketing Doesn’t Keep Horses from Growing Winter Coats; But Lighting Can! June 17, 2009

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Gadzooks! Its me Dr Z! Here is a great article for you horse lovers out there. The article is about using fluorescent lighting to keep a horse’s coat short (without clipping). Horses can turn into real fuzzballs in the winter and if you are show horse thats going to effect your stage time. ZOinks!

Dr. Z




Icelandic Horse (www.wikimedia.org) 

Contrary to what many people think, horses don’t grow winter coats because temperatures drop. Rather, it is a response to the length of the day. As days get shorter, horses’ coats get longer. 

This means that some of the “traditional” methods of trying to reduce a horse’s winter coat, such as early blanketing or keeping them in a heated a barn, actually have no effect.

To keep a horse’s coat short (without clipping) many show barns use lighting to artificially lengthen the day and “fool” the horse into not growing a winter coat.

Researchers at Texas A&M University’s Department of Equine Scientists tested the theory that exposing horses to 16 hours of “daylight” (the length of the day on the summer solstice) to find out if it would retard fall hair growth or cause early shedding. The experiment was conducted on 16 horses (yearlings and two year olds) that were randomly assigned to normal or extended day length groups.

The project started October 1 when the extended day length (ED) group started receiving 16 hours of day light per day and the non-extended day length (NED) groups received natural day light only.  All horses were housed in the same non-heated barn and none of the horses were blanketed throughout the project. 

On day 1 the hair on a 1×2 inch square, under the mane, was clipped then shaved to skin level. Hair from these areas was reclipped on days 28 and 56 and measured for growth.  

After 28 days, the two groups showed approximately equal growth. But from there, the differences became obvious. On the last day of the experiment, December 6th, the hair on the NED group was nearly three times longer than the hair on the ED group.

Surprisingly, you don’t need special lamps to achieve this effect: you can use standard incandescent or fluorescent lights placed over, or close to, a horse’s stall. Horses have shown a response with as little as 3 foot candles of light (one foot candle is the amount of light that a birthday cake candle generates from one foot away), but 10 foot candles of light is the standard recommendation. Essentially, if you can read a newspaper from any location in the stall, you have enough light. 

To achieve the effect, horses need to receive 16 continuous hours of light (natural and artificial) and 8 hours of darkness. 24 hours of continuous light doesn’t do the trick; there needs to be a period of darkness. Most barn owners use timers to achieve the desired amount of light.

The other effect of keeping horses under lights is that mares will continue to come into season.

Magazine finds eco-bulbs as light as old-style June 11, 2009

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spiral lights are everywhere!

spiral lights are everywhere!

Gadzooks! a great article from New Zealand.

Dr. Z


Energy saving eco-bulbs produce at least as much light as old-style bulbs, but you get what you pay for, according to Consumer magazine.

Consumer tested 17 eco-bulbs, including two dimmable bulbs, for brightness and long life, by comparing them with a standard 100W incandescent light bulb and turning them each on and off 6454 times.

It found that most eco-bulbs, or compact fluorescents, produced as much light as the old-style incandescent bulbs and good eco-bulbs produced substantially more.

A good quality eco-bulb would last well despite being turned off and on a lot. In most cases, major brand eco-bulbs lasted longer than cheaper brands.

Old-style incandescent bulbs turn just 5 per cent of electricity into light and the rest into heat, while the new eco bulbs turn about 80 per cent of electricity into light.

Spiral shapes were the best performers of the eco-bulbs, which ranged between 18W and 23W. They ranged in price from $2.93 to $25.92 each.



The bulbs produced more light than a standard 100W incandescent bulbs and none failed the “long life” switching test.

Two 60W halogen energy saver bulbs were also tested. They produced only about 75 per cent of the light output of a standard 60W bulb.

Can Laser Treatment Rejuvenate the Incandescent Bulb?- more info on Laser Light Bulbs! June 9, 2009

Posted by Dr. Z Bulbs in light bulb, List Article, Theory for argument sake., Weird Bulb News.
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Zoinks! Its me Dr Z! The Light bulb lovin man. Lasers and Light Bulbs are two great tastes that evidentally taste great together. Could this be the revolution in lighting? Methinks LEDS are in for some serious competion if this pans out.
Dr. Z
Set Your Light Bulbs on Stun!

Set Your Light Bulbs on Stun!


light bulbThe battle of the light bulb may not be quite over. While traditional incandescents will soon be phased out in the United States and abroad, researchers are plugging away to create more efficient versions that comply with looming new standards — while also providing an alternative for consumers who find compact fluorescents objectionable [The New York Times, blog]. In one new study, researchers have demonstrated how an incandescent bulb can be modified to give out much more light without requiring more power.

Lead researcher Chunlei Guo and his colleagues were experimenting with the effect of ultrafast laser pulses on metals when they noticed that pulses lasting only a few femtoseconds–quadrillionths of a second–could fundamentally change the molecular arrangement of metals without melting them [ScienceNOW Daily News]. The laser blasts caused the metal to turn black, which boosted its ability to absorb light. Because the law of thermal radiation state that materials that can absorb a great deal of energy will also emit large amounts of energy, the researchers decided to see if their laser treatment would boost the light output of the metal filament in an ordinary light bulb.

They fired a femtosecond laser beam through the glass of an off-the-shelf incandescent bulb. As expected, the lightning-fast beam rearranged the molecules of the bulb’s tungsten filament, turning it dark black. But then, when the researchers turned the bulb on, the part treated with the laser shone considerably brighter than the rest of the filament [ScienceNOW Daily News]. When they gave an entire filament the laser treatment, an altered 60-watt light bulb glowed as brightly as a 100-watt bulb, but still used its normal amount of electricity.

The findings, which will be published in the next issue of Physical Review Letters, may not be ready for commercialization just yet, but Guo believes it would not be difficult for bulb companies to add a tungsten blackening step to the manufacturing process. “The implementation should be fairly straightforward,” he said [The New York Times, blog]. However, compact-fluorescent bulbs and light-emitting diode (LED) bulbs are already on the market, and research is continuing on how to make those technologies cheaper, more pleasing to the eye, and still more efficient, so the laser treatment may not be enough to give new life to the old-fashioned light bulb.

Holy Lazer Light Bulbs Batman! Regular Light Bulbs Made Super-efficient With Ultra-fast Laser June 1, 2009

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Zoinks! Just when you thought incandescent light bulbs were out for the count, Lasers come to the rescue. Below is an article from Science Daily that talks about  super bulb!

Dr. Z



Ok Mr Y. Just hold that light bulb steady

Ok Mr Y. Just hold that light bulb steady

 An ultra-powerful laser can turn regular incandescent light bulbs into power-sippers, say optics researchers at the University of Rochester. The process could make a light as bright as a 100-watt bulb consume less electricity than a 60-watt bulb while remaining far cheaper and radiating a more pleasant light than a fluorescent bulb can.


The laser process creates a unique array of nano- and micro-scale structures on the surface of a regular tungsten filament—the tiny wire inside a light bulb—and theses structures make the tungsten become far more effective at radiating light.

The findings will be published in an upcoming issue of the journal Physical Review Letters.

“We’ve been experimenting with the way ultra-fast lasers change metals, and we wondered what would happen if we trained the laser on a filament,” says Chunlei Guo, associate professor of optics at the University of Rochester. “We fired the laser beam right through the glass of the bulb and altered a small area on the filament. When we lit the bulb, we could actually see this one patch was clearly brighter than the rest of the filament, but there was no change in the bulb’s energy usage.”

The key to creating the super-filament is an ultra-brief, ultra-intense beam of light called a femtosecond laser pulse. The laser burst lasts only a few quadrillionths of a second. To get a grasp of that kind of speed, consider that a femtosecond is to a second what a second is to about 32 million years. During its brief burst, Guo’s laser unleashes as much power as the entire grid of North America onto a spot the size of a needle point. That intense blast forces the surface of the metal to form nanostructures and microstructures that dramatically alter how efficiently can radiate from the filament.

In 2006, Guo and his assistant, Anatoliy Vorobeyv, used a similar laser process to turn any metal pitch black. The surface structures created on the metal were incredibly effective at capturing incoming radiation, such as light.

“There is a very interesting ‘take more, give more’ law in nature governing the amount of light going in and coming out of a material,” says Guo. Since the black metal was extremely good at absorbing light, he and Vorobyev set out to study the reverse process—that the blackened filament would radiate light more effectively as well.

“We knew it should work in theory,” says Guo, “but we were still surprised when we turned up the power on this bulb and saw just how much brighter the processed spot was.”

In addition to increasing the brightness of a bulb, Guo’s process can be used to tune the color of the light as well. In 2008, his team used a similar process to change the color of nearly any metal to blue, golden, and gray, in addition to the black he’d already accomplished. Guo and Vorobeyv used that knowledge of how to control the size and shape of the nanostructures—and thus what colors of light those structures absorb and radiate—to change the amount of each wavelength of light the tungsten filament radiates. Though Guo cannot yet make a simple bulb shine pure blue, for instance, he can change the overall radiated spectrum so that the tungsten, which normally radiates a yellowish light, could radiate a more purely white light.

Guo’s team has even been able to make a filament radiate partially polarized light, which until now has been impossible to do without special filters that reduce the bulb’s efficiency. By creating nanostructures in tight, parallel rows, some light that emits from the filament becomes polarized.

The team is now working to discover what other aspects of a common light bulb they might be able to control. Fortunately, despite the incredible intensity involved, the femtosecond laser can be powered by a simple wall outlet, meaning that when the process is refined, implementing it to augment regular light bulbs should be relatively simple.

Guo is also announcing this month in Applied Physics Letters a technique using a similar femtosecond laser process to make a piece of metal automatically move liquid around its surface, even lifting a liquid up against gravity.

This research was supported by the U.S. Air Force Office of Scientific Research.

Zoinks! its Light Bulb revolt! Incandescent Fans are Rising Up. May 19, 2009

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ahh they don't make them like they use to

ahh they don't make them like they use to

gadzooks! As much as I love Compact Fluorescents I must say I will be sad to see incandescents will be banned by 2012 and its looking like many people not only share that sentiment but have becoming quite grumpy about the change. The article below addresses some questions about the ban of incandescent bulbs .

Get Lit Stay Lit

Dr. Z


Light-Bulb Revolt: Incandescent Fans Rise Up

From oven lights to spotlights, there’s a lot of worry about the coming phase-out

Posted January 30, 2008

Light bulbs certainly can heat up controversy. After reading last month’s FAQ on the coming phase-out of today’s incandescent light bulbs, many readers wrote to defend the old bulbs or ask about the finer points of the switchover. Here are some of their comments and questions about the transition to more energy-efficient lighting, which Congress light in my oven that withstands the extreme temperatures there. Is a compact fluorescent light bulb safe for use in an oven? How about in the refrigerator or freezer?
No, those swirly, efficient CFL bulbs will be great for most light fixtures, but they can’t withstand extreme hot or cold. However, appliance lamps up to 40 watts are exempt from the new energy law and will not be phased out.

I have incandescent spotlights outside to light up my yard. Fluorescent lights are known to work poorly in the cold. Will CFLs work in subzero conditions?
Outdoor spotlights will still be available as halogen spot or halogen floodlights. These products are on the market today. Halogen bulbs also are becoming more efficient—wasting less energy as heat—than used to be the case.

I have lighting fixtures in my home designed to show the bulb as decoration—like candle, flame-shaped, or clear decorative spheres. Are all these fixtures going to be obsolete?
Decorative lamps with small candelabra bases are exempt from the phase-out up to 60 watts. Decorative lamps with standard or medium-screw bases are exempt up to 40 watts. Large globe lights used in bathroom vanities will still be available.

I have heard that we will not be able to use our existing light sockets with these new bulbs, nor use lampshades, and that we will have to have all light sockets in our homes replaced.
The manufacturers say that CFLs are substantially shorter and smaller than they were just a few years ago. While some light bulbs had difficulty fitting certain lampshades in the past, most CFLs will fit in almost all table lamps today. Consumers are already making the switch. The federal Energy Star program says sales of CFLs, which use 75 percent less energy and last up to 10 times as long as incandescents, doubled in 2007 and now account for 20 percent of the light bulb market.

Banning incandescent light bulbs entirely would be a big mistake. Seldom mentioned is the fact (proved in my home) that CFLs cause interference in TV pictures and AM radio.
Strange, but apparently this used to be true! Some CFLs created “radio frequency interference,” but this is rare today. Manufacturers tell me you can avoid the problem if you choose bulbs with the government’s Energy Star rating, indicating that they’ve met a standard set by the Federal Communications Commission. The FCC also requires CFL manufacturers to supply information (on or inside the package) that informs consumers what to do in the event that any interference is encountered (move your light bulb and your AM radio apart from each other).

As a matter of fact, many of the consumers who are worried about light quality and long life should also be sure they are using products that carry the Energy Star. The few CFLs on the market that don’t carry the star don’t meet the minimum government standards.

There are many locations where the extra cost of a fluorescent will never be repaid, such as little-used closets and attics.
The payback period may indeed be so slow as to be imperceptible in these locations. At least you won’t have to crawl up there and replace those bulbs too often. CFLs should last a long time.

Like a lot of problems, there is no “silver bullet” to solve every problem. The idea of banningincandescent bulbs needs to be re-evaluated to produce a more sensible approach.
Ah, but the United States isn’t really banning incandescent bulbs, as Australia recently did. All the major manufacturers—including General Electric, Osram Sylvania, and Philips—emphasize that, very much at their urging, Congress instead set new standards for greater efficiency in lighting. It doesn’t matter what technology the light bulb makers use to get to reach the goals. The practical effect, indeed, will be to phase out most of the incandescent bulbs that we know. But in the coming years, you most likely will see manufacturers come out with next-generation, efficient incandescent bulbs. These may end up being a transitional technology that will not meet the standards in the later years of the phase-out, when light-emitting diodes become more economical, but manufacturers are confident these new standards are workable.

Sure, it’s easy (and fun) to rail against Congress. But the bright side of all those loopholes and compromises is that you will still be able to light your oven, freezer, outdoor walkway, and candelabra fixture with little upheaval, while saving kilowatts with more modern lighting in the rest of your home.