CFLs and Me
By law, incandescent light bulbs shall no longer be allowed. This leaves CFLs and their brethren as the remaining options.
I first tried CFLs quite some time ago, mainly for two reasons. The first was that they were supposed to save money. The second was that they were supposed to last a long time. As far as the money savings went, I did not notice any real change in my electrical bill. This was no shock-after all, the savings are supposed to spread out over the life of the bulb. As far as lasting a long time, the damn things seemed to die far more quickly than my old light bulbs. Plus, they had some other annoying features as well, like a slow light up and they seemed to glow (like the colour out of space) long after they should fall dark. I also found out that they contain mercury. This means you do not want to have one break near anything you want to be free of mercury (like your body) and that you have to take them someplace special to dispose of them (like Pluto or Lowes). I did wonder about how much the burning of gas to take the bulbs back as they died would offset the savings in energy.
I am looking into LED lights, mainly because they are supposed to last a long time and save energy. Presumably when I buy some, they will either go off like flash bangs or shoot laser beams around the house.
Like many others, I am a bit sad at the passing of the classic easy bake oven-it relied on the inefficiency of incandescent light bulbs to work its magic. Like most girls, my sister had one and I remember the little cake things she’d try to make in it. No doubt they will come up with some new models-maybe one that can burn the mercury from the CFLs to warm the tiny treats.
I’m okay with updating light technology, though. However, I am inclined to think that this should be a matter of choice rather than of law. After all, no one had to pass a law outlawing 286 processors or CRT TVs. As the technology improved, people switched by choice (well, that and planned obsolescence). Since I am a rational person, I want light bulbs that last a long time, save me money, do not harm the environment, and provide good lighting. I will, of course, buy the product that best matches my specifications. This seems sensible enough.
Interestingly, however, the light bulb has become a political battle point with folks on the right lashing out against the law (which was signed by George Bush in 2007). They are casting it as a matter of liberty. As noted above, I think that relying on the market to replace obsolete technology seems preferable. However, I suspect that the motives of some folks fighting for the old light bulbs is not altruistic. Some have gone so far as to claim that the law is being fought so as to keep energy consumption and power company profits up. In any case, it is interesting to see such a battle being manufactured over light bulbs.