Wednesday, January 31, 2007

We Know What's Best For You

Once again the bright minds in Sacramento have decided they know what's best for us. Now some are trying to ban the sale of incandescent light bulbs in California, the reasoning being that compact fluorescents (CFLs) are more energy efficient, among other things.

I actually prefer to use CFLs myself, assuming the light fixture will accept them. Hey, anything to save money on energy sounds good to me.

Problem is, many of our light fixtures don't accept them. Not only that but contrary to claims made by the ban proponents, I've found CFLs often don't last more than a few months, if that. Sure makes me wonder about the supposed energy cost savings when you consider the cost of CFL bulbs.

And I love the comment in the SacBee article from the guy from Citizens Against Waste:
"We're not telling consumers what to do, we're ending a technology that's obsolete,".

It's shouldn't be government or the Citizens Against Waste's function to put an end to obsolete technology. That decision should rest with the consumer.


At 8:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Those compact fluorescents contain a not insignificant amount of mercury, and they so commonly end up in the regular trash that it's a huge problem.

I don't want to trade energy efficiency for polluted rivers and oceans and fish, so I'm sticking with the incandenscents.


At 10:24 AM, Blogger Fred said...

It never occured to me that compact fluorescents had mercury in them although I knew those big tubular fluorescents did.

Years ago when CFLs first made their big presence in the market I bought a four or six pack of them. Most of the bulbs didn't even last a month. I just threw them in the trash just like I did every CFL bulb I've disposed of since then.

At 10:35 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

That's the problem with these bulbs, everyone buying them is trying to be eco-groovy and actually they're wrecking the environment. Why the green movement pushes them is beyond me.

Before I knew this I tossed at least a dozen into the trash, now they sit in my recycling but I'm always a little leery of one breaking.


At 10:43 AM, Blogger Derchoadus said...

Yep, them fluorescents are considered 'Universal' Hazadrous Waste here in California when you dispose of them. Sshhh.

At 10:44 AM, Blogger Fred said...

I never thought about them having mercury in them until I read that SacBee article this morning.

Still, I like them if they save money in the long run, assuming they don't burn out the first week or month like many of the ones I've bought do.

Maybe one of these days they'll figure a way to make them without mercury?

At 11:25 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm just checking in to thank you for bringing this subject up.

And to say that these new curleycue bulbs don't last as long as incandescent bulbs do.

And to ask why none of the outfits that are urging us to use these curleycue bulbs in place of incandescent bulbs say anything about having to dispose of them at hazardous waste sites.

And to mention, in fairness, that the curleycue bulbs don't get as hot as incandescent bulbs, and so are probably less of a fire hazard.

And to mention, as Fred did, that some of my nicest lamps will not accept the curleycue bulbs.

I use them, but I don't want the government telling me which bulb to use.

That would be like having the government telling me what kind of person I could invite to share my bed. Out of line! That's my private business!

At 11:54 AM, Blogger Steve Lewis said...

If we are really energy and heat conscious, we need to switch all our lightbulbs to LCD technology as soon as it becomes available. LCD's can produce bright lights now and they use a fraction of the energy to do it and do not heat up.

I had a vision about a year ago of seeing a townscape where the houses had embedded LCD's in the exterior walls lighting in random pattern like Christmas lights that made the houses look like a Christmas rainbow fairy land at night, making the townscape incredibly beautiful.

The vision lifted from ground perspective to the stratosphere looking down on all the towns like diamonds shining in the night on earth. I want to paint this some day.

At 12:32 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Steve, whenever you crack your joints, particularly your spinal cord, traces of LSD are released. Even if its been years or decades from the last time you took acid. Please refrain from doing this. please.

At 12:52 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Another important point to consider..Those curlycue bulbs just don't explode as well as incandescents when you throw them in the street..

At 12:58 PM, Blogger Fred said...

Now that would be a shame. Now that incandescent christmas tree lights are pretty much gone, light bulbs are the only thing we have left to make that pleasant PoP!

At 1:00 PM, Blogger Fred said...

Steve wrote, "we need to switch all our lightbulbs to LCD technology as soon as it becomes available".

I'm wondering if that's the kind of lights microwave ovens use? I don't know that I've ever had a light go out in a microwave oven. I've always wondered how they make them last so long.

At 1:03 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

While I think this is a tad bit unreal and we should wait for LED technology to flourish before we get rid of incandescent, I disagree with you Fred that this should be in the hands of the consumer.

There have been many regulations instituted in other areas. Low flow toilets, aerators on your faucet, catalytic converters in cars, etc. etc.

The idea here being much the same, to conserve vital resources and improve or maintain quality of life. While its good citizens have a choice to improve, there comes a point where it has to be mandated so that power, water or air quality are preserved. I don't think compact fluorescent is the answer, as several have pointed out though. But if it was mandated, and the industry had time to prepare an adequate inventory the price of the curlycue light would most likely go down.

At 3:13 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Everbody get their free fluorescent bulbs from PG&E about a month ago? CC folks were distributing them door to door.

At 4:57 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

A Concerned Citizen wrote: "There have been many regulations instituted in other areas. Low flow toilets, aerators on your faucet, catalytic converters in cars, etc. etc."

So True!

And such regulations have been the source of much social commentary in recent years. Not only commentary, but Humor!

For many years, I believed "The Simpsons" were the sine qua non (sp?) of American humor.

That is, until I had the good fortune to view the episode of "King of the Hill" that dealt with low-flow toilets.

Has anyone here besides me had the pleasure of seeing how that tightly-written and masterfully-acted script poked holes through each and every error made by government in its ongoing attempt to mandate the pot that people must pee into?

If you have not seen this episode, you owe it to yourself to seek it out.

It is something like a delicious corn dog. It is social and political commentary (the hot dog) wrapped in a savory bun of hysterical funnyness.

Something like that, anyway.

You only go around once in life. (Where have I heard that before?)

So, anyway, be sure to see the "King of the Hill" episode on low-flow toilets!

At 6:25 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

letting the consumers decide is going to be the quickest way to sink Earth as possible.

At 8:49 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Fred just doesn't want to admit any positive role the government has in peoples lives. He just ignores the institutional history of this country. Can't say Im surprised.

At 2:14 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just a brief thought about microwave oven bulbs. The number of hours you run your microwave every month is pretty small, likely less than 10. And the 30 watt bulb has a longer longer life than a 100 one. How often do you replace your fridge light? Same situation.

At 2:25 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Years ago I bought the spotlight kind of bulbs at Costco. Some of them lasted a week and some of them are still going. Recently bought curly ques at Walgreens - I think 5 for $1.99 but they won't go in every kind of lamp I have. Didn't realize about mercury though and I have been throwing them in the trash. I'll rethink that one now.

At 3:58 PM, Blogger Carol Ann said...

Fred, I AGREE with you! The government should not tell us which light bulbs to use. Perhaps they can advise us, but not outlaw light bulbs. I like prefer GE soft light myself. Maybe if we all just turn-off the lights when we are not using them and make an effort to conserve energy.

At 11:24 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have the solution for all our energy problems, and global warming, besides.

We all need to start going to bed at nightfall and getting up out of bed at sunrise.

That's all.

At 11:27 AM, Blogger Lynette Warren said...

anonymous commented:
Fred just doesn't want to admit any positive role the government has in peoples lives.

Just what positive role does the government play in peoples' lives?

At 1:05 PM, Blogger Fred said...

11:25 wrote, "We all need to start going to bed at nightfall and getting up out of bed at sunrise.".

There you go, folks. You heard it right here. I'm sure our Assemblybabe, Patty Berg, will get right on it.

AB 600- The "Let's Get People To Bed Act of 2007". The question is, will the Governator sign it?

At 9:23 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


I expected people to read the idea on your blog, then go ahead and make the change in their personal schedules.

I definitely did not want to encourage the passage of any new law about getting up and going to bed with the chickens, as people used to say.

It's just like my other pet project. If everybody would take about ten minutes once every couple of weeks, our towns could be free of litter. How would this work? By putting a glove on one hand and a bag in the other, and then walking around the block picking up trash that other people stupidly left behind them.

It works, it's cheap, it's voluntary, and it looks very nice when you are finished.

No grants or new regulations are required to achieve our Mission!

At 5:25 AM, Blogger Fred said...

I figured you were just making a suggestion, but you have to be careful with that. Some people will think that's something they need to make mandatory.


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