Why You Should Stock Up on Incandescent Bulbs
If You Can Still Find Them
When President Obama referenced Thomas Edison in his January 2012 State of the Union speech as a shining example of America’s history of innovation, he apparently didn’t see the sad irony in the fact that his government is now moving to crush one of Edison’s great inventions: the incandescent light bulb.
Buried in a 2007 energy bill that Obama had supported as Senator (and that George W. Bush hastily signed into law) was a sweeping ban on incandescent bulbs.
It will start going into effect this year, at which time 100-watt bulbs will disappear from store shelves (as is already happening in “progressive” California, which elected to implement the federal standards early). Starting this year, most other incandescent bulbs, all the way down to 40 watts, will be restricted throughout the country.
On our “watch list” of potential investments: Who gets to handle and dispose of the federally mandated mercury-laden bulbs? A new, unproductive, government-created industry.
Politically Mandated Light Bulbs Are a Bad Deal All Around
The idea behind the forced phase-out is that it will induce Americans to buy alternative bulbs, such as LEDs and (toxic and mercury-laden) CFLs, that use less electricity. These fancy bulbs also happen to be much more expensive. That will translate into a short-term revenue boost for politically connected companies such as “Government Electric” (GE), which is all too eager to support federal meddling into every American’s home-lighting decisions.
Many people refuse to buy the pricier bulbs because they give off a harsh, white, sterile kind of light more suited to office buildings than living rooms. Also, since incandescent bulbs give off more radiant heat, people in cold climates are able to run their heating systems a little bit less often with them (a factor ignored by the self-proclaimed champions of energy efficiency).
Stock up big time on 100-watt light bulbs if you use them and can find them and would like to continue to be able to do so. Then stock up on other wattages before they disappear.